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Will using technical terms and industry jargon on a landing page improve conversion rate?

This is for you if you sell a product or service that needs some expertise from the buyer. Things like lab equipment, dust extraction systems, engine spares. Stuff that most people know little about. I'll refer to these as technical products.

I watched an internet argument about landing pages for technical products. Someone wanted to know if it was OK to use industry jargon and technical terms on their landing page. Would you get better conversion rates if you wrote in plain English? Or would expert-level writing win more leads? As usual with the internet people were arguing for both sides, but one opinion seemed to beat the rest.

The winner made two points:

Both points are solid. He then decided that this meant that the landing page should be technical with industry jargon. I agree with the advice to write for your audience, but I think he doesn't understand who the audience is.

Non-technical people visit your landing pages too. Junior staff and assistants are often tasked to identify potential suppliers. They Google and find your site. They might know next to nothing about Raschig Rings or HEPA-filters or whatever it is that you do. Your audience is both expert and non-technical. You've got to write for both audiences.

How do you write one landing page for both expert and non-technical visitors?

Writing for both audiences is easier when you remember that your landing page has two jobs:-

  1. Beat the bounce. Your visitor is always a mouse-click away from bouncing off your site forever. If she leaves you've lost all possibility of a sale.
  2. Win the lead. To convince her that contacting you will help her get what she wants.

The words on your landing page do the heavy lifting. Luckily words that convince non-technical visitors not to bounce also work on experts. That's because all your visitors - expert or not - will do the same thing in the first three seconds on your landing page:-

If they think they're in the right place they'll stick around a little longer.

For instance, if your visitor searched for 'Raschig Rings' your landing page headline should scream

We supply Raschig Rings.

(If you're like me and are not an expert on Raschig Ring feel free to substitute your speciality. I chose this example because I once had a client who is in fact an expert.)

Follow the headline with a bullet list overview e.g.

We supply a wide range of random and structured packaging and mass transfer equipment including:-

  • The classic Raschig Ring.
  • The Raschig Super Ring® Plus.
  • The Raschig Super Ring®.
  • Pall Rings (Jaeger Rings, Ballast Rings, Basic Rings, etc.)
  • The Raschig Super-Pak®

The headline and bullet list should be enough to convince both the expert and non-technical visitor not to bounce right away.

The landing page's second job is to win the lead. You'll win the lead when the visitor thinks there is a good chance that:

The headline and the bullet list might be enough to win a non-technical lead. But, the expert might need more information to make sure that what you sell is what they're after. You should give it to them.

Put technical information below the enquiry form.

It's best to put the expert-level information below the enquiry form. That way it won't distract the non-technical visitor.

You see, every sentence on the page is either signal or distracting noise. For the non-technical a phrase like The Raschig Super Ring is signal. But, expert-level phrases like sinusoidal waves within the vertical packing sheets or surface-enhanced to encourage greater turbulent radial spread of thin liquid film flows are noise even though they are sweet sweet signal to someone who loves Raschig Rings.

Information for your expert audience can be written in technical language, with industry jargon, specifications and so on.

Need some help with this?

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