Besides making things look uniform and inviting, a style guide will help improve your workflow and the usability of your content, among other things. Here are three reasons why you need a style guide to improve your business:
- It reduces your workload. Once you have a detailed style guide handy, you don’t have to spend as much time thinking about the details. It only takes one glance at the handbook to figure out how to format photos or where you’ve stored certain documents. It will also reduce your time spent maintaining content, since you can set your own standards for consolidating blog posts, updating content or removing posts altogether.
- It can support your marketing objectives. If your style guide encapsulates your standards for branding your website and/or your business, it will have a significant impact on the way your readers perceive you. Instead of using predictable words to describe your company, you can find a way to describe your business and use it consistently to make your voice unique. Be honest and be memorable when creating the guidelines for your branding. Find a way to break the mold and set that standard for all of your content. Over time, a professional image and consistent branding will build trust between you and your audience.
- It makes your content more usable. Your style guide will make your content more consistent — and consistency signals to readers how they are supposed to view your content. For example, a bold sub-headline might signal to readers that you are about to change the subject. A numbered list might signal import information that is easy for the reader to take away. Consistency will also keep your readers from asking nagging questions like, “Why do they keep changing the headline format?” You might think that grammar nerds have gone by the wayside, but trust us, there are readers out there who still care about consistent, correct content.
While some people argue that a style guide is an unnecessary distraction, we believe that a good style guide is essential to consistency and professionalism. Once you set the rules, it won’t be long until they are etched in your mind for good.
Ready to get started? Get our tips on creating a style guide.