Dread of copywriters and ordinary laypersons everywhere, jargon refers to any sort of technical, special, or profession-based words that have no meaning for the everyday person.

Examples of jargon

Often, jargon words have been used so often within a business or industry that they’ve lost their meaning and become buzzwords – dropped to sound important, but empty of any real message. Words like “next generation,” “ground breaking,” and “best of breed” are all examples of business-world jargon that everyone should avoid.

Jargon isn’t always bad. Within industry, there may be particular terms you can’t escape the use of. In marketing, an example is ‘search engine optimisation’ – ubiquitous, and with a particular meaning, it’s difficult not to use the term SEO.

When you should get rid of it

Other times though, you should be seeking to do away with it. In a fascinating study by web-business Falconer, they found that a tax agency client used “sales tax recovery” in all of their web copy. This was the commonly used industry term. Analysis found “sales tax recovery” was receiving 170 global searches a month.

But what the ordinary, everyday person was actually searching was “sales tax refund” – the colloquial term for the same thing. What’s more, “sales tax refund” was averaging 5,400 global searches a month, with much less competition for ranking highly on search results than the jargon-term.

By removing the jargon and replacing it with what people were actually searching for, chances of generating revenue for the business and increasing visitor count were significantly increased.

Take stock and consider

The useful step you can take right now is to identify potential jargon in your website copy. Do you use industry terms or technical speak? And could you replace it with more simple language?

It might even be an idea to undertake research, speak to customers, or even friends, about what they might put into a search engine when they have a problem your business can deal with or a product/service you provide to get a better understanding of what the ordinary person plugs into Google.

Our digital marketing agency provide expertise in website copy and visibility in search.