Is bad English better than no English at all?

I’m really not sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if the end result is the same: nobody finds your website.

I’m talking about the English content offered by many websites that have a different primary language. The internet’s great because it opens up your business to many more people, who speak many different languages. But it really doesn’t matter if all the other languages on your site are written beautifully if the one they’re reading is just not very, well, good.

Of course, this is great news for me because this is something I can help with – ironing out those grammatical lumps and bumps. But perhaps you need a bit of convincing as to why it’s so important, so here are three reasons (and for argument’s sake, I’m going to refer to English) for starters…

Help people to find you

If you want English speakers to find you, you need to provide words they’ll use in the search engines. It’s no good having an English version if everything’s spelt wrongly or grammatically incorrect. If you’re offering something that ‘is respectful with the medioambiente’* and your English speaker searches for ‘respects the environment’, your website isn’t going to come up in the search results.

Make them think you’re really very good…

Well-written copy makes a company look professional, credible and genuine, and builds trust with a site’s readers. Text littered with errors and spelling mistakes makes it look as if you can’t really be bothered to get it done properly. And if you have that attitude towards your own business, then perhaps you’ll act the same towards their project. That’s what they’ll be thinking.

…and make sure they keep reading about you!

Complicated English copy with lots of long words does NOT equal good copy. Saying ‘we are in compromise with the sustainable development from the deepest convinction’* will not make your visitor think, ‘Hey! This guy knows what he’s talking about’. It’s hard work to read that sentence; it needs reading and rereading to work out what’s actually being said (which, I think, is  ‘sustainable development is really important to us’).

There are probably lots more reasons (add them in the comments!) but I think these are more than good enough to start with. Y si necesitas ayuda con tu página en inglés, contáctame!

*Both from a real website. Really.

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