Imagine that you’re in a crowded street in a big city.
There are shops at both sides of the street and thousands of people passing by.
Some of them stop to have a glance at shop windows. Some of them are too busy with their phones to pay attention to them. And some of them actually get to a shop to buy something.
There are people from different countries and cultures and you can hear people talking in different languages all around you.
Does it sound familiar?
Well, that’s what Internet is like, people browsing for something in the crowded online world. Some of them will land on your website to have a glance at it, some of them will actually buy from you, but some people won’t even notice your website.
Probably because your website isn’t optimised for them.
This sentence is especially relevant for the online world.
Probably people visiting you website can understand the content on it. But how many people with a different native language are visiting your website?
No matter if you’re going for a multilingual or a multiregional website, if you want to reach their hearts, you need to speak their languages and cultures. And that’s how you’ll close a sale with your international audience. The content of your website is essential to close a deal.
But I’m not going to lie to you. Translating a website is a complex and expensive process. Even more expensive if done incorrectly, as you won’t get the results that you expect.
But you can plan the translation of your website so that it can be as profitable as possible. Do you want to know how? Stay with me!
How to plan the translation of a website to target an international audience
Behind the translation of a website there must be a goal:
What do you want to achieve with the translation of your website?
Maybe you want to make people subscribe to your newsletter to start promoting a new product within a specific marketplace. Maybe you want people speaking a different language buy from you. Or maybe you just want more visibility within a specific country or client segment.
You name it. But make sure that this is one of things that you bear in mind when planning the translation of your website.
The steps that your potential clients need to take to achieve this goal are the ones that need to be translated.
Normally, we think about translation, we think about words put into a different language.
Nothing to do.
We need to think about the new culture that we want to target as well. They may not share the same values that our own.
And no, Google Translate can’t do that. That’s why you should hire a professional translator specialised in marketing that is also an expert in the target audience of the translated version of your website.
The language preference
This one goes without saying, right? If you’re reading this post is probably because you’re interested in translating your website and know the language preference of the new audience that you want to target.
I’m glad that you’re aware of how important languages are for your website. Have you asked your audience what languages they want you to use in your business?
What are you offering to this international audience?
Sometimes offer vary from one country to another. Sometimes products and services need to be adapted for a new client segment.
Are you offering the same for both audiences? How your offers are different and why?
Make sure that your offer is optimised for the audience that you want to target.
For example, it wouldn’t make sense to translate your website into Spanish if you’re selling a e-Book in English. You’ll need to translate this product first.
Sections of your website that must be translated to target an international audience
Home page / landing page
It sounds obvious, right? This is the first page that your readers are going to see. It must speak their language if you want them to stay and explore your site.
This page is going to tell your visit why they should stay. What is your site offering?
This page should also identify the main problem of your audience and offer a solution to this problem. How is your product/service going to solve their problem?
This could be a landing page in which you present a product or service, or the service page on a website.
The page where you’re presenting your main offer must also speak the language of your visitors. In this page, you’re telling them the benefits of buying your products or services.
How is your offer going to change your readers’ lives?
This is the last page that you want your visitors to land. If you want them to perform an action, this page must be translated as well.
Sounds obvious, but I’ve seen so many websites neglecting this last step.
You grabbed the attention of your reader, made him/her aware of the importance of your business in their lives, and then, when they’re ready to act (aka buy, subscribe, share, etc.), they come up with a page that they can’t understand.
If you want your audience to buy a product, make sure that they know where they should put their details to make a payment. I know it sounds basic, but not everyone realise how important this is.
Besides, your audience will trust you more if you guide them through a payment process in their languages, so it will be more likely that they will complete the payment process.
People interested in your business will also be interested in the person behind it. This is how you show the most human part of your business.
We’re not robots. There’s actually people working hard behind every aspect of our business, and your audience will appreciate if they can notice that.
Another aspect of a website is often forgotten. Legal requirements are important within a website.
If you’re asking your audience for the details, they must know what you’re going to use them for. And the same applies if you’re asking them to submit credit cards details.
And you’re responsible to make your visitors understand them. This is a delicate issue; so make sure that you hire a legal translator to guarantee that this section is properly translated.
I know, translating a website isn’t cheap. Or it shouldn’t (beware if it is!) But you can start translating the main pages of your websites to get results from the very beginning.
Have you every come across with a website that has been badly translated? Do you think this is important for a business? I’d love to hear your opinions!