Six writing tips that will increase your reach and influence

by

When it comes to describing your products and services on ESI.info, the ‘running order’ shown in the content management system helps you maximise your visibility and exposure.

CMS screenshot

A  buyer reading a well-structured description of your product or service knows whether you’ll probably be able to satisfy their requirements. If you are, they’ll be prompted to act. That could mean contacting you for a quote or additional information by phone or by email, downloading related literature and files, or simply deciding to use your products or services.

Our approach to technical communication – and the approach that we recommend you take with each of your entries – is based on BS 4940 Technical Information on Construction Products and Services.

Here are six principles to bear in mind:

1. Stick to one thing at a time

The first thing to decide is which products and services you want to promote in each entry – ‘Each document should normally contain information relating to one product or service’ (BS 4940).

2. Put first things first

The start of the description is very important.

  • People scan digital content and form a strong first impression based on  the first few lines.
  • Snippets are created from your introductory description to help qualify interest: up to 220 characters are used in search results; 350 characters are used for products and services promoted through email bulletins.
  • Follow the ‘rule of three’ to make sure that your introduction is effective:
    1. What is the product or service?
    2. What applications does it cater for?
    3. What is special about it?
  • Or, as BS 4940 puts it: ‘Introduction: product name, type, grade, quality, producer, commodity number; short description of product, its purpose and conditions of use, together with any limitations of use.’

3. Tell the truth

  • BS 4940: ‘All information … should be concise, technically accurate and complete for its purpose. Complete frankness and honesty should be the objective.’
  • Your description should help users make quicker, easier and better informed decisions.
  • Avoid unqualified promotional statements, which at best are ignored by specifiers and at worst are off-putting.

4. Make it easy to read

  • Stay on topic.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Use headings and subheadings.
  • Link features to benefits.
  • Use bulleted lists.*
  • Check your spelling and grammar.*

*Use the widget in the CMS to do this.

5. Optimise your search performance

When BS 4940 was first put together, standard classifications and uniform filing systems were prescribed as ways to make sure that information could be easily found in office libraries.

Nowadays, most buyers search digital information products using keywords and phrases to find what they are looking for.

  • Lead with the product name in both the title and the description to maximise search rankings.
  • Avoid copying and pasting text directly from your own website as far as possible.
  • Caption your images – as well as helping buyers understand your business proposition, they populate the ‘alt’ tag that is indexed by search engines.
  • Provide content that is rich, relevant and unique – all of which will be covered if your follow the steps above.

6. Follow a proven recipe

After your rule-of-three introduction, structure your product description along the lines of BS 4940’s ‘sequence of data and preferred headings’:

  • Description: composition, manufacture, accessories, shape, size, weight, appearance.
  • Performance: structural, mechanical, workability, maintenance.
  • Applications: functional, economic and statutory suitability, details, specifications, mistakes to avoid.
  • Construction: transport, handling and storage, preparation, installation, protection, quality control, site safety, public safety.
  • Operation, maintenance: operation, cleaning, maintenance, repair, replacement, protection, personnel safety, public safety.
  • Supply: availability, packaging, ordering, delivery.
  • Technical services: servicing and maintenance services and facilities, advisory services.

We’re here for you

  • If you’ve forgotten your password, go to esi.info and ask for a reminder.
  • If you haven’t got a CMS log in, email us and we’ll set one up for you.
  • We are here to help – call us on 01786 407000 or Email us
 Related post: Using ESI.info’s Content Management System

Tags: ,

One Response to “Six writing tips that will increase your reach and influence”

  1. How to maximise your ESI.info case studies | ESI.info digital marketing Says:

    […] a recent post about product entries on ESI.info we ran through ‘Six writing tips that will increase your reach and influence’. The same rules of thumb apply to case study entries as well, but in the case study […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: