Website translation is the process of adapting a website’s content from its original language into other languages, and is a great tool for companies that want to make their business visible internationally.
According to CSA research, 65% of site users prefer to navigate a website in their native language, even if the content is poor quality. Likewise, 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language.
In this post, we will go over the process of how translate a website and outline its main benefits.
Preparing your Website for Translation
Before getting started with the translation of your website, it’s essential to consider some factors:
Which target languages do you want to offer?
In order to make a selection of languages into which to translate your site, you first need to know where you want to sell your products or services. To a large extent, your target languages are defined by your target markets. For instance, if you want to sell in Latin America, you should probably translate your site into Spanish. If instead, your market is Switzerland you should consider translating into French, German, and Italian which are the country’s three national languages.
Should all pages be translated into all languages?
An average website typically contains 4–10 pages, but some corporate sites may have more than 30 or even 50 pages. Some pages on your website are more valuable than others when it comes to presenting your company in foreign markets. If your company sells products, then translating the product pages will be vital, while if you offer services, the pages that detail your value proposition should be your priority.
If you are on a tight budget, leave your blog content for another time, and focus on translating those core business pages that will yield the most return on investment in the short run.
Is there text embedded in images, videos, or files?
Multimedia content on websites usually contains text that needs also to be adapted to the linguistic and cultural context of the target market.
The simplest case is that of images or banners on your website. In this case you will have to extract the text, translate it and ask your graphic designer to create new images with the texts in the target language.
If it’s a video instead, the original audio needs to be extracted and replaced with another audio file in the target language. The video may have subtitles and voiceovers in the native language as well.
Know Your Content Management System
Does your content management system include language management features?
A content management system is key to website translation because it’s the software that enables companies to create, collaborate on, edit, publish, and store digital content. Make sure that your content management system includes language management features that allow you to manage content in multiple languages.
Does it offer options for exporting and reimporting translated files?
Does your content management system allow exporting content in XLIFF format? This is the standard format required by translation agencies to localize your content. Once the translation is done, you should be able to re-import the XLIFF files without having to manually update each page.
Plan the Process With Your Translation Agency
Going Through The Pros And Cons Of All Possible Solutions
After deciding on the initial factors to consider and preparing your website for translation, the next step is to partner with a specialized translation agency and introduce the blueprint with its objectives to them. While at this, ensure you go through the benefits and downsides of every feasible solution.
Who Takes Charge? Your Marketing Team? Will You Outsource Everything?
This is another crucial decision stage for the company. Decisions will be made concerning who runs the website translation project. Some companies may hand this over to their marketing team, while others may entrust this responsibility to the translation agency they’re outsourcing the project to.
After Choosing A Partner, Have A Chat About The Translation Process
This is the stage where the company and its chosen overseer of the website localization project keep in touch throughout the translation process to ensure the project is going as planned.
Benefits Of Translating A Website
Better SEO Performance
Website translation pays dividends on Google SERPs. Search engines try to generate localized results, so having your website in multiple languages improves its international SEO rankings. The more translated versions of a website your company has, the more unique website URLs it will have, and the more likely it will rank well during a Google search for services and products it offers in the markets in which it has a presence in.
Global Brand Expansion
You can’t be truly regarded as a global business unless you communicate to audiences across different markets in their native language. Having your website translated will help you connect and engage with consumers the same way local businesses do.
Create Sales Opportunities
The more languages a company can translate its website into, the more markets it can reach and the more exposure the brand will have. All these make up the perfect recipe for increased sales opportunities. In summary, website translation helps a company sell more and make more revenue.