Many people underestimate why technical writing is so important in eCommerce content writing. Many companies make the mistake of underplaying technical writing in their marketing efforts, thinking a writer needs to understand copywriting and engagement, and call it a day. But effective technical writing can boost conversion and engagement – and not just on technical documents, either. Technical writers and copywriters are often considered different people, offering different sides of content, but the fact is, an eCommerce business writer must have a strong grasp of both types of writing.
In this blog, we explore what’s the difference between technical writing and marketing writing, and how the combination of both can lead to high-quality content that gives both personality and visibility to your listing – all over the world. We also explore why it’s so important that a technical aspect takes place in your localization strategy. Read on – and find out if technical content can boost your content, both offline and online.
Did you know that the YLT Translations team can create both well-written technical content and localized marketing quality content that can boost visibility, conversion, and engagement in many different markets? Read about the localization triumvirate to understand why YLT contains the marketing and technical skills to boost your listings.
Why is Technical Writing Important in eCommerce?
Technical writing in eCommerce involves creating clear, concise, and accurate content for product descriptions, manuals, FAQs, and more. Unlike creative writing, its focus is on utility, aiding in decision-making and product usage.
Technical writing and marketing/content writing, though both pivotal in their respective domains, serve different purposes and require distinct skill sets.
Technical Writing: Technical writing focuses on simplifying complex ideas and products. It’s about helping users understand a product or service through clear, concise, and straightforward documentation. Technical writers create materials like user manuals, instruction manuals, white papers, user guides, technical reports, scientific papers, case studies, and reference guides. They act as translators between the technical language used by experts (like engineers) and the simpler language understood by the general public. This role requires stellar writing skills, deep familiarity with the subject matter, and the ability to interpret complex product features and specifications into content that is easily understandable.
In the past, any translation for technical writing was limited to an instruction manual, safety waiver, or technical manuals. Nowadays though, technical writing has started to edge into SEO. We all understand how crucial it is to curry the favor of Amazon’s algorithm; this is where technical writing skills come in handy. It’s not enough to write beautifully-worded product listings; both Google’s and Amazon’s search engines look at keywords. Furthermore, great technical writing can condense complex information into more digestible content, so even complex products appeal to your customers – whether you’re aiming for a B2B audience or straight to the consumer.
Marketing/Content Writing (Copywriting): In contrast, copywriting in marketing aims to sell products and services. It’s about capturing the reader’s attention, catering to their desires, and ultimately persuading them to make a purchase. Copywriters create a variety of materials, including articles, social media content, ad materials, slogans, email campaigns, and catalogs. Their work doesn’t necessarily focus on helping the user understand the product in depth; instead, it’s about creating an engaging narrative that resonates with the reader’s emotions and needs. Copywriters need to have a basic understanding of the product, strong research skills, engaging writing skills, and the ability to create content that aligns with the company’s branding and marketing goals.
In summary, technical writing is about clarity and understanding, focusing on the product’s technical aspects, while marketing writing (copywriting) is about engagement and persuasion, focusing on appealing to the customer’s emotions and desires. If you get both in one writer? You’re golden. You’d take a product, condense its info into palatable features and benefits, worded in such a way that customers can envision your product in their lives.
So, a good copywriter understands the algorithm (technical), marketing the product (copywriting), and how to express it in a way that will sell, convert, and engage (copywriting). Throw in effective translations, from a native speaker that understands your target audience (and is probably a potential customer themselves, because they’ll be able to market your product better that way), and you’ve got the key to effective localization.
Why Your Amazon Listings Need Effective Technical Writing
Amazon’s product pages are exemplary of technical writing’s power. Precise descriptions influence buyer decisions, making them feel informed and confident. Consider the Amazon Echo: its detailed yet accessible description helps demystify its technology, appealing to both tech-savvy and novice users alike.
If you’re selling relatively intuitive products on Amazon, then perhaps your technical writing requirement will be limited to SEO and translating any product manuals, but complicated products – think home security systems, electronics (including baby cameras), car dash cams, plumbing accessories, and the like – could benefit from informative content that’s made more digestible with the aid of a technical writer. In other words, anything that involves a spot of engineering. If explaining your product’s use is a lengthy process that’s more time-consuming than the standard elevator pitch, it might be advisable to employ the services of a technical writer.
In essence, technical writing is important because it condenses complex information into simpler, more digestible, consumer-friendly content. A technical writer doesn’t always need technical background; they’re just gifted in condensing technical information into friendlier terms.
Also, we mustn’t forget the role of a tech writer in SEO, which we’ll cover a little later.
Enhance Your eCommerce Business’ Customer Experience With a Technical Writer
Clear technical writing on Amazon leads to a deeper understanding of products. Comprehensive guides and FAQs reduce customer confusion, leading to fewer returns and heightened satisfaction. We’re talking about writing a user manual and understandable product descriptions.
We already know that a technical writer can turn your complex product info into more easily understandable content, so customers are more moved to purchase your product on Amazon. But how exactly does this benefit the customer?
Brand owners are often subject matter experts in the technical side of their products, so presenting the products in such a way that different audiences can resonate with features and benefits – well, that’s quite difficult for many passionate Amazon sellers. If you’ve had trouble condensing product info into conversational, engaging content, you’re not alone. This phenomenon is quite prevalent in eCommerce companies and the manufacturing industry.
But the trouble is, this kind of writing – extremely detailed, often quite technical, with more focus on a product’s abilities than how it can play a crucial role in a customer’s life – doesn’t resonate with different audiences. You need to present information in a clear and concise manner, that’s still accurate and culturally relevant, in order to build a relationship with your customer. That’s where a technical writer plays a vital role. They can turn your technical info into great content that’s easier to understand – and that converts customers much better. People aren’t going to buy a product they don’t understand.
Furthermore, negative reviews often result from product misuse. A technical writer can create manuals and reference guides that are easier for customers to follow, so you step in front of any complaints waiting to happen. They can also craft frequently asked questions for your product manual, to massage the customer experience.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again…in eCommerce, having a copywriter that’s skilled in technical writing, content writing, and Amazon is crucial. It’s unlikely you’ll hire a technical writer for the technical side and a content writer for the marketing side, so having them both in a single person – that’s the goal. Especially if the writer understands the algorithm well enough to craft a solid SEO strategy for your listings.
Now, if that person is a native speaker in the marketplaces you sell to, and can help localize your listings for the local flavor, you’re golden.
The Symbiotic Relationship Between Technical Content and SEO
Here we go – tech content and SEO. This is the important bit.
SEO, short for search engine optimization, involves enhancing a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimizing its technical aspects and content. In contrast, technical writing focuses on crafting precise, clear, and succinct documentation and other materials tailored for a specific audience and purpose.
Although these two professions may appear different at first, they actually have synergistic potential. An SEO expert possesses the know-how to develop content that is fine-tuned for search engines. Meanwhile, a technical writer is adept at producing clear and effective written content. Combine both and your listing is clear, concise, and appeals to the Amazon algorithm.
The integration of SEO & tech writing can lead to the development of potent and efficient content that both ranks well in search engines and serves the informational needs of the audience.
Amazon’s A9 algorithm isn’t the easiest one to understand. Nobody really knows what goes on behind the scenes. But a good technical writer with SEO experience can research some really awesome, relevant keywords to get you found by the customers. This is another main goal of technical writing – it’s not just condensing technical information into bite-sized, understandable pieces, although that’s important.
Put it this way. The tech writer will conduct keyword research so your keywords attract the attention of search engines like Google – and Amazon too, of course – and possibly even social media. The more ways you’re found by customers, the better. Then a content writer can turn the output from the tech writer into marketing language to boost engagement. Naturally, if you can hit both birds with one copywriter, all the better.
Have we told you yet how important it is to localize your keywords? Check out our blog on keyword localization and SEO – and how to do it properly!
Your Localization Strategy Needs Technical Writing Services Too
So, we’ve covered a few points about technical writing for Amazon:
- Technical content writing involves condensing complex info into more digestible info for consumers to understand better
- Content writing and copywriting involves infusing marketing and sales into content, in order to drive engagement and conversions
- SEO is crucial in order for your listing to be discovered
Also, we’ve said it once and we’ll say it a billion times more – having all 3 in one person is ideal for eCommerce.
Now, for your localization strategy. All of these three things need to be present in a writer for every single market you sell in. Do you sell in Germany? You need a technical writer, copywriting, and SEO, in a native German speaker, who understands the market. Do you sell in Japan? You’ll need a technical writer, copywriting, and SEO, in a native Japanese speaker, who understands the market. You get the message.
This enters a layer of intricacy when you’re dealing with a product that you have to localize for different markets. You’ll have to find a way to condense the information so it’s palatable for many different cultures. You could say that the rules that apply to localizing your content will hold fast in localizing your technical writing, too.
- Include a Don’t Translate List of jargon and technical terms, to avoid confusion across different languages
- Convert units and measurements to apply to each culture as necessary
- Include a glossary of terms if needed
- Include a photo of your product with the parts accurately labeled – the product insert is a good place to put this
- Provide a QR code to a location where customers can go in order to access more info on a complex product, eg. tips for use, warranty info, etc.
- Add idiomatic expressions; these don’t translate well across cultures
- Add text to images unless you’re prepared to have a graphic artist redo the text into every language (note that some European languages have a higher character count when translated, so this might make your infographic design a bit iffy)
- Use machines for technical writing, SEO, copywriting, or localization! The output just won’t be eloquent enough to convert a customer
- Forget to localize product packaging!
Challenges and Best Practices in Technical Writing for eCommerce
Technical writing for Amazon faces challenges like maintaining simplicity without sacrificing accuracy. Best practices include understanding the audience, using clear language, and focusing on the product’s benefits and features.
Here’s a handy list of tips:
For Technical Writing in eCommerce:
1. Understand and anticipate audience needs.
2. Use clear, concise, and simple language.
3. Organize content logically.
4. Use active voice.
5. Employ visuals and supporting imagery.
6. Follow style and formatting guidelines.
7. Edit and proofread thoroughly.
8. Learn from competitors.
9. Regularly revise and update content.
1. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and complex language.
2. Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
3. Minimize passive voice and complex structures.
4. Don’t assume audience’s prior knowledge.
5. Avoid vague or ambiguous language.
6. Pay attention to formatting, layout, and design.
7. Don’t rely solely on automated checks.
8. Avoid time-sensitive references.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
And here are some of the best practices you should follow:
- Thorough Planning: Ensure all necessary elements like style, audience, and scope are considered.
- Understand Audience Demographics: Tailor content to specific reader needs and backgrounds. Yes, that includes each country you sell in.
- Simplify Language: Enhances readability and understanding for a broad audience. This also involves removing any idiomatic expressions that don’t translate well into other languages.
- Write for Skimmers: Accommodates readers who prefer quick, efficient information consumption. Each country has a different style; Americans like more marketing-centric language, whereas Germans prefer more factual content.
- Use Appropriate Visuals: Aids in better understanding and engagement with the content. Localize your infographics, A+, and video content per country.
- Test Instructions: Ensures accuracy and clarity in guidance provided. It goes without saying that your product inserts and packaging should be translated accordingly.
- User-Centered Focus: Aligns content with user needs for better customer relationships. Yes, you should get to know your customer in each locale that you sell in.
- Learn Beyond Technical Writing: Keeps content relevant in evolving technological contexts. This involves staying on top of Amazon’s dynamic rules.
Conclusion: Technical Writing Skills are Part of eCommerce Content Writing – and Localization!
Technical writing is a key driver in Amazon’s eCommerce success, enhancing user experience, SEO, and global reach. As eCommerce evolves, the role of technical writing will continue to grow, making it an indispensable tool in the digital marketplace. If you can find a copywriter that’s skilled in the technical side of content – SEO, condensing technical info into bite-sized and digestible content – and who also understands how to market and sell your product, your listing will be golden.
Now, if you’re localizing your content to other markets, you’ll want a person who can do SEO, technical writing, and copywriting all in one. Thankfully, the team behind YLT Translations can do all of these. We can produce technical content to meet your demands – while selling your product in every location you sell in. So, whether you’re launching a new business in other countries as part of your plans for global expansion, or you’re looking to boost performance in the markets that you sell in, YLT Translations can help – with localization, technical writing, copywriting, and much more! Reach out, and see how we can be of service!
By the way, we can take the mystery out of expanding your product to global markets. Check out the Amazon Product Opportunity Report (AMOR) and see which countries will be most receptive to your product and brand.