Updating a website to be compatible with different languages can take time and money, but it’s worth it for companies who want to reach more potential customers. When you are faced with the task of translating a website, several steps should be taken before actually getting to work.
First, it’s important to keep in mind that different languages have different nuances and expressions which might not translate well from English to your target language. Website translations require very specific skill sets that can only be learned through years of experience and training.
If you have no experience in these areas yourself but need professional help translating your website content into another language, we recommend contacting an experienced company such as https://www.architekst.com/translation-services/website. If you follow our 7 steps below on how to translate a website into different languages successfully, you’ll save yourself time and trouble.
Do a Content Audit
If you don’t have time to do a complete content audit of your website, at least take some time to look at your site’s main pages and see if they are in fact the most important ones. Oftentimes, content is added over time and not all of it is relevant anymore. Or sometimes there is too much information on a page that makes it hard to navigate.
A content audit is a series of tests you can run on key pages of your site to see how people interact with them. Try looking at your site from a visitor’s perspective and ask yourself the following:
- Is the information clear?
- Is it easy to use?
- Does it give them what they’re looking for?
Ask Users What Information They Want
One way to determine what information visitors need is to ask them directly. Conduct a survey or poll asking questions about their experience with your site and find out what they like and dislike. This will help you determine which parts of your site need to be updated. If you are looking for specific feedback on how to translate a website, you can conduct a survey using Google Forms. You could also use a third party service like SurveyMonkey to make a more professional-looking survey for you.
Find a Translator or Localize Your Website Yourself
Depending on the size of your website, finding a professional translator or localization expert might be difficult. If this is the case, you may be better off trying to localize the website yourself using free online tools. Localization essentially means converting your website into another language while keeping its content and design intact. However, you should keep in mind that this can be time-consuming and isn’t recommended for large websites.
If you want to take it a step further, you could hire someone locally to translate your website into another language for you. This way you can still maintain control over the final product while having more personal contact with your translator or localization team. We recommend using a freelancer platform like Upwork or Fiverr if you need to hire someone for this purpose. Freelancers usually charge by the hour, so you won’t end up paying too much if you only need someone for a few hours. It’s also an opportunity for you to get to know your translator before you pay them any money! Of course, if you’re not on a tight budget, then hiring a professional translation agency is always the best option.
Make Sure All Content Can Be Maintained After Translation
You might think that once the translation is finished, you’re done! But that’s not quite true. The text needs to be checked after translation to make sure it matches the design of the website perfectly and makes sense in the target language. Your translated website should always be as high-quality as the original one. Using an untrained translator for the job will inevitably lead to mistakes that can confuse visitors and hurt your brand image.
Write Quality Copy in Your Target Language
The quality of the copy on your new translated website is just as important as in the original version. Websites are often designed with images and other multimedia elements and these things cannot be translated automatically by software. It’s best to work with a professional copywriter who has experience translating websites into different languages. A good copywriter should be able to adapt the content to fit well with the overall style of your website and target customer group. They should also add necessary cultural elements that make the website more user-friendly and attractive in your target market country.
Test Your Translated Website Before You Launch
After all the hard work that goes into translating a website, it’s important to test it thoroughly before publishing it on the web. There is nothing worse than launching a new website only to discover that there are errors in it which will confuse or frustrate visitors. If you notice any mistakes, simply go back into your content management software and fix them yourself!
Set Up Metadata in Your New Language
When you set up the metadata of your website (such as keywords and meta descriptions) in foreign languages, search engines can more easily find your site in their native language search results, which will drive more traffic to your website. You should optimize this information for each language in which your target audience speaks and set different keywords for each language in order for search engines to understand which language is being searched for when someone searches for something using foreign words online.
It’s quite costly to update your website to be compatible with many different languages, but investing in this endeavor is worth it once you consider how many potential customers you’ll be able to reach. Translating a website is a complex process, one that requires multiple steps to get right.
Hopefully, this article will help you localize your website in a wide variety of languages, helping you unlock new markets and develop relationships in places you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Hiring professional translators is always the best way to get the job done, but keep in mind that there are also other tools and processes you can resort to. Good luck!