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Are You Sure You Have a Content Style Guide?
When going down the checklist of documentation already in their possession, most people working on online content quickly skim past “Style Guide,” with a quick “Yep, got it.” But hold on, back up–do they really have a Content Style Guide and are they using it? Chances are they don’t and they aren’t.
Any company with a website worth its salt will affirm the importance of a Style Guide for its website, but usually those Style Guides focus on page layout, image quality, image size, colors, etc. While all these graphical elements are important and there must be a Style Guide to memorialize them so that the website doesn’t end up looking like www.Frankenstein.com, many companies fail to realize the importance of establishing a Style Guide that addresses the content that goes on the site.
The content is the main reason consumers are coming to your site, and therefore, it should be the first thing you think about and set guidelines for usage around. Although “pretty” sites immediately capture the eye, users will abandon them instantly if they don’t find the content they seek.
Content Style Guides focus on such things as grammar, formatting, tone and style, SEO, image captioning and alt tags. For example, will you spell e-mail with a hyphen or not? How will you display the word Wi-Fi, wi-fi, WIFI, etc.? How will you format long lists of data and potentially confusing information like seasonal hours for businesses such as dining establishments within your resort?
What is the tone and style of your writing? Sure your team has determined that you want it “casual, yet professional,” but how do you convey what this means to your writers? A detailed Style Guide can help to spell out tone, word choices to use and avoid, stance, point of view, etc.
All these elements, when standardized and followed by writers, editors, designers and marketers within your organization make for streamlined, easy to read, organized and professionally executed site content.
If you would like to learn more about how to create a digital Style Guide for your organization, please call us at 864.241.0779 or email [email protected].