If there’s one thing that makes content writers roll their eyes and mutter little curses under their breath, it’s receiving a job brief that contains a list of buzz words or industry specific terminology, accompanied by an instruction to include those terms in the content they’ve been asked to write. It’s not mere preference on a writer’s part that causes this reaction. It’s because a good writer understands that the purpose of written content on a business site is to engage readers. The experienced content writer knows that:
- jargon-laden content is likely to send the website owner’s prospective clients in the wrong direction – so the content they’re about to write won’t be as effective as it should be;
- a request to include industry specific or technical terms to describe particular services can result in descriptions that are meaningless to prospective clients;
- it can limit the writer’s approach and style. The result can be dry, wordy and boring content that won’t inspire readers to continue reading, much less make an enquiry.
There are some industries and professions that seem particularly partial to jargon – IT, project management and human resources are those that quickly come to mind, but there are many others.
Unfortunately, your content writers aren’t the only ones who are likely to find your jargon a turn-off. Here are two more compelling reasons to avoid overdoing it with technical phrases and buzz words.
Jargon can cause mistrust
According to a CBS article, a university study found that using jargon makes you less believable. That would suggest that including copious amounts of it in your website content is likely to have the opposite effect to the one you intended.
It’s bad for SEO
Small business people in search of IT assistance aren’t desperately Googling to find someone who ‘deploys scalable software solutions’ or specialises in ‘web application maintenance.’ They’re searching for terms that describe their needs in language familiar to them. When you operate in a technical field, the chances are prospective clients don’t describe their needs quite the same way you do.
You need to identify terms your prospective clients might use and ensure you mention them in your content. When search engines can’t match your website content to the information people are looking for, prospective clients may never get the opportunity to see your website in the search results. If you don’t understand how search engines work, you might like to read this simple explanation by Google.
The wrong approach for content
Those in favour of using jargon in website content tend to think that it makes them sound more professional than their competitors. But when prospective clients are visiting a business website, their biggest question isn’t “are you up to date with your industry terminology?” It’s this:
Can you understand my business situation and fix my current problem?
If they see that you can, they might engage your services without even considering a competitor. But using technical terms or jargon rather than speaking in terms of problems and solutions they can relate to, immediately erects a language barrier between you. And that’s not a great start if you hope to win their business.
Hiring a content writer
When industry jargon has become your everyday language, you might find writing about what you do in layman’s terms almost impossible. But many specialists have a dilemma when it comes to hiring a writer. How will a content writer understand what you do if he or she hasn’t worked in your industry? It’s a valid concern, but content writers are often people who have turned to writing after working in other professions. That means there’s every possibility you’ll find a writer who not only grasps what you do, but knows just how to make your services appeal to prospective clients and search engines.