11. Avoid Industry Jargon.
One of our clients, NewStripe, makes machines which paint the lines on football and baseball fields. Within the industry, the machines are known as wet line markers (or dry line markers). But customers don’t often use these terms. Instead, a typical customer might search for: “Machines to put stripes down on athletic field”(Newstripe.com is the #2 search result.) Or, they might search for: “painting stripes on your athletic field” (Newstripe.com is the #1 search result.)
Does your site copy and content reflect the language a potential customer will use in a search?
If not, a prospective customer will either (a) have to learn the industry lingo in order to find you, or (b) visit your competitor’s site. Option B is a lot more likely.
So how can you tell if your site is using too much industry jargon?
1. First, ask your current customers to take a look at your marketing materials and website. It’s a great way to engage satisfied customers without trying to sell them anything. Most people are flattered when you ask them for their opinion.
2. Second, ask someone who knows very little about your industry to read through your site, and see if they can figure out what your company does for a living. If they are confused, then it’s likely your potential customers will be confused as well.
3. Third, pay attention to how the press covers your industry. Reporters try to communicate broad ideas, and try to cut through esoteric terminology.