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Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand 1st Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0713677041
ISBN-10: 071367704X
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  • Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
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Editorial Reviews


"Content-not fancy graphics-sells your product on your website. Read this book and apply it. We did". Maurice Coleman, Head of Commercial Strategy, Aer Lingus "Gerry McGovern's "Killer Web Content" is a must read for marketing and communications professionals who crave the ultimate results for their online presence. Not only is "Killer Web Content" educational and informational, it's an entertaining and useful collection of tips and techniques where you'll find both insight and inspiration to create web sites that talk to your audience in a language they want to hear." Karen O'Brien, Siemens Corporation. Manager, Web Content "An easy read and I would recommend it as a helpful guide for anyone who wishes to conduct a critical audit of their internet presence... A sleeves-rolled-up, helpful book that tells you that a website is a specialised publication that requires just as much editorial care as a newspaper or magazine. Financial World (December 2006) 'This short, sparky primer uncovers value in a neglected business asset.' Director (January 2007)

About the Author

Gerry McGovern is managing partner at a consultancy that focuses on maximizing value from Web content. He has been involved in the Internet since 1994, and has worked on Internet assignments in 35 countries. Gerry has published four books on Web content.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: A&C Black; 1 edition (November 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071367704X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713677041
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 117 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Fitterer on October 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm a usability researcher who's looking to get some concrete suggestions about how to write better for the web. That's what I was hoping to find in this book--a guide with detailed suggestions for how to do this type of technical writing. Instead, there are very few concrete suggestions in this book about how to write well, other than vague platitudes about keeping phrases short, and providing users with the content they'd like to see. Duh.

I read this thing cover to cover in about an hour. Mostly I learned that "killer" rhymes with "filler." A lot. If it has not yet occurred to you that you might want to talk to your customers about what they're looking for on your webpage, then I guess this book would be for you and would provide you with that revolutionary insight. That's all the advice there is in this book--talk to your customers to find out the content they're looking for on your webpage, and then deliver that content to them in small, easily digestible phrases. Again, duh.

For people who are just starting out on this type of research, there's really no detailed advice on how to conduct this "talking to your users to find out what they want" research though (other than some more platitudes like "be a good listener."). If you want more detailed advice on how to do research like this, I'd say search the web for "wants and needs analysis" because that's basically what this guy is recommending. If you can't find enough things for free on the web about that, there is a good chapter in the book "Understanding your users" by Catherine Courage on this technique. That book is also great for giving you a wide toolset of techniques for usability.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HeWhoReadsALot on April 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I did like the author's writing style to some degree here, but I was very surprised to see a book on usability testing where no actual usability testing was performed as part of research for the book. I am a technical person and marketing books usually bore me. As did this one.

This book had no examples, and I didn't get the impression that the author had really done any actual usability testing at all. It seems he just took notes over a period of a time and then published them. Where is the hard work? Where are the examples? Tables of data? Proof of concept? How do I know what you are saying is good advice?

This book didn't "clue me in" to what is available to the world today. For example, no references to utilities that are available such as "heat maps" and "graffiti analysis", which today I can't do without.

I have 2-3 key recommendations for you for usability testing:

1. Make sure to check out and, these sites will help you solve almost every website issue you have for $20 a month combined.

2. Get the Ginny Reddish book "Letting Go of the Words." I left a sterling review for that book, as did over 100 other people. It is my #1 most referred web book. Any opinions expressed in the Reddish book are all backed up by over a hundred examples. Reddish explains that no one reads the web -- they BROWSE. Her book proves her own concept.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By mb99 on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I've read a few books about web content and website management over the years, including some of Gerry McGovern's previous works. Some are good, some ok, many terrible. This is the first book where I feel a real maturity has been reached. Gerry totally gets it. He focuses on the real issues impacting sites with pin point accuracy, and offers real, tested solutions to fix them. If you follow the suggestions in this book your site *will* improve, and by improve, I don't mean something fuzzy, but I mean help you achieve real, measurable business goals. I learnt a lot from this book and will no doubt continue to.

The back cover of the book says if you only buy one book, make it this one. I couldn't agree more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Shaw on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
70% of bloggers don't regularly blog after their initial burst of enthusiasm. I suspect many of them just felt they had to jump on the blogwagon, or be left behind.
It's the same way with the Internet. Many companies have tentatively embraced the Web because they don't want to be left in the brick & mortar world. Yet they don't realize a half-hearted foray without whole-hearted commitment and a culture that truly understands and embraces the Web, is doomed to deconstruct their brand in the most consumer-empowering medium of all.
Gerry McGovern's book is a wake-up call to those caught in ether limbo -- and a really useful how-to bible for those who truly want to craft a competitive edge online. Each chapter contains insights and compelling case studies -- all communicated in an accessible format that makes light of serious business-building stuff.
In short, it's killer book content.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Block on June 17, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gerry McGovern's "Killer Web Content" *seems* to be a primer about writing "killer content." And it is. He talks about simple ideas (e.g., "killer, not filler," or, on the Net, "in self-service mode, people go on gut instinct") in simple sentences, with lots of words in red so you get the idea. Then you put those ideas all together and think about them. And *then* you start looking at websites created from the grad school universe by professionals, all too often FOR PROFESSIONALS, that leave you - us - Everyman - frustrated or even amused (and that is not the intent). Ah, the epiphany: you realize that too many people are getting paid too much money when they have no idea how to talk to us: the folks who are surfing at 2AM in hotel rooms, trying to learn something for tomorrow's presentation to the Executive Committee. Obviously McGovern has practiced medicine: you listen to the patient, and the patient will tell you what the problem is. You listen to the customer, and the customer will tell you what she needs to hear. You listen to your children, etc.

Of course, the devil is in the details. Would that there were a standard operating procedure to ferret out the words that each of us wants to hear. Then we could fire Sales and Marketing - all they do is get us folks in Technology and Operations into trouble, right? Nope, says McGovern, you have to talk to people, relate to them, listen to them, hear what they say, abstract the content, try it out on your site. Each word is a hypothesis: true or false. Does it work? Does it bring people? You measure, you re-frame, you redesign, you re-relate. Surely it must be easier than this! All Jeff Bezos did is slap some stuff onto a website, and look at him! Right?
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