To get started writing your website content in a way people understand, you must leave your ego at the door.
Yes, your business might be complex and difficult to explain and many highly trained people do very technical work for you. You still need to write your content to get the result you’re looking for, like more business.
“Let’s be clear, using simple language doesn’t simplify the work you do and the effort you put into it, it just gets the message out clearly so others can be impressed with you too.”
Sometimes, as a communications expert, your biggest obstacle for accepting this style of writing can be your colleagues. They are comfortable with the technical jargon and maybe feel that there is no other way to explain the organization. While these feeling are valid, it’s your job to keep your staff involved in the website content conversation so they’ll understand the process and see the positive results.
Many of your website readers will not be experts in your business. Keep your webpages simple and save the big words for articles to complement the core page content. Articles are an opportunity for you and your staff to write more technical and sector-specific information for those who want more details.
Subject matter experts (SMEs) are your best source of accurate information to explain your business and promote your successes. But, if you’re relying on them to create content for your website they need to know how to write online. And by writing we mean write to influence and inform not to fill pages of technical jargon for fellow SMEs. You want the words to speak to regular folk to help them to understand what you do and what you want them to do; like buy now or fill out an application or make a donation.
Great news, it’s an easy fix to help your staff write better to improve your website content with simple language.
It’s like the game “Telephone”. You start out with a phrase and whisper it along the line until the last person has to repeat it out loud. Usually the words bear little semblance to what they were when the game started. The same holds true if your readers are always trying to interpret your language. A perfectly good paragraph, written with the best of intentions, can lead to misunderstanding and frustration. Use simple, straightforward and understandable words when writing content online. If you don’t they’ll fill in the gaps of what they don’t understand with what they do. And, it might not be close to what you were trying to say.
Bonus Tip: use acronyms sparingly. Yes, you may need to use acronyms occasionally but remember acronyms mean different things to different people and can interrupt the flow of a sentence. You can get your message across without them. Copywriters can help you clarify the language.
When editing copywritten pages we often ask, Is that true? Using definitive words and actual numbers helps to paint a picture of your organization’s benefits. When you use vague words, you aren’t as accountable for what you’re saying. Avoid having to explain to your clients what you really meant; drop true facts and figures throughout the copy. It helps prove you’re legitimate, plus, impressive numbers make great headlines attracting positive attention as soon as readers open the webpage.
Want to see this work right away? Get your company homepage rewritten here.
Astute readers can tell if you’re being insincere in your online writing. So, show your confidence in what your organization does with the words you use. Using vague language as a way to soften the impact of what some people don’t like about your organization can backfire on you. Making readers feel stupid because they can’t figure out who you are or what you’re asking from them will not endear them to you. Help people understand by consistently using simple language online and in your other promotional materials. It might not convince them to like your organization, but it will help them accept it.
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