The Importance of well-written English on Bi-lingual Websites and Marketing Material

 

How you promote your brand or business, whether products or services, has never been more important.  In the digital age, where you can be checked out with a few keyboard strokes, your website is the window into who and what you are, and perception is everything.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a well established business, founded many years ago, with legendary products, or a new start up. How your website looks, with the right images, content and layout, projects who you are, and needs to be contemporary and regularly updated.

In the modern global economy, with companies selling their products and services around the world, and exports accounting for a significant percentage of revenue, many companies realise it’s important to have their website in English, as well as their native language.

As a copywriter and photographer, I look at company websites with interest, quickly judging whether I think they present themselves to maximum effect, in line with their ethos and the nature of their business, through their content and images.

I often come across websites that look nice, but what let’s them down is the content written in English. It’s more often than not, the weak link, the achilles heel, if you will. Often the grammar is incorrect and the descriptions and expressions are just not written in the way that an English person expresses themselves. Many are too verbose, using flowery language, which no English person would ever use, and are often repetitive. Most importantly, they don’t correctly promote the company image, its products or services, needing to be written in a more hard hitting, focused and concise manner, in order to really get the message across.

Many things in one language cannot be translated literally into another; it’s necessary to express things differently to be correctly understood and have the right impact, to be consistent with your native language content and how you want to be perceived.

If the English isn’t written properly, then the website immediately gives the wrong impression: perhaps you’re not as international as you’d like to be, and if you haven’t taken the time and effort to do this properly, does that mean you perhaps don’t do other things properly? As I said at the beginning of this blog, image and perception is everything.

Remember that your website’s the first place prospective clients go to check you out, to see what you are about and what your’e offering. If they read the first few lines and they aren’t written well, then chances are they’ll move onto to another site and business: that’s business lost, not gained.

I have seen on the websites of many well-established business that their English content and copy is poorly expressed and badly written. Perhaps someone in the company reads and speaks English and volunteered to write it. But no one can really write good English like a native speaker, especially one who specialises in writing promotional and marketing content.

It’s important for well-established businesses to keep up with the times and not just rely on their age old reputation. Businesses come and go with economic cycles, political changes and mergers and acquisitions, and products evolve to modern tastes and demands. Competition is fierce.

And if you’re a existing or new company with aspirations to export and sell your products or services internationally, then it’s important to have a well written English version of your website content and marketing material. Remember: perception is everything.

In reality, producing a quality website and marketing material in dual copy isn’t as difficult as one might think, but having the correct English, which is the second most widely spoken, written and read first language in the world, and the second language with the largest global coverage, is a necessity.

If you combine that with quality content in your native language, then it’s a winning combination, reaching out to the largest possible international audience. This is facilitated by having the best hashtags and keywords that will help people find your site and draw them to it.

Think of how you can exponentially reach a much wider audience through the combinations of such languages as Spanish, English and Chinese.

If you’re interested in quality English copy/content for your website or marketing material, then please contact me to see how I can help you with the following:

– An Audit or review of your existing English website & marketing material

– Revising or writing from scratch the English content for your website & marketing material

– Promotional English text for Exhibitions or Events 

– Press releases in English

– English articles for newspapers & magazines

– Blogs in English.

In addition I am a photographer who takes high quality images.

Please check out my website at gileswilcox.com