I don’t like to reinvent the wheel. It’s been done and frankly it seems to work rather well. So when I hear a concept that intuitively makes sense, I like to think about its adaptability to the business environment and in particular, the small entrepreneur. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle seems a natural concept to reuse in the business world and here’s why.
As small business owners we don’t have the budget for multiple and varied advertising campaigns and we might only have one shot at getting website content that works. We need to be as efficient as possible and what could be more efficient than recycling? If you’ve spent the time, energy and money investigating key word searches and search engine optimization tools to help you determine your website content, why wouldn’t you use those same words for all your business materials? Start by maximizing the use of those words throughout your site. I advise my clients to use “the rule of 10.” When considering your value or vision statement, that is, the words you use to you advertise your business, attract new customers and describe the service you offer, make it 10 words or less. Reduce the amount of words then reuse them throughout the site. Too much repetition will annoy Google so inserting key words every second word in a sentence isn’t the goal but rather, to aim for a creative sprinkling of those words on each of the pages within your site. Only reuse the good ones!
Now to “reduce.” Since we are talking about garbage, let’s be frank…many websites contain a whole lot of garbage. Reduce it! Have a good, hard look at the words on every single page of your site. Do they all need to be there? Do they make sense? Has information changed since you first created your web presence? It might be time for a revamp. I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating (see, I’m reusing) have some one else take a look at your site, a friend or a business associate who is willing to give you good, sometimes hard, honest feedback. A Mother-in-law is great for this. “Garbage in is garbage out” as the saying goes so make sure your chosen critic won’t be filling your head with what you want to hear but rather, what you need to hear. Then reduce, reduce, reduce. More often than not what started as a 500 word essay on why your product is better than anyone else’s can be succinctly described in 100 words or less – but they are the best 100 words you’ve ever written!
Recycling in terms of this article simply means, once you’ve created your vision, logo and key value statements – recycle them over and over on ALL of your advertising materials. Choose words that make sense on a business card, fit within an advertorial or brochure format and that still work on your website too. Another term for this of course, is BRANDING. By recycling key words on all your business paraphernalia you’re establishing your brand while not reinventing the wheel! Too often I see people who have a business card with one slogan, brochures that say something different and a website that looks nothing like the first two. It’s like they couldn’t decide which version worked best so they just use all three and consistency be darned! Consistency though, is critical. Avoid confusion by being clear and concise so that continuity of your message is what the reader remembers. Shakespeare wrote an entire play around the words “To be or not to be?” but if you really think about it – as Hamlet contemplated his very existence on this earth – doesn’t that question truly sum it all up? Hamlet: reduced, reused and recycled. You should do it too!
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!
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