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How to get perfect English copy for your website

Proofreading & Content

At the time of writing we are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Great Britain has been in lockdown for 10 weeks and business has essentially been put on hold for the first time in most of our lifetimes. Once the initial fear and anxiety subsided, we have all been forced to experience a sort of enforced pause. Normal life has stopped – we have been given a break from the hamster wheel, from the endless to-do lists with no time to actually do much at all. Now, all of a sudden, we have all the time in the world. And, for business owners, as well as the general population, this has also provided us with an opportunity to reflect.

Where am I at with my business?
What have I been doing right?
What do I need to change?
How can I utilise this time to benefit my business in the future?

With everyone at home and people likely to be looking to avoid crowded places (town centres, shopping centres etc.) for the foreseeable future, there is an opportunity here for online businesses and for businesses who can move some of their services online. Only yesterday I met (via Zoom, of course) a jewellery maker and a hypnotherapist who have found a whole new community of customers in parts of the world that they could previously not reach with their solely face-to-face businesses. Even when the lockdown ends, they will continue working with these distant customers online – and thus, will have a whole new branch to complement their already successful businesses.

Why is website content so important?

Online shopping has been given a big boost by the lockdown. For most of us, it has literally been the only way to shop. As a result, websites have become more important than ever. They are your shop window. They are your number one tool to attract new customers and to persuade those potential customers to buy your product or service.

The writing on your website – your website copy or content – plays a key role in setting the tone and, perhaps more importantly, in conveying your professionalism. Good copy persuades, convinces and inspires. Bad copy bores, puts off and even irritates. Just as window dressers spend hours and hours considering the design of their shop windows, so business owners should take the time to ensure that their websites – their shop windows – are the best they can be. And website content is one of the key cornerstones of this.

How do I get perfect English content for my website?

There are a number of different ways of ensuring that your website content is the best it can possibly be:

  • you can outsource the writing of your website content to a copywriter;
  • if your website is currently in a foreign language, you can hire a translation company to translate your content into English for you;
  • you can write the copy yourself and then have it checked by experts.

These are all valid options and, happily, LEaF Translations is on hand to help you with all of them.

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Option 1: Outsource the content creation – work with a copywriter

For many people, outsourcing the creation of their website content is the best option. Lots of people don’t enjoy writing. Not everyone is good at it. And many people who need an English-language website to attract English-speaking customers are not native speakers of English. Some people simply don’t have the time or the inclination to write their own content.

In all of these cases, hiring someone else to write the content for your website is the best option. Here at LEaF, we love writing and we are only too happy to help our customers with their English content.

Option 2: Hire a professional translation company to translate your website

What if your website is not currently in English? Maybe you live in Germany and have only now seen the opportunity that an English-language website could have for your business. You may well be perfectly happy with the original version of your website and you see no need to reinvent the wheel regarding the other language versions of your website.

The best option in this case is to hire a professional translation company to translate your website into English. Translators are experts at language and, here at LEaF, our translators are passionate writers too. We know exactly what it takes to create perfect English website content for the English-speaking market. A professional translator will not just convey the meaning of your original website copy; they will also convey the tone and ensure that the English translation has the exact same impact on readers as the original version.

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Option 3: Get an expert to proofread and improve your website content

If you are a small business or self-employed, there is a high chance that you will have simply written the content for your website yourself. You have probably spent a long time coming up with the name of your business, the titles of your pages and the message that you want to get across. You probably don’t need to outsource the content creation – after all, you know your business best – and you are an English native speaker, so there is no need for a translation company to get involved. But are you 100% confident in your website content? Does it flow as well as it could? Is it completely free from grammatical errors, typos, spelling mistakes and the like? Does it all make sense?

As a translator, I know only too well how difficult it is to proofread your own writing. Aside from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, it is all too easy to write a turn of phrase that makes perfect sense in your head, but that no-one else would use. When you have poured your heart and soul into a text, or simply written it yourself, it can be very hard to view it objectively. Try reading something you wrote a month ago and haven’t read since, and you will see what I mean…

The LEaF Content Audit has been designed as a service to plug this gap. The concept is quite simple: we go through your website with a fine-tooth comb; highlight any spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors; make suggestions to improve the flow of the text; and check for consistency, e.g. with capital letters and GB vs US spellings.

LEaF Content Audit proofreading services

And that is not all – we know that the impact of a website is not solely determined by the words it contains. The overall look and design of the website is key too. As such, we provide you with some objective feedback on this as well, e.g. “have you considered increasing the font size of the headers?” or “maybe change the colour of this button so it stands out a little more”.

Finally, we go through all of your links and check that they are working correctly and that all of your images are loading and displaying as they should.

In short, the LEaF Content Audit is a great way to get perfect website copy without having to outsource it all to a copywriter. It is a fantastic solution for those who have already written their content and want to make sure it is the best it can possibly be. For more information about the LEaF Content Audit and our other professional proofreading services, check out this page detailing what we offer, or contact us on hello@leaftranslations.com or using our contact form.

I would thoroughly recommend the LEaF content audit for anyone about to launch a new website. Lucy helped me iron out grammatical errors and made sure everything flowed perfectly before I started to promote my services to prospective clients – it really gave it that professional finishing touch!
[Holly Davies, Yorkshire Brand Stories]

 

Summary

As the world emerges from the global pandemic, several things will have shifted: we have all become used to shopping online, people will be seeking to go about their lives in a way that minimises risk, and online business is going to grow and grow. With this in mind, making sure that your English website content is as good as it possibly can be should be right at the top of your to-do list.

You have three options here:

  • if you don’t currently have a website or need new copy – outsource the copywriting to a professional;
  • if your website is currently in a different language – hire a professional translation company to translate your website into English;
  • if you have already written your website content – get an expert to improve your content and iron out any errors.

If you want to find out more about any of the website content services that LEaF Translations offers – from website translation to proofreading and even writing content on your behalf – simply use our contact form to get in touch.

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About the Author

Lucy LEaF blog 2018

Lucy

Lucy Pembayun is a German to English translator with over 13 years of professional translation experience. She graduated with an MA(Hons) in German from Edinburgh University before being awarded a DAAD scholarship to study for a post-graduate Masters in Germany. She has lived in Bamberg, Fulda and Berlin, and now resides in York, UK, with her husband and two children.
Lucy specialises in translating German websites, blog posts, sales brochures and other marketing materials into English and is also an experienced proofreader and editor.
Write to Lucy at lucy@leaftranslations.com to find out how Lucy can help up-level your English content.

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