‘The grandma test’ and 4 other ways to gauge your content

From ‘the grandma test’ to personalizing your message, these guidelines can help you engage website visitors and email recipients alike.

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1. The grandma test. Ask your grandma (or any grandma or grandpa who doesn’t work for your organization) to review your content. This applies to your website, social media, digital marketing, or anything you’ve written or produced.

If a grandparent isn’t available, try this with a ninth-grader or even a college student (or all of these). Ask them to read your content and then tell you what your organization actually does. Also, ask how long it took for them to figure it out.

You’d be shocked how many outsiders look at a website and have no idea what that organization does. If Grandma can’t figure out what you do, the odds are Google and a good chunk of your market can’t find you by searching online.

The reason the grandma test works is that organizations are frequently overwhelmed by their own internal jargon as well as the buzzwords they’ve picked up. Many who build websites aren’t the best communicators.

Many in your office or industry use jargon and buzzwords, but most people—including many of your potential customers—don’t know what they mean. If they’re confused, they’re likely to simply stop reading or watching and move on to something they understand.

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