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Website Translation Tips Any Business Should Follow

Jan 14, 2019 by

The website is the business card of your company in the online world and hence it shall be designed in such a way, as to draw and keep the attention of potential customers and partners. Each business, regardless of its size, can only benefit from a well-functioning website that brings a lot of traffic and helps generate revenue.

We are all aware how important SEO optimization is so that your business can rank on one of the first positions in search engines. A study by SearchEngineWatch revealed that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results on Google. In order to get such good ranks, the content of your website plays a significant role. It is important to invest time and efforts to prepare all written information in a way that will be appealing both to your target audience and to search engines.

In case your business is growing abroad or is located in a region where the population speaks more than one language, it is a good idea to have your website translated. Note that this is an important project and you need to complete it with all due diligence so that it triggers positive results for you. There are a few tips that you should follow in order to make your website translation a success.

Choose the right translation partner

There are several options that you can use for your website translation: machine translation, non-professional translation, and expert translation. Each of them has its pros and cons and you need to decide, which one works for you.

  • Machine translation is usually much cheaper and readily available option. The quality of the translation, however, is often not that good. Machine translation provided by established language service providers is usually much better and can be a good option for a start. It also depends on the language combination as for some more popular languages, it works much better. Still, it is highly recommended to use machine translation for limited projects such as data collection, communication between company members, online help or multilanguage chat with customers. When it comes to the overall translation of your main pages and blog posts, you need a professional translator who will be able to translate and localize the content properly.
  • Non-professional translation is a service provided by people who speak a given foreign language but are not professional in the field of translation. Asking an employee or partner to translate your business website is never a good idea. It won’t save you time and money in the long run and even may lead to some adverse effects on your customers as a result of the incorrect translation. Stick to this option only for less important translations and just as a last resort.
  • Expert translation services are provided by people who are trained and experienced in the field of translation. You can choose to work with a company or freelance translators. If you have chosen to translate your website in several languages, it is a better idea to choose a company that can provide translation in all of them as thus the overall project will be easier to manage.

Select the language/s that best serve your business

There is no need to translate your website in too many languages. You need to select only those that your potential customers speak. If your business is located in a Spanish-speaking region, for example, Spanish should be your first choice. If you are expanding your services to Germany then German is the new language to add. You can start by translating your website into one foreign language and then add another when you feel the necessity. If you choose to add two or more languages at once, make sure that all the pages will be properly localized for the target audience.

Decide on the layout

Website layout is one of the main features that attracts or repels potential customers. Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate through. When choosing to add a language, you have two options for the overall layout:

  • A multi-language site, which contains several language options is one of the popular versions. In this case, a visitor sees the possible languages in which your website is available, usually in the upper right corner) and selects the one they prefer. If users are searching for your business with the ending .de, they will get results with the German page of your site. A multi-language site is easier to manage but it also means posting all new content in all of the languages simultaneously so that the information available is coherent for all users.
  • A multi-site actually means having separate sites for each of the languages you have chosen. You need to purchase a local domain so that your site gets better rankings in local search. Thus, for the UK you will have a .co.uk site, for Germany a .co.de site. The benefits are that your local sites will rank better in local searches and appeal directly to the potential users of this country/region. The drawback is the increased cost. You need to purchase and maintain several domains and still make sure that all your content is properly translated and relevant for the location.

Make your language options visible

No matter whether you will embark on the multi-site or multi-language website option, you need to make your language options visible. Visitors of the site should be able to easily spot the languages they can choose from.

A good idea is for your site to remember the user language preferences. Thus, when a user opens your site, they will get it in the preferred language every time.

Making your website translation a success is fairly easy and depends on the right choices you need to take. Regardless of the size of your business, you need to allocate sufficient budget for maintaining and optimizing your site, so that you can get higher traffic and respectively keep your customers in the know about the product/services you offer.

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