The Problem with Adjectives

In school, you probably remember being encouraged to run to the thesaurus to find ways to improve your writing by adding more adjectives. While adjectives are a great way to spice up content, sometimes too much of a good thing really is just too much. Here are three big reasons why adjectives shouldn’t always be your go-to fix for improving your content.

  1. Adjectives aren’t precise. Many of the adjectives you’ve used in the past are vague and don’t add much meaning to what you’re writing about. For instance, the word “perfect” could mean a number of things: faultless, complete, precise, ideal, etc. Adjectives tend to hide meaning rather than enhance meaning.
  2. Adjectives sound too salesy. Today’s reader is constantly surrounded by marketing campaigns and sales messages and will naturally be more cynical because of this. This is where adjectives aren’t helpful. Your reader wants solid information they can trust, but adjectives dilute your message and make it sound like you’re always selling them something.
  3. Adjectives mean different things to different people. When words are imprecise, you lose control over the meaning of those words to the reader. While you might intend for the adjectives you use to have a positive meaning, some readers might find that it means just the opposite to them.

So how do you avoid the pitfall of adjectives with search engine optimization? You don’t need to remove adjectives completely from your content, but make sure you’re using them where they’re most appropriate and effective. Adjectives won’t get your customers to act, but action words will. Substitute your abundance of adjectives for verbs to get people take the action you want them to take on your website.

Image provided by artbystevejohnson on Flickr

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