The following tips are equally valid for the website of a freelancer, the website of a SME or that of a big international company.
Because quality is universal. And it matters in any circumstance, if you want to attract customers and win their trust. Instead of stepping into a physical store or into a meeting room, they step into your virtual “house”, but the rules don’t change that much: what matters most is first catching their eye with an interesting proposition, have them coming back again and again thanks to interesting, well curated contents and graphics, and gaining their trust by doing what you’re promising.
You don’t need to overthink it, nor should forever putting it off. Focus on these 3 areas and let a professional help you out.
You can’t go global without thinking local. Today, over 53% of the content going around on the internet is written in English. But only roughly 5% of the world’s population are native English speakers. It means that if you want to expand your business, translation is a must. In 2016 only 10% of English websites were translated into Italian: this gives you an idea of the potential which is still out there.
But watch out. Translation is a professional skill. You are good at what you do, but you can’t be good at everything. So for your translations choose someone who does it for a living, not your friend, your colleague or an employee who studied abroad. And consider this too, just in case: did you know that search engines don’t rank machine-translated content, which is often discarded as spam?
Creating a website worth reading and clicking on – as with any text actually – is a specialized skill. Localization is a job to be entrusted to experts, as what is OK is some countries, in others can be considered offensive or not suited to the occasion: I’m talking of register (formal/informal), tone of voice (who are your customers?), customs, habits, culture, mentality, the country’s current political/financial situation etc. And for this you’ll need more than translation, you’ll need experts in transcreation, skilled in all of the above and more: translator-copywriters expert in the local country and culture who can also help your website and company language stand out with catchy taglines, or by shaping a true brand voice, if you’re willing to go all the way.
You already have a website, hopefully multilingual, but it’s not giving you the satisfaction and results you had hoped for. Well, a good editor can go over your existing texts and help you achieve consistency in terms of company voice, register, form of address, terminology, style, grammar use (e.g. active/passive voice), spelling. A good editor helps you identify and resolve inconsistencies, which are very often what exasperates a reader, sending out a sensation of neglect, the very opposite of quality. A good editor can suggest you how to better organize contents, at page or site level, or shape a company glossary and use it consistently.
All of this will result in a coherent, engaging, clear form of communication, which will make you stand out for quality. And in turn generate trust in your customers. Not bad, right?
3 CURATE YOUR IMAGE
There’s no need to overdo it, but a well designed logo and graphic style, together with well-chosen pictures, can go a long way to improve the attractiveness of your web presence. For the graphic line, choose a good designer. For the pictures, choose a photo researcher who can help you search and pick quality photos on online image banks which are well suited to what you do and offer, or who can help you select the best company images and suggest where and how to use them. Or again, a mix of the two strategies. The aim should be to avoid commonplaces and catch the eye and imagination of the website visitor, besides being a good fit for the text they accompany.
Wishing to go a step further?
Don’t forget your presence on social media. Why? Because your customers are there! As an example, consider 3 posts a week on your Facebook page, in English and local language/s – well-written, thought-out posts accompanied by engaging pictures.
Consider creating a company blog. It could be curated internally or by an external consultant, and it could feature contents generated internally or curated contents.
If you’re looking for a problem-solver for your communication needs, let’s talk.
About the author
Laura Cattaneo is an English/French/Spanish to Italian translator and editor specialized in MarCom, transcreation, luxury, hospitality, legal. She is a full member of the Italian National Association of Translators & Interpreters (ANITI) and of the UK Chartered Institute of Linguists. She puts her many years of experience to the advantage of her clients by creating texts resonating with the Italian-speaking audience. Connect with her on Twitter @lauracattaneo_ or visit her website.