How important is website translation for businesses? Research across 29 countries shows that 65% of people prefer online content in their own language, while 40% of people simply won’t buy in another language.
Translation makes your business’ website accessible to international users. But, the best website translations go beyond converting words; they bring out brand identity, draw in visitors from search engines, and make the website more engaging.
First impressions count. You’ve spent time and money building a brand that speaks to your audience. This brand identity filters through to customers and partners via your website, building loyalty. However, visitors can easily misunderstand key messages, calls-to-action, and product features if they’re in a foreign language.
For example, during the outbreak of COVID-19, 20% of people experienced increased brand loyalty towards a company that responded positively to the pandemic. But, can customers understand brand messaging from a company that doesn’t speak their language?
Around 68% of website traffic starts with a search engine. So, how do customers who speak a foreign language find your website? Translation combined with multilingual SEO can boost organic search results and increase visitor rates.
It’s important to get expert help with multilingual SEO, so you can include the right search terms, build your site map, optimize your webpages, and appear on the best search engines for your target country.
Website translation services change the text from one language to another. Website localization services go a step further by taking cultural factors into account, too. The aim is to have the same impact on your new audience, as though your website was made for them.
Experts might achieve this through small changes, like adding new units of measurement, or by overhauling an entire marketing campaign or website to make it culturally appropriate.
Website localization can have a huge impact. For example, Airbnb’s global thinking helped them grow their customer base of Chinese travelers by 700%…by adding one website feature. In 2015 they decided to accept login details from users through Weibo or WeChat accounts and watched their client base soar.
There are several different methods of website translation and localization. How you translate depends on what you’re translating and why. Below, we’ve outlined three common approaches, so you can decide which is the right fit for your project.
A translation proxy system (TPS) creates an extra layer on top of your website which displays a translation. It doesn’t add extra pages, instead, it acts as a mirror image of your main website and dynamically swaps languages as your visitors need.
Translations are created instantly using a translation memory, a database of already-translated texts which the system can analyze and use to create new translations on the go.
This approach works best on websites that don’t need large changes to layout and style. But, one drawback of using a TBS is that cultural references, idioms, and potentially inappropriate content may be directly translated into the new language.
When you manually translate, you order a translation from a provider, wait for completion, and then copy and paste it into your website.
Manual website translation services can work well for small-scale translations. However, this method leaves room for errors. Imagine copying and pasting texts in a language you don’t understand. Would you notice if you missed a word at the end of a sentence? Would it be obvious if the text wasn’t displaying properly on your website?
A translation connector acts as a link between the translator and your website. Translations are automatically imported from the translator’s system to your website’s content management system (CMS).
Because translations appear where you need them, you save time and avoid copy and paste errors. It’s also an excellent solution when ordering batch translations; you can easily maintain multiple languages for one page.
At Future Group, we specialize in website localization, translation, and transcreation. We meet our clients’ needs around the world using the latest translation technologies and quality assurance processes. We’re also ISO 17100 certified, meaning we work to the highest translation standards.
Do you have a website translation project? Talk to us about what you need.