In a word? “Yes.”
But more importantly so do your web site visitors.
Much of the interaction with clients migrating from legacy web sites revolves around building a new vocabulary. New sites require new processes and these are not described with the web language of the previous decade.
Further, deploying a new Web Presence inevitably involves reshaping the message. Most often to sharpen it’s focus. Why? To render an effective page on mobile appliances to start. But there’s more.
A paper published online discussing these issues for Grad Students at Washington State asks:
“How can I decide what to include and what to exclude?”
“In all of these steps, it is important to have a clear sense of your audience: what are their interests? what do they know already? what do they consider appropriate evidence? Based on your title, what are they expecting?”
By default the “Forklift” site migration process means just what it sounds like — “shoveling” content from the old site to the new one. Yet this can be detrimental to how Search agents view the new pages.
Here’s why: A site that is 5 years old or more, probably contains way too much prose. And, there is a chance that the text it contains is less well written, at least from a “freshness” perspective. For lack of a better description, it’s “Grade Level” isn’t competitive with new sites in the market for a reader’s attention.
Given a site that reads like it was written by a High School student and one that seems if it was written by an MBA — Search will more positively rank the MBA’s work.
Why? Because in the age of “Symantec Search” — correctly and effectively answering questions is the game. It’s being won by well-designed and well-written Pages. (For heavens sake don’t use these pages as examples. Calculus makes sense to me. English has always been more like Black Magic.)
An online search of testing tools — ones where you can insert a paragraph of text and have it analyzed — yields just a few results. Here is my favorite:
Text Scoring Tool. http://sarahktyler.com/code/sample.php
Give it a whirl. And send Sarah an email to say thanks.
Or hire a quality Editor. Most of us don’t enjoy that kind of budget do we?
So when your Boss says “Just put it in there the way I wrote it” – you can run it through Sarah’s tool. Go back to them armed with some concrete suggestions on how to improve that lump of 10th grade (bleep) before site visitors laugh at your page.
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