These days, all you need is a user-friendly, search engine optimised website to open up your business to the world. Once the website is in place, there are a few best practice tips you can follow to attract and convert visitors in new markets. So, how do you create multilingual websites that are just as effective in domestic and overseas markets? Here’s our guide.
1. Use a flexible website template
To create multilingual websites that convert in multiple countries, you must tread a fine line between building a cohesive global brand while accommodating the preferences of each target market.
To simplify the process, you should build the original website using a template that can be easily tweaked and adapted, both aesthetically and in terms of the user experience, while keeping the core elements of the site the same. That will make it much faster, easier and cheaper to create localised versions of the same site for every target market.
2. Decide what you’ll translate
Research shows that 75 percent of online shoppers prefer to buy products in their native language. So, to be successful in overseas markets, the translation of some of your website content is essential. However, that doesn’t mean you have to translate it all. As a minimum, you should translate all product descriptions, product demonstrations, payment information, returns and delivery details and any other information that relates directly to the sales process.
3. Different language, same voice
It’s very easy for a brand’s tone of voice and style to get lost in translation, but these intangibles are extremely important. You want to develop a relationship with your customers and for them to see you as a brand they can trust. That becomes difficult when you communicate in different ways across each of your websites and platforms.
Taking the time to create a style guide and glossary for your brand and sharing that with your translation partner is well worth the time and effort. That will help you to communicate cohesively across borders and send the same clear message to your customers.
4. Avoid machine translation if possible
If your budget is tight, machine translation might seem like a cost-effective alternative to a language service provider, but it’s no substitute for a professional linguist. You could be publishing content littered with inaccuracies or with a stilted and awkward tone that reads just like, well, it’s been written by a machine.
If you do choose to use machine translation to reduce the costs, then at the very least you should hire a human translator to edit and proofread the content before it goes live. Failing to do so could cause significant damage to your brand.
5. Translation is not always enough
Successful marketing relies on more than just producing content in the native language. To be effective, your content must engage and have an emotional impact on your customers. To do that, elements of the material may need to be recreated to align with cultural expectations and reflect local preferences.
This process is called transcreation. A good language service provider, such as Linguistica International, will help you decide which elements of your multilingual websites are ripe for transcreation.
Create multilingual websites that speak your customers’ languages
At Linguistica International, our professional translation, transcreation and copywriting teams can help you reach customers in more than 250 languages. Get in touch to discuss your website translation project today on 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.