When addressing specialist subjects, many business writers can slip into the jargon of their trade. Where the target audience is known to be of like-minded professionals, this approach is often expected, lest you appear to be underestimating your readers’ intelligence. However, where a document is designed for more general consumption, it is important that it be accessible to all.
The one big faux-pas in article writing is abbreviations, well recognised within a certain field but unknown, or in alternative usage, in the wider world. Full descriptions should be used wherever possible. If this proves difficult due to word count, it is perfectly acceptable to ‘introduce’ an abbreviation at the first use of the phrase; ‘sites looking to achieve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)’. Hereafter, you can use SEO as shorthand. When forming this introduction, it is crucial to use capital letters on each part of the phrase and bracket out the abbreviation, also in capitals, for clarity.
Another alternative, if using a phrase sparsely, is to provide a short definition on the first usage; ‘the process of search engine optimisation, improving a site’s ranking in search engine result, begins…’.
Implementing these simple rules will ensure your articles are accessible and easily understood by more potential clients.
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