There is little more infuriating than when someone talks to you in jargon; ‘just say what you mean!’ (expletives omitted). This is a lesson for businesses everywhere when it comes to communicating with customers online.
If your company sells spades, then for crying out loud just call the thing a spade in its product description – that is what a normal person will search for if they fancy a spot of digging. No matter what your business does, when you explain it online you should constantly be thinking about what your customer would type in if they were searching for your services.
The alternative is to describe your product or service as you see it, which might make it sound grand, unique or sexy, but ultimately most people may not know the (probably made up) term, so they will not find for it. Your loss.
This issue is particularly pertinent as it is Plain English Day today (Friday 14th December) – an awards ceremony for the best examples of the worst jargon – so don’t let your creative service description make it on to the awards short-list.
I noticed a parallel of this problem at the recent News Rewired journalism conference; journalists were being given advice on how to find useful updates on Twitter and the speaker stressed the importance of thinking about what a normal person would write if they had just witnessed a newsworthy event, not what that event was being referred to in the media or by the authorities.
Can you spot the parallel? Good. Your British audience speaks English – so should you.