Now that the Google Translate widget for websites is deprecated, many companies and organizations with limited budgets are left wondering how to provide a translated version of their website a limited budget.
Having a limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t connect to your non-English speaking customers. You want to create a link between your company and your customers no matter what language they speak. Since you may only get one chance, do you want to risk providing no content in their language, or even worse, content full of errors caused by low-quality machine translation?
Here are three strategies for stretching your website translation budget.
1. Alternatives to machine translation
Most organizations will default to machine translation thinking that is their only choice based on a limited budget. If your primary concern is saving money, you should consider an alternate approach. You do not have to sacrifice quality just because you have a smaller amount to invest. Most translation workflows will include 2 to 3 passes of translation carried out by at least two linguists. This type of workflow is the most typical in the industry and is the recommended approach. A “translation only” workflow utilizes one linguist who proofreads their work at the completion of the translation. This will yield more accuracy than machine translation and will cost less than the typical Translation, Editing, and Proofreading workflow (known as TEP in our industry).
2. CMS Connectors
A big reason that customers chose the Google Translate Widget for their site was the sheer convenience and ease of use in publishing a multilingual website especially when quality wasn’t the most critical factor in their decision. Many of the popular translation management systems provide CMS connectors (WordPress for example). A CMS connector links your website or content management system directly to your translation company. This service allows for the simple transfer of your web content straight to your translation provider and the final translation can be routed directly to your live site.
Adding new content and modifying existing content are easily managed. The connector will keep track of the status of your content and identify what items need to be updated or translated in each language on your site. Any previously translated material is reused from the previous release. The reused content is discounted and also reduces the time required to handle your updates. Storing the translations is a huge advantage if you ever need to re-theme or reorganize the content on your site.
3. Optimize the scope of your project
One of the most significant decisions in translating your website is what content to include. An excellent place to start is with your most popular pages. The data from Google Analytics will define your highest value pages or pages that are visited most often. All too often, companies will determine the scope of their translation project with the entire website. Something to keep in mind when setting the scope is that any content you translate will also need to be updated. Any changes made to the content will also need a translation. This approach may not be the best use of your translation dollars.
A better place to start is with no pages in your scope, and then you can add in your popular pages, relevant blog posts, and related news stories.
Here is a brief list of content types to consider carefully before defining the scope of the translation.
Consider only translating posts that are most pertinent to the country for the specific language as well as more recent posts. A blog post about 4th of July recipes wouldn’t make sense outside of the United States.
Not all news stories will add value to your target audience. A press release detailing a new sales office in Chicago may not be relevant to your audience in Italy.
Product and service pages
If your website contains a large number of product or service pages, please be sure and only include the content related to products sold in the target country.
A solid strategy using the appropriate level of service will help you create high-quality translations for your website while preserving your valuable budget dollars.