Style Guide & Word List

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PhilosophyVoice & ToneEditorial GuidelinesOur AudienceWord ListVisual GuidelinesWeb Elements

Our Style Guide & Word List will help you identify specific industry jargon and style choices, and understand how we approach it across all of our content.

Technical Topics

Many of our audience members are used to reading technical documentation around SEO and how tools like Content Harmony work.

TLDR; We are OK getting a little technical as long as we don't go off into the weeds.

Using slang like "topic models" or "natural language processing (NLP)" is fair game, especially in a technical blog post. But, we don't want to get lost in acronyms on core landing pages unless it's down in the FAQs or something.


Abbreviations and Acronyms

There are certain industry-wide abbreviations that we can use without defining them: SEO, PPC, etc.

But if we get too deep in niche-specific metrics like LTV (lifetime value) or CAC (customer acquisition costs) it’s usually good to define them once in the piece, or link to an explanation on a trustworthy website. Many of our customers will understand them, however, usage varies quite a bit between industries and audiences.

When it's OK to use acronym at first mention

Example: SEO, not search engine optimization (SEO)

We’re okay with writers assuming readers understand what SEO means, hence we don’t ask them to expand the acronym when they refer to it.

When you should avoid acronyms altogether

In other cases, we ask writers never to shorten the phrase at all and to act as if the acronym does not exist. For example:

Example: Google Tag Manager (GTM).

In this case, GTM can also refer to ‘go-to market strategy’, so we ask writers to always say the full form to avoid confusion.

Common abbreviations and guidance on when using them

  • SERP: Search engine results page. Expand first and then use abbreviation.
  • CTR: Click-through rate. Expand first and then use abbreviation.
  • CMS: Content management system. Expand first and then use abbreviation.
  • CM: Content marketing. Never use abbreviation.
  • CRO: Conversion rate optimization. Expand first and then use abbreviation.
  • GA: Google Analytics. Expand first and then use abbreviation.
  • GSC: Google Search Console. Never use abbreviation, can shorten to "Search Console."

Content Harmony Product References

When referring to specific Content Harmony features, we typically capitalize them:

  • Content Briefs
  • Keyword Reports
  • Search Intent
  • Content Grader

However, when we mention them a number of times, we may start to use lower case or general variations to make it look less like product copy.


Jargon Examples

Here are some specific phrases we don’t use because they are inaccurate or wrong in some way.

Do This Don't Do This:
Semantically-related keywords/phrases/topics "LSI keywords"
A Blog is a publication.
A blog post or article is a single entry in a blog.
"Blogs" should only be used to refer to multiple publications as a group, just like "magazines."
"blogs"
Links do pass link equity, authority, etc. Links don't pass "Link juice"

Variation Choices

Here are some specific stylized variations that we prefer to use:

Do This Not This:
Whitepaper White Paper
eBook E-Book
eCommerce E-Commerce
Semantically-related keywords/phrases/topics LSI keywords
email e-mail

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