Ever finished reading a sentence only to think: What was that all about? Yep – it’s happened to all of us. It’s could be one of many things, but in business writing it’s usually because the copy’s had too much jargon pumped into it. ‘Jargon’ are words used in a particular industry that are usually hard to understand or are meaningless to anyone outside the industry. This is because readers don’t or can’t comprehend the language – it’s vague, fluffy, or too specific.
The key to effective web copy is to strip away all jargon, leaving clear and understandable copy. Here’s why writing web copy without jargon is important and how you can improve your web copy.
Why should your small business avoid jargon?
Because jargon often uses technical language, it often fails to convey to your audience what you mean (unless they know what your industry speak!) For example:
- Sweat equity – getting a stake in the business instead of pay.
- Left wing – political jargon for liberal, progressive viewpoint.
- Call – to match a bet from another player.
Avoiding jargon doesn’t mean leaving out necessary technical terms, but it’s about ensuring your copy clearly explain what you mean. Going beyond necessary technical terms can mislead your customers into believing that they’re being talked down to and being deliberately confused.
How do you avoid jargon?
Describe your products/services benefits, not the features
The terms and phrases used to describe the product features and services may not be easily understood by your readers. Needless to say, users would want to know how the product or service is beneficial for them. This benefit-driven content not only highlights the importance of products or services but will also be successful in attracting your target audience.
Use words people can relate to
In many instances, writers use words that they are most familiar with while describing products or services on website. Some writers assume that readers are tech-savvy and familiar with industry phrases. But often readers have little or no technical expertise, especially if what they’re reading is new information. Choose your words and phrases that are more direct.
Instead of phrases like:
- in the absence of
- in relation to, with regards to
- at the conclusion of
- the majority of
- on a regular basis
Place your readers first
For subject matter experts, it is easier to use industry words and business jargon because it’s more familiar and used on a daily basis. But speaking with your audience on their level makes your copy more readable and attractive. For instance, changing the perspective and using words such as ‘you’ and ‘we’ makes the copy more personable and accessible.
While jargon is part of every industry, don’t rely on it or give to much important. If you want your customers to know that you’re committed to helping them, keep your copy simple and precise.
With a Shuttle Rocket Blog Builder package, we can help build your brand and establish you as an industry authority. We’ll write your web copy in a strong, engaging, and jargon-free voice. Contact Shuttle Rocket today for more information.