Make your English website a real client attractor

Your English-language website is a magnet. But does it attract or repel your clients?

Businessman attracts money with a large magnet

If the English copy was not created by a writing expert or an English native speaker, then it will almost certainly drive your potential customers away.

Why?

  • There will be language errors – typos, grammatical slips, punctuation bloopers, gauche phrases, words that rub awkwardly against each other (“Italy – maybe you dreaming about”, as a former Minister for Tourism unmemorably said…). And everyone knows that bad writing turns off potential buyers. For they naturally assume that it reflects the quality of your products and services and your way of doing business.
  • It won’t persuade – to get your target customers to take that vital next step in your sales funnel, you need to be convincing and engaging. That demands sophisticated language skills that are beyond any non-native speaker (that’s why I don’t write my Italian posts on my own). Psychological insight, wordplay, rhythmical and musical use of language, knowing what sounds good and what doesn’t – they’re all vital factors. Ignore them at your peril.
  • It won’t have the right keywords – you’ve slaved over a hot computer to find the keywords that your Italian customers search for most. Well, finding the best English keywords takes more than just looking the Italian ones up in a dictionary. Fail to choose wisely, and English speakers simply won’t know you exist. Opportunity lost.
  • It won’t be localized – English readers expect a different tone. So if you address them in the same way you approach your Italian customers, your words won’t work. Start a direct mailing with “Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to present to you our company’s offering”, and your reader will probably bin it there and then. You need someone with the ingrained cultural knowledge to localize your copy properly to make it effective, to make it resonate with the people that you’re trying to reach.

27% of internet users have English as their first language (compared to less than 2% for Italian). If you’re trying to sell a high-quality product or service to them, an essential ingredient in your marketing mix is incisive, effective English copywriting.

It can turn your website into a real client attractor.

7 thoughts on “Make your English website a real client attractor

  1. Alex

    Thanks for the link. Hopefully you’ll be running this piece in Italian too or else many Italians will miss the point.

    All the best from Milan,

    Alex

    Reply
    1. Oliver Lawrence Post author

      You’re welcome, Alex. The Italian versions of my posts always take a few days to finalise – this one went up yesterday.

      Reply
  2. Alex

    Will keep an eye out for the Italian version then Tweet it etc and probably link to it too – past time Italians got this message – they are losing out because they are unaware of it as we both well know.

    Supposedly Italy is about to launch a major export drive but it won’t work for web-based Italian businesses unless their English language versions are up to scratch. Some work for you, hopefully.

    Cheers,

    Alex

    Reply
  3. Alex

    Excellent Oliver, Italian version “social media-ed” 🙂

    The next issue is once an Italian company has a website in presentable English, will anyone in the office able to answer emails and phone calls from potential clients? This is another not so minor issue.

    Cheers,

    Alex

    Reply
    1. Oliver Lawrence Post author

      Thanks Alex :).
      Indeed, to serve foreign customers properly, Italian businesses need staff trained to speak, write, read and understand business English (and possibly other languages) to a reasonable level.
      But even staff trained to that level cannot, of course, write proper marketing copy.

      Reply
  4. Alex

    Prego.

    Yes, Italian businesses do need Italians who can speak, write and read English but, as you point out, very few, if any, will possess the skills necessary for copywriting (or half decent SEO, for that matter) however very, very few Italian businesses understand this and will give the job of writing web copy, for example, to the guy or girl who wrote ‘good English’ on his or her CV! We both know the results 😉

    Poor quality English damages the reputation of businesses and will lose them sales opportunities too.

    Cheers,

    Alex

    Reply

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