When customers translate websites, translators are commissioned to replicate the same content in other languages, creating a mirror image of the source language website. While this guarantees that your website will be accessible to the global market, it can cost your business a considerable amount of money. Here are some approaches to save money on website translation and localization:
Quality over Quantity
While it is true that we are headed toward a more global economy, it is important to realize that, for some businesses, local and national markets may still generate the majority of their revenue. This is especially true of institutions that must be accessed in person like museums, restaurants, and universities. Therefore, the most important thing to keep in mind before commissioning translation is to know how much to translate.
Certain aspects of your business must be translated no matter what, such as the location, hours of operation, your mission statement and the types of services provided by your company. But you may not need to translate archived text, older press releases, and the like.
Make It Specific to Your Audience
If an event is scheduled or there is an aspect of your business that is particularly relevant to a specific audience, showcase it on the website meant for that country or region.
Also, do not assume that customers will make an effort to find directions to your business. All too often, directions are written for those already within the vicinity of a business. Clearly describe ways to get to and from your business by public transportation, major airports, highways, and cities. It is also helpful to list a number of attractions or other businesses nearby, making the trip to reach your establishment worth their time.
Different Website Conventions for Different Cultures
Content is just one piece of the puzzle. The layout of a website is just as important in showing your audience what your business is capable of, and that yours is a professional business that understands its consumer base. In the United States, web design is becoming slicker and more simplistic, often optimized for touch screen computers. This is not the case everywhere else in the world. For instance, Japanese website design (and advertising in general) typically prefers relatively cluttered pages, text-heavy content, and lots of frames and hyperlinks. While this sort of rearrangement might not be necessary for a small business’ international website, this is a useful localization tip to keep in mind if your consumer base is large enough abroad, and you are trying to make a stronger presence in a foreign market.