Last week, my wife and I had time to kill between errands, so we decided to swing by the mall and check out the bookstore. While my wife perused books, I sat next to the store window that looked out on the rest of the mall. From that vantage point, I watched as dozens of people walked past me, usually meandering from store with no general purpose other than to see what each store had.

Thinking back on this situation, I realize it’s pretty comparable to a lot of websites I’ve visited. Sometimes, I’ll visit a site and read a description of what’s happening on the page and still have no clue what the company is trying to sell or promote. It’s as if the writer knew they wanted to write something but didn’t quite have a direction or purpose of guiding them – so they end up verbally wandering, much like the aimless crowd in the mall.

Other times, the writers write as though everyone who visits their site knows the field-specific jargon and slang that the professionals know, leaving newcomers to scratch their heads and wonder if they just read Latin.

Today’s audiences don’t have the time or attention spans to wade through mountains of irrelevant information or vocabulary they can’t comprehend. If people can’t understand what you’re selling on your website or advertising, they’re out of there within seconds. The ability to write a clear and purposeful message is a talent every technical copywriter should develop, and there are a few tricks to follow that can make it easier.

Know your audience

If potential visitors to your website come from a non-technical background, looking for your technical services or products, you must make sure the words and phrases you use can be easily comprehended. It’s easy to want to sound intelligent and complicated by using all the jargon of a niche industry. Still, generally, readers aren’t looking for complicated – they just need information quickly.

Don’t rely on pictures to do your job

We’ve all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In some cases, this is true, but pictures on a website aren’t going to give readers all of the details they need. For example, let’s say you are a B2B contractor who sells bolting machinery designed specially for wind turbines. Your website’s home page only has a picture of a tool and the words “For the hardest bolting environments.” What does this tell the reader? Absolutely nothing! Don’t make your busy client search your entire website to find what you do. Write it out; otherwise, you might lose someone willing to pay for your services.

A picture is worth a thousand words… But sometimes, we still need a little more to understand.

Call readers to action

When you create a website, you’re the one in charge. You know the purpose behind why it was created, what your product is, and who your intended audience is. So be in charge! This means calling your site visitors to the action that you desire from them. You’ll be surprised how effective this can be. Remember how readers are busy with a short attention span? The more straightforward the call to action, the easier it is for your busy visitor to make an important decision.