How to Translate a Website in Five Easy Steps

How to Translate a Website in Five Easy Steps

How to Translate a Website in 5 Easy StepsTranslating your company’s website to reach your target audience in new countries is an important part of achieving the relevancy online audiences crave when looking for solutions to improve their businesses. In fact, a study by the Common Sense Advisory showed 56.2 percent of consumers thought the price of a product or service was less important than having access to information about it in their own language. By catering to this need with your website, you can significantly expand your company’s business and yearly revenues. The following details how to translate a website in five easy-to-manage steps:

1. Determine Which Languages Matter Most

The very first thing you need to do when planning a website translation project is figure out which language or languages you want to go after first. You might be following business connections you have in different parts of the world, but you can also boost your decisions by figuring out what your rough return on investment (ROI) would be if you expanded your website into a certain language.Online reach & spending power for an English and Japanese website

In this example, a company that originally just served the English-speaking market and expanded into Japan would boost its online reach by only one country and 101 million people. However, the potential online spending power would balloon.

2. Determine the Content You Want to Display for Each Language and Country

It’s important to realize that not every single page or blog post needs to be translated from your original language into your target language. The key is to ensure your users can have an absolutely seamless experience in their own language from the instant they land on your web page. For the most functionality for your money, you should probably start with your main menu’s navigation. You want to properly map out possible interaction streams so they don’t click on a link and end up on a page displaying a bunch of gibberish they can’t understand.

3. Identify Reviewers to Ensure Localized Messages and Images Are Appropriate

To start, find out who your bilingual employees are and whether you have business partners who have operations set up in your target areas. Get a list together of who can work with you as a reviewer or adviser for your website as it is translated into the new target language.

If possible, aim to find someone who has a cultural background with your target locations. They may not have the back knowledge of how to translate a website, but they can tell you whether a phrase sounds funny or could be easily misinterpreted by locals.

Beyond correcting grammar, they can also point you away from images that could be unintentionally off-putting in other markets. An innocent stock photo with a thumbs-up or crossed fingers could spell the end to your business in a certain region if you aren’t careful. Just keep in mind, you don’t want to overburden existing employees with this responsibility, particularly if it doesn’t fit their job description.

4. Select Your Translation Software

Today’s translation software goes above and beyond the old error-riddled Google Translate. There are now smarter options available that can record your company’s unique preferences and wording patterns. This kind of software can also handle complex workflows that are common for enterprise environments.

Further, once you implement your translation software, your deployment into more countries and target languages will be far more scalable than using a more traditional, manual translation process. By taking the software route, you can save time and speed up the process of launching into more countries.

5. Translate the Content and Launch

Once you have your target language reviewers and translation software implemented, get the content translated and have your reviewers examine the content and make recommendations for the translators that can be logged centrally in your translation style guide and glossary. This will ensure faster and more efficient future translations. Then, take your newly translated pages live so you can launch your global marketing campaigns and build your business even further.

Rather than overloading yourself with a ton of work all at once, take the translation process one step at a time. To get started, learn more about which new target languages could offer you the best ROI for your website translation project.

Image sources: Bigstock, Smartling

50 Shades of Translation


About Chelsea Baldwin

Chelsea Baldwin is a professional business writer and online marketing consultant who specializes in helping business grow their brands and optimize their sales funnels with effective content. She used to hold a corporate position in international marketing, but gave it up to work more closely with companies while traveling the world.


17 Website Translation Traps to...

While you diligently plot your path to global growth in the coming year, enemies near and far are already conspiring...
Continue reading

3 Ways Adding Languages Will...

The simultaneous sense of joy and relief that comes from launching your first localized website tends to paper over any...
Continue reading

Smartling Customers Share Their Best...

The path to major progress is paved with minor improvements, and you never know which subtle change will ultimately win...
Continue reading