Ideally, have your web texts written by a native speaker, but many entrepreneurs get to work with English web texts themselves. That is why we have listed 9 writing tips for an international webshop especially for them. Some of these writing tips can also be used to improve your Dutch texts. So read on quickly.
Before we start, however, we would like to make a comment for readers who think that they can reach the whole world with an English-language website. A large part of the internet users worldwide speak and read no or bad english. Research also shows that most people prefer to make purchases based on information available in their mother tongue. Depending on where your intended target group and market are located, you can consider making your webshop available in other languages as well. But for this article we focus on English.
1. Choose British English or American English
There is not one type of English in the world. Before you start translating, you have to make a choice in which version of English you will write. The most logical choices are British English and American English. Which spelling you choose depends on your intended sales market, among other things. It is important that you write the web texts consistently in one version and do not use the British English and American English spelling interchangeably. A Dutch person may read about this, but a native speaker will certainly notice this and this makes a non-professional impression.
2. Use the correct jargon
Every market has its own professional language and it is not always easy to translate it. For example, if you are a seal provider, you can translate this as “seals”. However, in this market the terms “security seals” and “tamper evident seals” are much more applicable. If you are unsure of the correct English terminology for your market, you can view competitor websites. We advise you to analyze competing websites from English-speaking countries. You can assume that the right concepts are applied to these webshops.
3. Take Google search terms into account
If you want to attract visitors via Google, it is smart to take into account the search terms that your potential customers use in Google. In the previous step you read about how to discover the correct terminology for your market. But that does not mean that your competitors’ web shops are optimized to be found via search engines (SEO). A free tool with which you can check how much is searched for certain terms is Ubersuggest. You want to use the most popular search terms in your URLs, page titles and headers.
4. Use synonyms
So you want to emphasize the most important search terms, but it is also good to include synonyms in your texts. Not only does this make your web texts more attractive to the visitor, but Google also appreciates the use of related words. Synonyms help you to score (a little) better in Google.
5. (Page) titles are crucial
The (page) titles of your web pages are extremely important. Your page titles appear in Google and affect the click-through-rate, or how often people click on a search result. The title of your post also has a major effect on the success of your post on social media.
But what is a good title, you probably wonder now? Buzzsumo has researched 100 million headlines and analyzed which titles work best. Take advantage of this knowledge to write successful titles.
6. Use power words
How exaggerated those Americans can be. You often hear Dutch people say that after they have been on holiday in the United States. To us it feels like exaggeration, but to Americans it feels like normal. We therefore recommend that you make good use of power words in your lyrics. These are intended to trigger a desired emotion in your reader. In the next blog post you will discover more about English power words.
7. Include all important information in the first paragraph
People today have little patience. Many visitors quickly scan a page to see if it is worth spending more time on it. Therefore, make sure that all important information is immediately visible. Think about what you want to say on a page and how you want to convince a potential reader. Write this down succinctly and process it immediately visible on the page.
8. Write manageable texts
Both visitors and Google appreciate it if your texts are manageable. What does this mean in practice? Make sure your sentences are not too long and divide your texts into clear paragraphs with headers. With a large block of text you scare many people. Processing images and videos also makes a page easier to read.
Also take into account the education level of your audience. For example, make sure that your use of words matches this. The Hemingway app is a handy tool for this.
9. Avoid blurring
The more concrete the better. In a study from the University of California – Los Angeles, financial advisers who gave exact figures became more trusted than their colleagues who were less precise. A title like “My conversion rate increased by 101.5% after reading this articleIs therefore better than “My conversion rate increased by 100% after reading this article”.
Hopefully our tips will help you to make your webshop an international success. Do you have any more tips or questions? Let us know in the comments below.
This column was written by Mirjam Kolkman | Translation agency Translavic.