Web writing for translators


Published on

The webinar is aimed at introducing basic web writing skills useful for translators who intend to translate or write web content that is both easily usable by human beings and findable by search engines. The participants will be involved in a practical exercise.

Published in: Education, Technology, Design
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Web writing for translators

  1. 1. WEB WRITING FOR TRANSLATORS How to improve your online writing and translation skills by Andrea Spila
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Understanding why online writing is different </li></ul><ul><li>Improving your web content translation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Improving your web content writing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Improving your online communication skills </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Readers and Engines (Why online reading is different) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Readers (How to improve usability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Engines (How to improve findability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop </li></ul>
  4. 4. Readers and Engines
  5. 5. There are readers...
  6. 6. ... and readers
  7. 7. Online readers...
  8. 8. ... read like this
  9. 9. Tracking and scanning <ul><li>End of 1990s </li></ul><ul><li>Stanford-Poynter research study: use of eyetracking methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Jakob Nielsen’s usability research studies </li></ul>
  10. 10. Results
  11. 11. More recent research
  12. 12. Microcontent & Nanocontent
  13. 13. Microcontent (1998) <ul><li>Page Title </li></ul><ul><li>Headings and subheadings within Body text </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail subjects </li></ul><ul><li>(Jakob Nielsen) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Examples of microcontent
  15. 15. Examples of microcontent
  16. 16. Nanocontent (2009) <ul><li>Jakob Nielsen’s research on the first 11 characters of hypertext links (first two words are of major importance!) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Search engines read too...
  18. 18. ... more or less like this... <ul><li>They download pages (Crawling) </li></ul>
  19. 19. ... and then ... <ul><li>They index content in their databases </li></ul>Keyword Keyword Key phrase Keyword Key phrase Key phrase
  20. 20. ... and finally ... <ul><li>They sort them by relevance ( ranking ) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Keywords: three principles <ul><li>Prominence In general, a keyword that appears closer to the top of the page or text area will be more relevant to some search engines. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Keywords: three principles <ul><li>Proximity The closer the keywords in a key phrase, the higher the weight given to such phrase. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Keywords: three principles <ul><li>Density Key phrase density refers to the frequency of such key phrase within the page content. </li></ul>
  24. 24. A brief summary... <ul><li>Web pages are “read” by human beings ad machines (search engines) </li></ul><ul><li>Human beings don’t actually read but rather “scan” page content, focusing on a few specific areas </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines are looking for key words/phrases and they also focus on a few specific areas </li></ul>
  25. 25. Agenda <ul><li>Readers and Engines (Why online reading is different) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Readers (How to improve usability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Engines (How to improve findability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop </li></ul>
  26. 26. Writing for readers
  27. 27. What is usability?
  28. 28. Why is it important? <ul><li>“ On the Web, usability is a necessary condition for survival. If a website is difficult to use, people leave .” </li></ul>Jakob Nielsen
  29. 29. The guru at work
  30. 30. The guru at work
  31. 31. Improving text usability <ul><li>highlighted keywords </li></ul><ul><li>meaningful sub-headings bulleted lists </li></ul><ul><li>one idea per paragraph </li></ul><ul><li>the inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion </li></ul><ul><li>half the word count (or less) than conventional writing </li></ul>
  32. 32. The web reader experience (1)
  33. 33. The web reader experience (2)
  34. 34. And behind the scenes...
  35. 35. Keywords in the right place <ul><li>In the page TITLE </li></ul><ul><li>In the page description (DESCRIPTION metatag) </li></ul><ul><li>At the start of the content visible by the user </li></ul><ul><li>In subheadings introducing paragraphs </li></ul><ul><li>In hypertextual link descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>In bullet points (ordered and unordered) </li></ul>
  36. 36. Hypertext links
  37. 37. A brief summary... <ul><li>Always keep in mind how people read on the web </li></ul><ul><li>Usability = Survival </li></ul><ul><li>To improve usability we can work on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conciseness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Position of keywords </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Agenda <ul><li>Readers and Engines (Why online reading is different) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Readers (How to improve usability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Engines (How to improve findability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop </li></ul>
  39. 39. Writing for Engines
  40. 40. What is findability? <ul><li>A concept which does not only concern the web. </li></ul><ul><li>On the web keywords are fundamental in order to be found by means of search engines. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Search engine statistics <ul><li>90% of people find content on the web through search engines* </li></ul><ul><li>84% of people does not go beyond the second page of Google results** </li></ul><ul><li>65% of people does not click on sponsored links* </li></ul><ul><li>Forecasts say that by 2020 40% of all purchases will be made online*** </li></ul>* David Viney, Get to the top on Google ** OneUp.com *** uSwitch.com
  42. 42. Keywords: the basic ingredient <ul><li>There are various tools and resources which can help us identify keywords for our web content (both when writing and translating): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Analytics and other statistical tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software tools for keyword search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Keyword tool <ul><li>By using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool it is possible to obtain statistical data regarding keyword popularity , i.e. the average number of searches carried out by users of the search engine. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Keywords: practical suggestions <ul><li>Use keywords used by your prospects </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid preconceived ideas on keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on facts, not on personal opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer “old words” to marketing terms or new coinages </li></ul>
  45. 45. Keywords: use <ul><li>Should be inserted in each text area: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>domain name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>URL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>metatags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>title </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Example of Google result LINK=Page Title SNIPPET= Description Metatag
  47. 47. <ul><li>A key element for both positioning purposes (SEO) and marketing purposes (SEM), as well as for usability purposes </li></ul>Title
  48. 48. Metatag Description <ul><li>There are at least two reasons to give attention to the Description metatag: : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In SERPs the Description metatag content sometimes appears in the snippet below the link (= TITLE) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Description metatag content is used to describe pages in directories </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Even though for indexing purposes it does not hold the same value of the Title </li></ul>
  49. 49. Content in the BODY area <ul><li>Optimum length of a page: 450-600 words </li></ul><ul><li>Bold is used to highlight main keywords and key phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid underlined text ! </li></ul><ul><li>Subdivide the text in paragraphs and position main key phrases at the start of the paragraph </li></ul>
  50. 50. Keywords in URLs <ul><li>In the domain name (if possible): </li></ul><ul><li>www. web-writing .it </li></ul><ul><li>In the page filename: </li></ul><ul><li>www.web-writing.it/ writing-the-title-tag .html </li></ul>
  51. 51. A brief summary... <ul><li>Always start from key words/phrases when writing web content </li></ul><ul><li>Choose keywords used by readers </li></ul><ul><li>Position keywords in the various page areas (Title, metatags, body, etc.) </li></ul>
  52. 52. Agenda <ul><li>Readers and Engines (Why online reading is different) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Readers (How to improve usability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for Engines (How to improve findability) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing for the Web </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop </li></ul>
  53. 53. Writing for the web
  54. 54. Aim well!
  55. 55. Two bull’s eyes! How?
  56. 56. Title <ul><li>Essential for both engines and readers </li></ul><ul><li>Write it at the end </li></ul><ul><li>Start with the main key phrase </li></ul><ul><li>In a prominent position </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget that the page title is often used out of context </li></ul>
  57. 57. Description (metatag) <ul><li>Not very important for search engines </li></ul><ul><li>But essential for readers </li></ul><ul><li>It should also start with the main key phrase </li></ul><ul><li>In a prominent position </li></ul>
  58. 58. Main subheading <ul><li>Important for both engines and readers </li></ul><ul><li>Use the same main key prase </li></ul><ul><li>In a prominent position </li></ul>
  59. 59. Highlighted keywords <ul><li>Highlight secundary key phrases and synonyms in the body text </li></ul><ul><li>Use bold and hypertext links </li></ul>
  60. 60. Write for readers (AND engines) <ul><li>Three main rules: </li></ul><ul><li>Write for your readers </li></ul><ul><li>Write on a specific subject </li></ul><ul><li>Write in a concise manner </li></ul><ul><li>... and search engines will be happy too! </li></ul>
  61. 61. Workshop
  62. 62. Tweet rewriting exercise Announcing LAS VEGAS and BERLIN as the venues for our biggest usability conference of the year http:// bit.ly / UsabilityWeek
  63. 63. Website analysis exercise <ul><li>www.toscanaholiday.com </li></ul>
  64. 64. Thank you for your attention! <ul><li>Links can be found here: </li></ul><ul><li>http://delicious.com/andrea.spila/proz-webinar </li></ul><ul><li>I can be found here: </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>