5 Tips for a Successful Website Translation
You want to introduce your business to a new market and want to have your website localized into one or more local languages. Here are a few tips to help you do this job right.
1: Know the difference between “translation” and “localization”
Translation services apply to the literal “word for word”; translation is used when it's important for the source and target-language text to match up exactly. Localization services are a more involved process whereby the target language is adapted to effectively line up with the culture.
The words on a website provide the most direct mode of communication with visitors to the site; they are the best way to connect with potential customers. On a basic level, the language of the website has to be the language its visitors speak. On a more advanced level, a good translation will use colloquial language that visitors will understand and identify with.
2: Maintain consistency
The name or a product or a service should always be translated the using the same word, especially when it has several versions in the target language. This helps the website user to avoid confusion as they browse your products/services. This can be easily done by making use of CAT tools (computer-aided translation tools) which translation service providers use to streamline their translation & localization projects and maintain accuracy and consistency.
3: Consider cultural sensitivity
The last thing you need is to offend your potential customers with a poor choice of language, even if the meaning is widely acceptable in your native language/culture. You need the help of a local translator who is completely familiar with the local culture and who will be able to deviate from the original text whenever it is necessary to avoid confusion or culturally-inappropriate language.
4: Local SEO
Without an SEO campaign, few websites reach their full potential. If it is worth investing in a localized website to reach a target audience, then it is also worth promoting that website through multilingual SEO. Each localized website should have its own SEO campaign. This will help rank the site in search engine results pages (SERPS), while also helping search engines identify the site’s target audience. These SEO efforts may need to be tailored to a search engine other than Google, if the target audience primarily uses a different search engine.
5: Local Social Media
Social media is, first and foremost, social. Therefore, it differs from culture to culture. In the U.S., Facebook dominates social media, and other outlets, such as Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn, are also commonly used. In other countries, other social media outlets will dominate the scene. Localizing social media for a targeted website will create a natural way for people to share the site with their family and friends. Depending on the nature of the localized site, this may simply involve putting different sharing icons on the site, or it could require creating pages and campaigns directly on the various social media platforms.