You’ve finally decided to tackle the issue of your website only being in one language. But how do you translate a web page or your entire website?
Firstly, congratulations! Odds are, you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to your competitors. English is losing its status as the universal language of the internet, and according to research about online purchasing behaviour carried out by Common Sense Advisory in 2014, 75% of respondents want product information in their native language.
How do you translate a web page?
It all depends what’s on the page. Most web pages should be content heavy to engage the audience with a great call-to-action at the bottom of it – depending on your service or product.
The first thing you start with is the copy on the page which would be a good job for a transcreation service. Transcreation is a more creative translation that packs the punch of the original message in its target language.
Layouts may need changing too. If the language is a right-to-left, then the entire layout will need changing on the site. If it’s something like Mongolian which is typically written vertically, the page layout will need a full overhaul and can complicate matters further.
Images can also need localisation. If you have images with text then it will be likely that you need the source file to transcreate the language within the images, but it goes further than that. Some images don’t have the same meaning in different countries and could be inappropriate.
If there is coding on the page, you may require a technical expert to work on the development side.
Videos are the new rich content that is starting to become more frequent as part of a company’s marketing strategy. There are two different ways to approach this: voiceovers and subtitling. Voiceovers can also include dubbing if you want to the script synced to the lips of those on screen. Subtitles are the most cost-effective solution which gives the user the choice of all the languages. In addition to this, there is a huge SEO bonus by choosing subtitles.
Speaking of SEO, multilingual SEO is an additional service that is available as an option as a client. This requires keyword research and optimising of all the meta-tags, alt-text of images and the ilk. Multilingual SEO is another service but a service that is best suited to a full website translation.
How do you translate a website?
Well, it’s all of the things above and a little more. Instead of for one page, depending on your priorities, it can be all your pages and blog posts, keeping your site content-rich for search engines. In addition to this, a full website test can be done to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
What you should definitely not do when translating your website is use a free search engine tool like Google. Google Translate is not only a flawed system for translation, it is indeed against Google Webmaster Guidelines which can incur penalties or reduce your site’s overall search engine ranking.
As you can see, there are several steps to website translation and it may look daunting, but a professional language service provider will know how to do this quickly and efficiently. Website translations are necessary to communicate with your users in a clear manner.
Can you afford to lose that amount of potential clients?