One week into the New Year, now is the time to plan and organise ahead for the next 12 months. If international growth and overseas expansion is on your radar for 2015, there are several things that your business needs to consider. Website translation being one of them.
Your company’s website is very often the first point of connection that people have with your brand and beyond language and grammar there are 4 crucial steps to successful website translation.
1. Choose what to translate
Translating everything is not always the most cost efficient approach. Sometimes it’s also not the right approach at all. There are two things that you need to consider here. Firstly, would all on-site content be relevant to your new target market. Secondly, translating certain key pages and not everything that’s on the site. Having a clear scope is essential here and knowing your overseas audience is crucial.
2. Determine target languages and markets
Choosing who to target and what to translate can be daunting at times. At this stage looking at site analytics can paint the bigger picture. Analyse what are the most visited site pages, how many sessions are generated from overseas visitors and how they interact with your brand online. Apart from translating, marketing materials should also be localised and, very often, transcreated.
3. Don’t forget the culture
It’s not just all about speaking your target audience’s language. It’s people who will be buying your products and services and by tailoring site content and marketing messages, you can reach them on an emotional level. This way you will create trust and loyal brand following, which ultimately results in business growth.
4. Technical considerations
Getting into a new market with a translated website is only the beginning. What follows next is multilingual SEO which will make your site easier to find by the foreign audience. Including “hreflang” tag which will tell search engines which languages you target and will help with content that is duplicated in multiple languages. Using appropriate canonical URLs are essential for e-commerce sites that target multiple languages with multiple product pages in the same language. Responsive site design and user experience also play a vital role when it comes to rankings and should not be ignored.
Kicking off your international marketing in 2015 starts with a translated website. Even if it sounds like a long process, it doesn’t have to be.