Companies with search engine-optimized websites are increasingly awakening to the fact that the language of business is the language of the customer. As a result, they are undertaking the effort and expense of converting their websites, along with their products and literature, into the languages most used by their prospects and clients.
Those seriously targeting international markets can no longer rely on machine translation to communicate with international users. Machine translation (MT) did fill the gap by providing international readers the gist of the meaning of web pages. However, MT robs companies of control over not only international content and brand quality, but also international search engine traffic.
Professional website translation does require investing significant resources in the process. This is why companies often wait until they feel that the effort is justified before they embark on it. When they do proceed, many unknowingly neglect a key feature that can drastically improve their website’s success overseas – its organic search ranking!
“True localization, rather than just translation, is essential to international search,” explained Vice President Zia Daniell Wigder, analyst at Jupiter Research. “ Direct translations of a site are unlikely to include the most commonly used search terms, resulting in a site that can be understood by the local audience but may receive little traffic if it fails to appear in search results.”
The following should be taken into consideration:
1. What content to translate, what content to re-author, what content to leave untranslated?
2. How to structure your website to encourage contributions from your international staff?
3. Why is it important to share your terminology?
4. How to keep your website’s DNA (keywords and key-phrases) intact?
5. How to optimize your PPC campaign?
6. Why is it important to retain CMS, authoring tool, file format and platform independence?
Click here to review these considerations before you engage in your next website globalization effort.
Also, subscribe to our company’s blog for free in-depth monthly articles about the latest localization issues and practices.