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Ten Tips When Translating Your Website

September 26, 2011 1 Comment »

Did you know there are over 6,500 languages worldwide? And that only within the U.S. there are over 300 languages spoken? Did you also know that more than 60% of Internet traffic comes from native speakers of languages other than English? For instance, the Spanish-speaking market represents about $1 trillion worth of purchasing power. It has been proved that online visitors are significantly more likely to buy when the content is in their native tongue.  After years of research, we have discovered some key tips that can help you increase your online sales and traffic in other languages exponentially.

Ø      Ask Your Translations / Localization Company about the Web Development Costs to Going Multilingual and Save

To successfully translate your website, you will need to modify and design it to allow for multiple languages. Asking your translations company to implement these changes can save you a significant amount of time and money.  Specialized localization companies, like Spanish Translations US, have the design tools in place to minimize the cost and effort associated with this task.  Website design companies not specialized in multilingual translation projects can charge up to 10 times more for the same work.

Ø      Think Ahead – Facts about On-going Maintenance

For most companies, website content is constantly changing.  When you have a multilingual dynamic site, you need to make sure you have a structure that easily allows for changes in all languages. You want to make sure that new product information updated in one language is updated in all other languages at the same time. Fortunately, there are simple tools that can be implemented that will ensure you update all languages almost simultaneously and at minimal costs.

Ø      Optimize Your Site for a Global Environment – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 Optimizing your site for search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing) can be one of the most valuable things you can do for your sales and online presence.  Having a multilingual site is great, but the overall objective normally is to drive traffic and sales.  In order to tap into the exponential effects of having a website in many languages, it is critical that your site be optimized correctly.

A minimal investment is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is worth its weigh in gold as it can make an exponential difference with the search engines. Companies and organizations continue to completely ignore the power of SEO in other languages, losing potential traffic and sales.

Ø      SEO Tip: It is Easier to Optimize in Other Languages

Optimizing your site in other languages is actually easier than in English. In the online world, English is the most competitive language.  Having content in other languages presents an opportunity to drive traffic from major search engines as there is less competition.

 Ø      SEO Tip:  Select the Right Keywords for Each Language

The direct translation of the correct keywords in English will not necessarily give you the correct keyword in other languages. For example, in English, the keyword “fee” is more searched than the keyword “fees”, but in Spanish the keyword “tarifas” (fees) is more searched than the keyword “tarifa” (fee).  With some quick research you can determine the keyword in another language resulting in the right traffic to your site.

Ø      SEO Tip: Know Where to Place Your Keywords in Your Site

Once you have the right keywords for each language, you need to make sure those keywords are correctly placed within your site structure. For example, having the right keywords in the URL addresses of your site will help you rank better for those keywords. Also, having your keywords in the titles of your site will help improve your results for those keywords. These subtle changes can yield drastic improvements in how you rank with the major search engines.

Ø      SEO Tip: Translate Your Metatags

A Metatag is defined as content used to communicate with search engines.  The Metatag “description” is what most search engines use as a description when web results are shown from a given search. Having your metatags translated is a key element to having your site properly structured to increase traffic.

Ø      SEO Tip:  The Power of Dynamic Content

Content that is constantly changed and updated (e.g., Blogs, Forums, Online Communities) is more attractive for search engines. This will translate into better search results.

Ø      Consider Localizing Your Content

If you know precisely the new market you want to target, you may want to consider localizing your site. Localizing your site means modifying your text, images and message to target a certain consumer.  For example, some companies know that they are targeting the U.S. Hispanic market. In this case, you should directly localize your content to address the U.S. Hispanic market as opposed to a more neutral Spanish-speaking demographic.

Ø      Start with Spanish

The Hispanic/Spanish-speaking market is clearly the second powerhouse demographic in terms of purchasing power in the U.S. and abroad. By not tapping into this gigantic market, companies are leaving billions of dollars of revenues aside. If you are new to the multilingual game, we recommend you start by translating your site and materials into Spanish. Virtually almost every company and organization can benefit from having their site published in Spanish.

Follow these tips and you will see results almost immediately.

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