I love the excitement of new VAs as they get their very first website up and running (or any business person for that matter) but sometimes I feel they get carried away with using the latest buzzwords and acronyms.
While it’s important to demonstrate you are current with technology and the times, it is very important not to assume that readers of your website are. Many will still be doing keyword searches on old terminology (e.g. ‘secretary’ instead of ‘VA’ or ‘virtual assistant’, typing’ instead of ‘word-processing’) and so you need to make sure they will find you and not just those who are up to date with current terminologies.
If using an acronym, the first time you use it on a page on your website, put the words out in full and follow it with the acronym in brackets, e.g. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Thereafter you can continue using the acronym SEO through the page or site but it’s important first to educate the reader of your website, otherwise you will lose them very quickly, trying to work out what the acronym means.
This is all the more important because you are now dealing with a global audience, instead of a local audience. Acronyms can often have different meanings around the world and so you cannot assume that all readers will know what you mean. This is also especially important when you start to mention placenames and times – don’t assume all readers of your website are in the same timezone or country that you are. For example, where I live, SA means South Australia but in Africa it means South Africa.
So, when you’re putting your website together, or reviewing it for updates, make sure you have the reader in mind and s.p.e.l.l. i.t. o.u.t for them in the first instance.They will appreciate it.