Guide to Using Inclusive Language on Your Website

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We’ve talked about making your website accessible from a website design perspective, but inclusive UX writing is also incredibly important. In fact, if your business doesn’t use inclusive content, then you could be harming your reputation and turning away prospective customers.

Here’s your guide to applying inclusive language on your website.

Inclusive Language in a Nutshell

Inclusive language reminds people (aka your customers) that they belong, that there is a place for them. Language we use every day can impact our relationships with others, and play an important role in breaking down barriers with underrepresented communities. Diversity and inclusion are paramount now more than ever, and using inclusive language on your website allows you to respect everyone whilst being sensitive to differences and promoting equal opportunities.

Employing inclusive language requires you to take a look at how your words and content could impact others of various identities, which is critical to maintaining a strong brand reputation.

Inclusive Language Best Practices

Depending on your brand and products/services, how you approach this will look different to everyone. However, here are things to consider when writing inclusive content.

Brand Guidelines

In addition to including the visual elements of your brand such as logo and colours in your brand guidelines, include a section that incorporates inclusive language. This will outline how all colleagues should use inclusive language in every activity, and also details how this should be implemented on your website.

Use Plain Language & Avoid Jargon

Use plain language throughout your website, giving everyone the chance to understand what you have written. Write to users as real people, allowing them to understand, which also ties in with not writing solely for search engines.

There are of course exceptions for this – such as using acronyms if necessary (but be sure to mention the acronym meaning first before using throughout your content), and jargon can be used if writing a technical white paper.

Check Images are Diverse

The photos used throughout your website should show diversity and inclusion, varying the identities you use. Intentionally create culturally diverse photos.

Avoid Idioms

Idioms are phrases that become part of a language due to their common usage, however as a non-native speaker they can have literal meanings that you wouldn’t be able to understand.  Sometimes they represent a specific culture in a negative way. Before using idioms, research them to ensure that they do not have discriminatory meanings and that they are widely understood.

Products Benefits

When writing about your products or services, focus on the benefits all users get from purchasing and how their lives will improve.

Avoid Stereotypes

Stereotypes reinforce implicit biases and can have negative effects if we aren’t intentional in our actions. When writing for users, avoid using stereotypes – such as gender roles.


Review the language used on your website routinely. Language is constantly changing and it’s important for brands to keep up with it. Continually research areas that could be changing and review your website.

Website Accessibility

As with all websites, you should make them accessible, giving everyone the same opportunity to use your website to its full potential. Making your website accessible includes using contrasting colours, adding alt tags to images, and choosing readable fonts.

Inclusive Website Design

Here at Ballyhoo, every website we create focuses on accessibility and inclusivity. If you need a website that reflects your accessible approach, contact us now on 0121 295 5352 or email [email protected], to discuss your requirements in a free consultation.

Headshot of Rebecca young new team member


Rebecca helps to keep the team organised and supports all of our clients with day to day activities and content. She also runs all of Ballyhoo's internal marketing.