Check out some niche websites, particularly those in the science and tech industries, and you will notice immediately that the content is not designed for the average person to read. The text is peppered with long, unfathomable words and the understanding is pitched somewhere between Masters and Post-Doctoral level. In other words, unless you have an advanced degree in something technical, you will not have a clue what any of the content actually means.
For example, say I want to learn more about PIP regulations because I am researching medical healthcare fraud for a college paper. No doubt, there is a lot of information online, but unless I work within the healthcare finance sector, I might not be familiar with the technical terms. This means that I am going to struggle to read a page of text full of technical words. As a result, I will immediately move on to a different website that gives me the information I need in an easier to digest format.
Therein lies the problem. By writing your content at a level where only highly qualified individuals will understand what you are trying to say, you immediately lose a significant number of potential website visitors. From an SEO perspective, this is not good news.
The SEO Implications of Overly Technical Content
Google takes note when large numbers of website visitors bounce quickly away from a page. It assumes that the page has no relevant content, or the content is not providing value to readers. As a result, Google then pushes the website back down the rankings.
Most website owners want their site appear as high up the rankings as possible. This is, after all, the whole point of search engine optimization. There are many ways to achieve a good position in the organic search engine rankings, but content plays an important part. Content has to provide value. If it does not, your website will be penalized by Google and other search engines, which is why so many websites took a huge hit in the wake of the Panda update.
Write in Plain English
Writing in plain English is not difficult. Avoid long run-on sentences and stick to ‘you’ and ‘me’. Try to use words that are appropriate for the average reader rather than the person with fifteen qualifications to their name. It is also helpful to break up content into easily digested paragraphs and introduce lists where appropriate.
Writing good content is not just about targeting the right keywords in a page of text. Content needs to be aimed at the average reader, i.e. not someone who has an advanced degree or doctorate. If the man in the street cannot understand your web content, you have a problem, so take a critical look at the type of content on your website and consider rewriting it.
Well-written content is easier to read and much quicker for the writer to produce. It is a win-win situation for everyone.