Does your site speak plain English? or gobbledygook?

org chartEver visit a web site and feel as if it were written in some other language?  You stare it, knowing that the words you’re reading all are in English, but realizing that you still can’t understand what they’re saying. Why? Because it’s all in gobbledygook rather than in plain English.

I was reviewing a new social networking site recently and found this on the home page. It said the site’s goal was “connecting businesses with overlapping value sets.”

It made me think of a corporate HR flow chart or a bad Venn Diagram rather than a cure for a problem I was having.

And what exactly is “connecting businesses with overlapping values” anyway?

Stick to plain English

When you write the copy for your site, your email, or your brochure, use plain, simple English, not corporate jargon.  Confusing writing and unclear language will just drive people away.  It’s too hard to read, it creates too much friction, and it doesn’t help the reader solve her problem.

It’s not writing, it’s word salad.  If you teach something say that, rather than “facilitate.” You use something, you don’t leverage it.  And if everyone is at “the leading edge” than nobody is.

Spell out what people get from your product.  How it helps gain recognition or make new contacts.

Skip the gobbledygook. It only reduces your sales, makes your site less appealing, and hurts your reputation.

Your customers will thank you.


Photo thanks to zerne