Why Word Choice Matters
With more than 170,000 words in the English language, it can be difficult to find just the right words to describe and market your business. When creating your own website content, article, newsletter, or any other written text, you might not be aware how much your word choice can affect your image in the eyes of your readers and potential clients.
A Sumptuous Haberdashery?
A simple choice between two different words can change the emotion or tone of your content. For example, both “haberdashery” and “men’s clothing store” describe the same business but “haberdashery” evokes an old-fashioned tone and “men’s clothing store” a more casual one. You are able to buy clothing at both a “haberdashery” and a “men’s clothing store” but you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be able to buy the same type of clothes from both stores. Nor would you expect to receive the same type of service from both businesses. These expectations come from word choice.
The words “fancy” and “sumptuous” mean the same thing, but “sumptuous” isn’t part of the average person’s vocabulary. No one wants to need a dictionary to figure out a word you put into your written content when they could just as easily move on to the next website. While it might be tempting to bust out your thesaurus, you might just be intimidating your potential clients instead of impressing them.
Word Choice for Busy People
It’s also important to keep in mind your potential customers are busy. We’re all balancing many tasks at a given moment: thinking about work projects, deciding what we’ll make for dinner, and even checking the score of the local sports game online. We live in an era of constant multitasking, and as a result, people don’t want their time wasted, especially not by having to look up the meaning of an uncommon word when they’re browsing through a website.
Isn’t That a Great Idea!
Another way you can eliminate the gap between you and your customers is to consider the use of contractions in your writing. While your English teacher in high school might’ve told you not to use contractions in your academic writing, they could be used to your advantage in your business writing. If you want your business to seem more personal, using contractions can make your writing sound more conversational. Using more casual language and grammar can help your potential customers feel as though they aren’t reading information written by a robot, but instead, feel as though there’s a relatable person on the other side of their computer screen.
Most of all, you want to consider how you want your business to be represented. What image or feeling do you want to project? A company that sells bounce houses will want a more casual presentation than a non-profit organization would. Even two companies within the same profession may want to have different public perceptions. Words can be as representative of you and your business as your logo. Be conscious of the words you use to ensure your website content, newsletter, blog, and other written content better reflects the services you provide.
Quality Content Matters to Your Business
Expressly Written helps you refresh existing content or write all new content. If you hate to write or simply don’t have time, email us today to provide a no-obligation, free 15-minute evaluation of your website or other written content at info@ExpresslyWritten.com.
Kim Ruiz has been writing professionally for over 25 years. This guest post was written by Logan M. Cole to highlight the passion behind good writing for our Expressly Written clients.