As part of our Wednesday series on writing better web copy, today we’re going to cover another great tip.
Avoid jargon and clichés. Understand that your customers may not know your industry like you do. You’d probably be surprised to see the question marks above your customers’ heads when they’re reading your site. Things that you take for granted are the things that will cause them to pause, question and ultimately leave your site. Avoid any wording that’s not commonly understood. Don’t say you went to the ASCPI conference in Vegas last week when you can tell the full name which will help others who aren’t familiar with the ASCPI. Don’t use wording that you use internally. I see that all the time. People are tired of using their full company name so they just shorten it. Rather than using Red Rocket Web Specialists, we could just refer to ourselves as RRWS buy that causes people to ponder what we’re talking about. Don’t be lazy. Type out the whole name.
Just this morning we were having a company meeting where we were teaching everyone in the company the latest developments in the SEO world. (Oh, shoot. That’s jargon. Isn’t it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That’s the process of tweaking a website so that it’s search-engine friendly which ultimately helps the site rank at the top of the Google search results.) Anyway, back to that SEO meeting. We had team members in the class that had no background in SEO at all. I’m talking about our company’s bookkeeper and some other guys that are new to the company. I had to run interference and continually check and see if they knew what Chris our SEO guru was talking about. He was using tons of jargon and technical terms that don’t mean anything to someone who’s not up on Google’s latest changes in their algorithm. (By the way, that’s just a fancy way of talking about the mathematical formula that Google uses to rank sites in their search results.) My point is this: don’t use jargon when you’re speaking to people who may not understand it. It’s a lot easier to just use common language to try and describe what you’re talking about.
In fact, try to avoid jargon even when you’re speaking to people who would get it. I’ll go into that more next week. Until then. Have a great week.