Web Writing: Avoid Jargon and Fancy Words
“Natural language” is language that imitates how people talk and/or how they conduct a search on Google or other search engines. Natural language is simple. It doesn’t use a lot of jargon or technical words.
For example, the title of this article is “Writing for the Web.” It’s not:
- “How to Write Websites” or
- “How to Write Website Copy” or
- “Writing for the Internet” or
- “How to Write for the Web.”
We chose the current title because our keyword research revealed that many more people searched the first option. At the same time, not so many had written on the topic that we couldn’t rank for it.
Be sure you’ve done your keyword research, too.
Natural language is becoming increasingly more important as voice search continues to gain popularity. Not only are people using voice search on their mobile devices, but also the growing use of Google Home, Amazon’s Echo, and other smart technologies make natural language and voice search more relevant than ever.
How to Know If You’re Using Simple, Natural Language
It’s easy to check how complicated your writing is.
In your Word document, go to “Review” in the top navigation bar. Click on “Spelling and Grammar.” (You may need to change your Word options to add the grammar setting.) The review will return a “Flesch-Kinkaid” grade level.
For example, this post is written at a 7.7 grade level. Half of US adults read at a grade level below the 8th grade, so you want to ensure you’re not writing copy that’s too complicated. What’s more, people’s speaking language is even less sophisticated.
Good writing principles still apply on the web as they do anywhere.
- Avoid passive voice.
- Use powerful verbs (avoid the verb “to be” and its many forms).
- Speak directly to your audience (“you” and “we,” rather than “they”).
- Check your spelling and grammar.
- Proofread and edit. (We like to let content “grow cold” for a day or two, then return to it.)
- “Write tight;” don’t use more words than necessary to convey your message.
- Be unique. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Follow an Overall Content Strategy
Every blog and website page should be part of an overall marketing strategy. A content marketing strategy is a plan that focuses on creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to a specific audience (your prospects and/or customers). Its purpose is to create more brand awareness, greater trust and authority, more inquiries, more leads, and ultimately more revenue.
We like this definition of a content marketing strategy:
A plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and spreading frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains, or inspires to turn strangers into fans and fans into customers.
Need Help Writing for the Web?
Whether you’re looking for a marketing consultant or an online digital agency, we can build your website, write your content, and grow your business.
Nancy Burgess Strategic Marketing offers integrated marketing strategy and tactics for new and existing companies. Each solution is tailored to your needs to help grow your business.SEE Our Marketing Services