If you’re trying to appeal to an English audience, but using non-native English speakers to write your website content, blog posts, leaflets or tweets, you are almost certainly putting off customers.
Not only is it always glaringly obvious, but you risk really annoying the very people you want to impress. I’ve lost count of the number of websites I’ve come across in Switzerland with less than perfect English. International copywriting is all about talking to your potential customers in their language – to make them relate to your company, product or services, not to make them want to take out a red pen.
Show some respect
First impressions count. Your content is often your potential customer’s first point of contact with your company. So, having a website or brochure with less than perfect, readable and engaging English is like having a receptionist chewing gum at the front desk. It’s an insult to your customer.
Research by Global Lingo showed that 59% of Britons would not buy from a company with grammar or spelling mistakes on its website or marketing materials.
So, is translation the answer?
A good translation by a professional is a step in the right direction, but if you’ve been marketing to a German or French market and now want to target an English audience, you need a different approach. A copywriter’s job is to take into account cultural differences and really understand the audience and what would appeal to them, because let’s face it, these cultures are very different! What might be funny to an English reader, could offend a potential German customer. You don’t want to get it wrong.
Google punishes bad English and spelling mistakes
Your search rankings will be affected if your keywords or keyword phrases are incorrect. Google rewards quality content – which includes good grammar and style.
Of course, international copywriting isn’t only about grammar and spelling. To find out how to write copy that sells, read my previous blog post for some tips to get your started.
If you’re worried about putting off potential customers because of bad writing or uninspiring copy, contact me for a FREE assessment of your website or other marketing materials today.