Special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.
Jargon Doesn’t Belong on Your Website
Every industry uses specialized terms and expressions, also known as jargon. While veterans of your industry understand these words, newcomers or people outside your profession may not know what they mean. Because of this, using unique terminology in your web content can make it less useful for a general audience and create unnecessary barriers for your readers.
Jargon Limits Your Reach
Most people visually scan content for important points of interest. Jargon can make your text less scannable, bringing the reader to a halt. Because they don’t know what the term or acronym means, the reader has to think about it and look it up if it is essential. Readers don’t want to learn technical terminology while browsing the internet. They want to find out how your business can help them.
Jargon Causes Accessibility Issues
Other things that can make it challenging to understand specialized words are certain disabilities and language barriers for visitors who don’t speak fluent English (assuming your website is in English), making jargon and figurative language difficult to understand.
Simple, concise writing will help your content reach more people and engage your readers. And with stronger calls to action, you will be able to convert.
Is the Jargon Essential?
Most of the time, you should avoid jargon entirely. Always ask yourself whether it improves your content. Does the term to give your audience essential information, or are you using it to make your content sound more intellectual?
There are times when you will need to use jargon. When you must use specialized terms, do so sparingly within a single piece and define them wherever possible. If you use a term repeatedly throughout your article or page, explain it immediately at the beginning of your content so that your reader knows what you are talking about.
Does Your Website Use a Lot of Jargon?
Consider adding a glossary of terms to your site. Then you can link to it from every page or instance of jargon. Also, improve the readability of your site by using subheadings, lists, and helpful images to make your content more scannable.
An Example From My Industry
As a content writer for a web development company, I interview clients, gather assets that will be used to develop their websites, and write their content.
The word “assets” is jargon. It isn’t a word that people outside of the digital development industry typically use the same way we do. Because of this, when I talk to clients, I explain:
As Iceberg Web Design’s content writer, I will interview you to learn more about your industry, gather photos and videos (also known as assets) we will use to develop your website, and write your content.
The first sentence is a shortcut, an easy way to talk about what I do within my company and even with other industry members. Still, when I speak with clients and people outside of my industry, I will take extra time to explain what I do by explaining in common everyday language what I do.
The reason I choose not to leave the jargon out altogether is that they may encounter it later on in the process of their web development project. So I am introducing them to this terminology in a way that isn’t hoity-toity or distracting. It works verbally and in print.
Do You Need Help With Your Content?
Iceberg Web Design takes a content-first approach to create amazing, effective websites. If you would like a professionally written and designed website that converts, contact Iceberg Web Design. We are web designers who answer the phone! 763-350-8762