Literalization is Here to Stay… For Now.

According to all the dictionaries now found on line, Literalization is a noun form of the word Literalize. Mr Webster says: The act of literalizing; reduction to a literal meaning…

That’s all fine and well. But I would like to update the meaning to include: The act of writing prose that search engine robots can read, interpret (correctly) and index (properly). Now, I don’t purport to be some alien brainiac. But a little over fifteen years ago (whew) I had a giant “aha moment” that has served me well all these years. That was and continues to be; the role of writing for web sites must include the ability to conceptualize how a robot discerns what it is we are saying!

As my son, the DJ says, “Break it down now!”

1) Web designers find that it is easier in many instances to make “graphical words” than html words some times. After all, graphics sit right where you want them to on the page. While an html version of the same words may not behave well. The problem is, robots don’t read graphics very well and for the sake of SEO hardly at all.

2) When writing for a web site, never assume anyone, including the robots, have any idea what you are talking about. Things that seem obvious to you, in a journalistic way (who, what, where, when, why) are not obvious  unless you… literalize them!

3) Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Then, tell them again… this is an age old verse for marketers and presenters. It is also the mantra for SEO and has a lot to do with #2 above… never assume!

4) In the new world of literalization, research is king. You cannot possibly know how to write for your audience if you don’t do the research to find out how your intended audience might go about searching for the information you have for them. Literally.

5) Literalization is the fine art of delivering value. People are willing to trade their time for value. Did  you copy the words from your brochure, or much worse, from someone else’s web site? While that might be ok for a first draft on a web page before it is published, it will not do at all as a finished product. Not only will a search engine penalize you for plagiarism, you can literally hear the people heading for the exit door of your site if you do not take the time and effort to bring value to the table.

With a new year just around the bend, make a pledge to crystalize this new meaning of literalization every time you go about messing around with your web site. I can guarantee you, literally, overnight success!

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