Technical terminology hurts SEO, social, PR
Why avoid jargon? Because jargon is a barrier to communication.
1. Makes your website harder to find and use.
When it comes to medical terms, readers don’t know what communicators are talking about, according to T. J. and Sandar Larkin.
We say “hemorrhage”; they say “bleeding.” We say “sutures”; they say “stitches.” We say “metastasize”; they say, “the cancer is spreading.”
Searchers use the “wrong” medical term 59% of the time when researching health issues on the web, according to a study by Alexa T. McCray, et al. In fact, more than three-quarters of Americans didn’t know that “hemorrhage” meant “bleeding,” according to a study by E.B. Learner, et al. More than one-third didn’t know that a fractured bone was broken.
Whether you’re in the medical, money-management or mobile home business, translate your industry’s language into your reader’s language. If you want to reach your readers with SEO, use the words in your readers’ heads, not the words in your head.
2. Reduces media coverage.
Jargon also makes it harder for the media to use your PR materials. Most Canadian journalists, for instance, believe that press releases filled with jargon frequently “get in the way” of their doing their jobs, according to a study by National Public Relations.
U.S. journalists agree, according to a study by Greentarget. Corporate spin, compound modifiers and industry jargon make it harder for them to do their jobs, they say.
3. Cuts back on friends, fans and followers.
Facebook users don’t like jargon and buzzwords, according to viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella. Using data from HubSpot’s Facebook Grader, Zarrella found that while the average Facebook page has 624 fans, those that use corporate buzzwords have fewer followers.
Don’t repel friends, fans and followers: Write social media postings in the language of those you wish to reach.
What words will resonate with your readers?
Jargon. Buzzwords. Acronyms. They’re things that make your reader go “huh?” And we need to get them out of our message.
Learn how to translate the language of your organization into the language of your readers at Rev Up Readability — our tight-writing workshop starting Nov. 14.
There, you’ll learn how to define terms the reader-friendly way (Hint: It’s not the way you learned in Journalism 101.) How to steal techniques from Warren Buffett to make complex technical information easier to understand — and more fun to read. Plus: you’ll boost social media reach and influence, media coverage and your organization’s authority.
Save up to $100 with our group discounts.