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How to make your online writing clear

Clarity in business writing is everything. Without it, you may as well not bother.

And when it comes to online content, you have even less time to communicate what you offer and what value your product or service will bring to your customers. Your audience must be able to grasp your messages quickly. And easily.

They won’t bother re-reading long, wordy sentences. And they won’t bother trying to decipher complex language. They’ll just leave.

But we are often too close to our own environment to truly assess whether our website content is clear to an uninformed audience. We know what we mean. People familiar with our business might know what we mean. But that’s not enough.

So how can you make your business writing clear? How can you make sure your website content is accessible to everyone?

3 ways to write more clearly

1. Keep sentences short

This is an easy one to start doing. See.

Short sentences are easier to read and understand. The shorter the sentence, the sooner your reader can move to the next. And the next.

Short sentences are also a great way to grab attention.

As a rule of thumb, if your sentence goes over two lines, have another look at it.

2. Ditch the jargon

Every sector and every business has its jargon. But acronyms and technical terms specific to your industry or profession can intimidate and alienate outsiders.

So take a step back and re-read your website content through the eyes of your audience. What jargon can you remove to make your message clearer?

3. Use simpler words

Many people believe that long words sound more impressive. And more professional. But in fact, long words often detract from the clarity and impact of our sentences.

So try:

  • ‘help’ instead of ‘assistance’
  • ‘many’ instead of ‘numerous’
  • ‘use’ intead of ‘utilise’
  • ‘need’ instead of ‘require’
  • ‘now’ instead of ‘currently’
  • ‘end’ instead of ‘completion’.