Taking your site to a global audience is an important step in scaling your business. To increase market penetration, the goal of website translation is to reach your site visitors in their own language and cultural preferences. Your content needs to be tailored to your customers, while retaining your company’s message and branding.
We’ve put together three main tips to help you prepare your site for a global audience.
Three Tips for Content Translation
Here are three main tips to help you translate your site’s content to reach your target audiences in their own language and culture:
1. The Design: your website should look as good as it is in its original language. That’s not as easy as it sounds when you consider the languages the site needs to accommodate. When considering the design, you’ll need to keep these design elements in mind:
· Text direction: some languages are written from right to left, while others are written from left to right. Be sure to keep this in mind. It may be necessary to leave more space to accommodate languages that go in the opposite direction of your site’s original language.
· Language line length: this is another design element that can change, depending on the language. Different languages use different amounts of space both vertically and horizontally. Your site pages must accommodate these differences.
· Images: need to be culturally correct for each country and region you plan to reach.
2. The Language: choose your languages according to markets where you want to be active. This will involve some research. Here are some questions that can help you decide on which markets to target:
· Is there a market for our products in this country?
· Does our product violate any cultural taboos in this country or region?
· Which countries do site visitors originate? (Here, using an analytic tool, such as Google Analytics, can help you discover which countries site visitors are coming from.)
After analyzing where your site visitors are coming from, choose those countries that have the most visitors to your site. But also keep in mind the other questions when considering a new market. Then you’ll be able to go through the content translation process.
3. The Audience: the target audience should perceive the website as a local website. All the content must be translated correctly. This is important. The goal of translating content is to make your target audience feel as if the site is made purposely for them. This not only means correct translation, but also ensuring the site is culturally correct for your audience.
Content translating your site content involves more than just literal translation. You want your target audience to feel comfortable and feel as if the site was created especially for them. This means ensuring the design is the same as the original language, while meeting the specific needs of the culture and the language of your target audience.