Are you noticing more activity on your website coming from other countries? Maybe you’re ready to explore the exciting world of taking your business global for the first time. Either way, one of the first things you should consider is translating your website to meet the language needs of new international consumers.
If you do not have enough budget to dive in headfirst and translate all of your Web content right away, you can at least get your feet wet.
As you stand on the figurative ledge and look at the pages and pages of copy, graphics and videos billowing below, you may feel overwhelmed.
Yikes! Where do you start? How do you prioritize what to translate first? Most importantly—how can you get the most translation for your budget?
We’re here to sift through these questions to give you the confidence to take the proverbial plunge into website translation—catapulting your business to the next level.
Plummet into research
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for website translation. Every company’s website is as unique as its business. What’s most important for your organization to translate first may not be the case for another organization. To help you determine the prioritization of your content for translation, do some research.
Don’t jump in blindly. Scope out the waters and get answers to the following questions:
- Which Web pages have the highest traffic numbers?
- Which pages are the most public-facing and produce the most revenue for your company?
- Do you have an e-commerce store within your website? If so, what content here is most important for your global customers?
- Which products on your site bring in the most revenue?
- What countries are audiences coming to your website from?
The answers to these questions can tell you how customers use your website so you can pinpoint what content is best to tackle right away. Don’t tune it out. It’s important to get this information before you nosedive into unknown waters.
Dip your toes in with critical pieces
Teetering on the edge of website translation and armed with research, you need a strategic plan of action. But where do you start?
First and foremost, consider translating your entire website one language at a time. This can be a cost-effective solution and creates a good user experience for global customers from your targeted countries. Look at your Web traffic to see where a majority of your audiences are coming from and start with this language. Continue to add more languages as funds become available.
If the budget is not there to translate the entire site in a full language right away or you can’t justify starting with just one language, you may have to prioritize individual Web pages. We recommend that you translate as many critical pages as you can right away—these will be the pages that bring in the most revenue and see the highest traffic numbers.
If you have an e-commerce store, then this is the most logical place to begin when only translating a portion of your site since customers can order products directly from this section. Translating this content can have a huge impact because it increases consumer confidence when making online purchases—leading to skyrocketing sales and revenue for your business.
While completely translating your website is ideal, a partial translation effort can still be effective. Case in point: One of our clients found success in translating just the e-commerce section of their site. They noticed a surge in Web traffic from other parts of the world and recognized an opportunity to grow sales outside of their home country. Faced with a limited budget, they decided to translate just this portion of their website at first. While they want to eventually translate their entire website, this partial translation proved successful for them—increasing sales by 71 percent in the target country after translating into just the first language alone.
This high-level approach to website translation may not work for everyone. It really depends on what information customers need in order to make a buying decision. If you go this route, it’s a good idea to let international customers know that only part of your website is rendered in their language as it can create a very choppy user experience.
Another option for partial translation is to start with all core pages, but put off translating supporting content such as blog posts and downloads until a later date. This may make sense for graphics and videos, too, because they tend to be more expensive to translate compared to the actual Web copy.
Take the leap
Don’t wade into website translation alone. If you want a more thorough look at your business processes and to learn how to capitalize on new global ventures, Sajan can help you. With a localization assessment, we will look at your website and translation program as a whole, identify any missed opportunities and give objective recommendations to optimize your global strategy.
Check out this case study on how we helped one of our clients, a leading provider of semiconductor technologies, improve their translation program and gain an edge on competitors with a localization assessment that included a website evaluation and translation plan.
Still curious about localization assessments and how they can help your global business? Stay tuned! Next week we’ll cover the common issues we uncover through these assessments and recommendations to address them.
Do you have a partially translated website? How did you decide what to translate first? Drop us a line below!
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