The changing worldwide landscape of the Web makes global SEO even more important for domestic companies expanding operations abroad. For some marketers, both global marketing and SEO management may seem like unknown quantities, so here are some tips to make the transition overseas go smoothly. Continue reading »
English only accounts for 26.8 percent of Internet traffic. With the increasing amount of Chinese, Arabic and Spanish speakers online, it’s becoming more important to utilize website translation to accommodate these markets.
Adapting content for new markets isn’t as simple as using a translator to spit out a word-for-word adaptation of your current website. Careful localization and strategic planning after in-market research make for multilingual success.
Create an Online Content Strategy
Content is what’s going to pull customers in and keep them there. It should be informative and valuable to consumers while representing a clear image of your brand.
Your website content strategy is your chance to show customers what you’re all about. Stand out by providing insightful information on relevant topics and services. Define your core values and brand in a way that can be understood by multiple cultures after going through website localization.
Facebook, for example, aims to connect people through mutual friends and personal experiences, no matter where they are in the world. This universal understanding has established global success.
Research International Markets
There’s no point in marketing to a region that has no use for your product. Facebook shouldn’t use resources to market to China, for example, as the social network is restricted there.
Before entering a new market, do your research. What are their buying habits when it comes to your industry? Do cultural differences play a role? Is their geographical location feasible? What language to do they speak? All of these are things to consider when evaluating opportunities in other markets.
Don’t Go it Alone
Website translation tools help businesses adapt for multilingual markets, but make sure you’re using the right one.
Google Translate offers free translations in over 60 languages and you can use it on your own, but it leaves room for lots of errors. These word-for-word translations can confuse multilingual readers as not every language translates the same. Localization is important to make sure translations are accurate and appropriate.
Using professional website translation software and seeking advice from native speakers can greatly improve the quality of multilingual content and make sure readers are getting the right information.
Adapt for New Markets
Once you’ve established your website for multilingual markets, optimize it.
Take advantage of national holidays such as the Chinese New Year or Boxing Day in the UK and Canada. In market translators are good resources, but native marketers can help immensely with country specific content and promotions.
Global SEO is another marketing strategy to think about when developing multilingual content. Translated and localized content will improve SEO results on international search engines.
Keywords may need to be localized or changed altogether. Domain names, i.e ja.wikipedia.org, should be adjusted for specific countries to improve search results as well.
Make your Best Effort
If you don’t have the budget to translate enough of your site for new markets to comprehend your message, it might be a good idea to hold off. Half-hearted translations may make international consumers feel overlooked.
To keep this audience engaged until you’re ready for a full site translation, best practices include market specific newsletters or social pages.
For more information about a fast, easy to use tool for website translation, download our free eBook, Translation Proxy: A New Option for Managing Multilingual Websites.
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Marketing and selling your products and services internationally opens doors and provides new opportunities for your company, but adjusting your global marketing operations is not always an easy task. John Yunker discusses the importance of localizing, using “global enablers,” and best approaches to manage global websites in his new report, “The Leading Global Retailers (And Why): Web Globalization Benchmarks and Best Practices.”
How long does it take you to click the “back” button when you reach a website in a language you don’t understand? My guess is less than two seconds.
We’ve all experienced the annoyance of clicking a link only to have it bring us to a page we can’t read. No matter how useful that content may be, users who don’t speak the language will never get to it. Website translation is crucial to reach these potential consumers.
According to Internet World Stats, English only accounts for 26.8 percent of the world’s Internet population. What if your customers are a part of that other 74.2 percent of users who don’t speak English? Chances are they need your website in another language.
You’ve already taken the big step of expanding your online presence into global markets, but what results are you seeing? Have you noticed lately what a big world it is out there? So many people, so many languages, so much opportunity to grow your audience and your bottom line. Just because you’ve built it doesn’t mean they’ll come.
If you haven’t optimized your global websites, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Taking your SEO efforts international can mean big rewards, but it’s no small feat to commit to.