Why Using ‘Smarter’ Words Is Killing Your Business
The best web copy is not the fanciest web copy. It’s not the copy with the most sophisticated words or even the copy that sounds the most ‘professional.’ The best web copy is the web copy that’s the easiest to understand. It’s as simple as that.
Big words and industry lingo are not easy to understand. They’re definitely not easy to scan. I’ve said it before on this blog and I know I’ll say it again, your prospects will breeze through your text, not dissect it. While those $25 words might make your text look rich with rhetoric, they’re also ripe with vague meaning and confusion.
I get it. “I worked hard for this college education, I might as well put it all out on display, right?!” I used to fall into that trap. The bottom line though is you aren’t in the running for the Pulitzer Prize, you’re going after sales. Save your creative voice for the novel you plan to write.
Keep Sentences Short
Short sentences are gold. Solid gold. They’re easy to read. They’re easy to scan. They’re easy to understand.
If you naturally write in longer sentences and are struggling to keep them short and compact, try replacing every comma in a paragraph with a period. It will look a little weird. It may feel choppy. But it will be more affective and to the point.
This is not just my personal style. Human psychology dictates this. Our brains naturally pause every time we see a comma. We can’t help it, it’s how we’re wired to read. Meanwhile a period simply signals the end of a thought, not necessarily a complete pause. It’s much easier to power read a paragraph that’s broken up by periods instead of commas.
Try it yourself. Write out a paragraph like you normally would (including commas), then go through and remove them or change them to periods. See how much quicker you can actually read it? It’s weird, but it works.