If you’re thinking about translating your website, know that it’s a beneficial process for any company aspiring to have a global presence—so you’re on the right path!
Translating your website is not only a great strategy to reach international audiences, but it can also boost your search result ranking and overall SEO, increase consumer confidence in your product, and drive revenue. Remember, while English is the most common language online, 75% of internet users speak other languages, such as Chinese and Spanish.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at 8 common website translation mistakes businesses are making and how you can avoid them.
#1 Translating Everything on Your Site
One of the most common mistakes people make when translating their site is translating everything. If you’re scratching your head and thinking “isn’t that the point?”, remember that translating your entire site is a slow and involved process, and actually isn’t always necessary.
Before shelling out the big bucks to translate your site in its entirety, focus on content that is important for your target markets and only translate those sections.
#2 Not Considering Your Audience
Before jumping into translating your site, there should always be a strategy phase that comes first. It’s at this point that you need to establish a few things, most importantly, who your target audience is and modifying the information accordingly. While starting with just the language is a great jumping off point, you also want to consider things like color schemes and design—cultural differences that can help your strategy be more effective (or less effective if done incorrectly).
#3 Not Considering How to Handle Responses
When translating your site, you also want to ensure that you’re properly handling responses on things like online chat, forms, toll-free numbers, and lead generations. Are you prepared to handle these in multiple languages?
You also want to consider time zones and adjust your company hours so that it can also meet audiences in countries with different time zones, if possible.
#4 Not Getting Input from Users in Target Markets
Nothing is more frustrating than visiting a website in your language just to find out that some or all of their products are not available to you, or that content is inaccurate. Simply translating a website to another language isn’t enough. User feedback from across your target audiences is essential in ensuring the content on your website is accurate and complete.
#5 Not Considering Local Domains
You also want to think about registering your website for a country-specific domain. Sure, .com is ubiquitous, trusted, and a domain everyone knows, but it’s not always the best choice. If you’re translating your website to Japanese, for example, you might want to consider registering a country-level domain like www.examplewebsite.jp. The .jp here is the country code top-level domain for Japan.
If your business is operating in multiple countries, it’s a good idea to localise and serve up a site with their own specific domain. This can help your global strategy and allow users in other countries feel your business’s presence where they are. You want customers who visit your site to feel that you are located near them, which is important and will establish trust.
#6 Ignoring Web Routing by Region
Another consideration when translating your website is how you plan on routing your web traffic. If you have visitors to your site from another country, it’s best to automatically route them to the appropriate version of the site depending on their location. Routing your users to the correct version of your website will allow them to see not only their native language, but also the correct and relevant content.
#7 Not Planning for International SEO
Every business that has an online presence must consider incorporating an international SEO strategy to truly flourish in a global marketplace. Aside from simply translating the content on your site to other languages, you want to consider other SEO best practices, such as incorporating important SEO keywords and creating content that will better optimize your website.
Instead of blindly translating your content word-for-word, a better, more efficient approach would be to consider the user’s perspective and find the right keywords and phrases they are likely to use to find your page.
#8 Improper Planning of Translation Process
While translating content to another language might seem like a simple, straightforward process, there’s actually a lot to it to get things right in reaching your target audiences. Not only do you need a literal translation of content, but you want to incorporate an SEO strategy for every region, modify your content and design according to cultural differences, get user feedback and conduct testing depending on region, and so much more.
When it comes to translating your website, always use a professional translation service to get the work done and turn a complex planning process into a seamless one that will benefit your company and your customers.
Nick joined the team in 2017 to spearhead Argo’s expanding marketing initiatives. He graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a BA in political science and a minor in global studies. Previously, he worked as a digital strategist for innovative marketing agencies in Chicago and as a political consultant for domestic and international clients in Washington, DC.