Website translation

Things to consider…

Every business is now expected to have a website, and majority, if not all, do have them. In recent years more and more businesses have started translating their websites and technical documents in order to attract wider audiences and to break into foreign markets. If you are considering translation of a website, what should you look out for?

We have recently posted a blog about language preferences of online buyers in Europe, if you’ve missed it, you can still read it here(‘Everybody Speaks English’).

The post was based on the survey suggesting that majority of European buyers shopping online prefer their native language even though they might know English very well. Therefore, translation of your website is crucial in order to attract interest from overseas markets.

The approach to website translation will differ depending on the business you’re in and the expected income generated from the overseas sales.

Option 1 – only translate the welcome page

The least expensive option from translation point of view is to create a welcome page for each market. On that page you can explain what your business does in the language of your audience and who is the contact person for that particular market within your organisation.

In this case the translation cost will be low because only one page needs to be translated, and your web developer should be able to set up your website to display the appropriate language version based on the IP address of the visitor.

The drawback of this option is of course the fact that the rest of the website will be in English, but at least the welcome page will be in the correct language and will hopefully entice the visitors to read on and get in touch.

Option 2 – translate the static content only

The second option is translation of the static content only and leaving all the dynamic content in English. Usually the static content includes information about the company, services, case studies, T&Cs and any legal disclaimers.

In many cases the static content encompasses the majority of the text on the website and often provides enough information for the visitor to make a decision on whether they’ve landed on the appropriate website.

The issue with this option is that you would be leaving all the news, comments and blog posts in English hoping that this would not affect the buyers’ decision.

Depending on the products and services you would be selling to foreign markets the static content translation might be a good option, and it is a balanced approach to get the maximum impact with a limited budget.

Option 3 – translate the entire website

The third option is translating of the entire website including all blog posts, news items and any other content you might have.

This will provide your visitors with all the information in their native language and will allow them to fully understand the benefits of working with your company.

This will also have a positive effect on the website’s SEO in the foreign markets as the foreign search phrases on your pages would be indexed with the local versions of Google and other search engines.

The drawback here is the cost.

Apart from the initial translation of the copy for the entire website, there will be ongoing translation requirements for the blog posts, news and other updates – you might want to consider translation on retainer for this.

Therefore, this option is best if you are really trying to make an impact on the target audience in foreign markets and are expecting sizeable sales from the overseas regions.

If you are considering reaching out to international audiences and need advice on translation approach, please do get in touch. We would love to help you out with breaking the language barriers.

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