Are you thinking about translating your website for different markets? Be sure to address the most important areas in the preparation stage.
Remember, there’s no “one size fits all” method. The perfect solution really depends on your company goals, the architecture of your website, your content management system setup, and other factors.
- Decide whether testing is appropriate
Is your website internationalization-ready? Testing might make sense if this is a concern. There are a few different types of testing, such as internationalization readiness testing, localization testing and in-context review. You can get more information on these by checking out this article.
- Figure out how much of your website should be translated
Research which areas of your website need to be translated and rank them by priority. Which of your product pages get the most Web traffic? In which countries or regions? Do you have public-facing pages that absolutely must be translated because they directly affect revenue, such as request a quote pages?
Tip: For each target language, translate as many critical pages as you can.
- Select your path for website translation
- Traditional website translation is fully customizable. It involves internationalization sufficiency testing and lets you keep ownership of the hosting and publishing of your Web content. Go down this path if you require transcreation or if you need to be involved in the website localization process.
- Website translation proxy technology is also customizable, but tech-driven. It’s great for companies that prize speed and hands-off delivery. Quality is assured because linguists do the translating, not machines, and there’s also a quality assurance process in place. The technology creates a mirror of your website and displays it in your target languages. It makes sense if you’ve got a lot of Web updates happening all the time.
Not sure which path is the right one? Check out this article for more info: “Translation proxy technology and traditional website translation: Understanding your options.”
- Do your due diligence on layout and graphics
Not all graphics make sense to use for all markets. For example, if there’s a picture of an infant on a can of baby food, it’s not likely to go over real well in a market where people assume the pictures represent the product’s contents!
Similarly, your website’s layout should reflect your audience’s preferences. Not all audiences read a website from left to right. Because the Arabic language is read right to left, it’s a good idea to adjust your layout to accommodate Arabic-speaking Algerian Web users, for instance.
- Make sure your site is personalized and responsive
Did your website get penalized during Mobilegeddon? Google recently penalized websites that aren’t mobile-friendly by hitting them where it hurts: their SEO rankings.
Keep in mind that user experience matters for every single audience—and it serves your interests as well to consider how easy your site is to navigate for mobile users. Have a look at these stats:
- Mobile Web adoption is growing eight times faster than Web adoption did in the ‘90s and ‘00s (Nielsen).
- 91 percent or so of the population owns a smartphone (PewInternet.org).
- Not having a mobile-optimized website is like closing your store one day each week (Google).
You can see why it’s vital to make sure mobile device users can easily surf your site. Be responsive, be personalized, be findable.
- Think about a localization assessment if you have more questions than answers
It’s not easy to take stock of your global website needs internally, let alone knowing how to proceed. You may want to have a localization assessment performed by a language services company. You’ll get the lowdown on your current state and learn the best way to take your global website to new markets.
What questions do you have about website translation? Are you just beginning to take your website into new markets, or are you increasing the number of target languages your website is in? Please share your experiences.
Are you a global marketing pro? Take this survey on website translation.