Taking Your Website Global
With the advent of the internet, extending reach beyond the borders of a home nation has never been more feasible. We explored the importance of website translation being key to going global in detail before. Nevertheless, if you just found your way here, this is a slimmed-down, suped-up 4-step guide to going global!
“Previous McKinsey research has shown that the Internet doubles the export share of sales of SMEs.”
– How Digital Trade is Transforming Globalization.
#1. Find the Right Languages
If your website is selling something successfully, you are likely already analyzing your customer base to maximize sales. The same applies to international markets; you need to know who you are selling to, to do it effectively. To take your website global, you need to be finding the right markets and languages to localize.
With website translation, a great place to start is our recent guide to the top 10 languages for localization. Compare and contrast this against your data to find out what languages will affect your sales most dynamically.
If you receive a lot of traffic from France, it makes sense for French to be your priority website translation. By localizing your content to meet that market, you can strengthen your sales there even further.
#2. Research Your Target Audience
Finding the right language for your website translation is only half the battle – or a quarter, to be exact! When it comes to the pursuit of taking your website global, localization is phenomenally important. From researching the variants and nuances of a language to understanding the culture of its speakers. Plan ahead, and you can cut out losing potential new customers to something as damaging as a cultural faux pas. To give your website traction in an international market, you must understand the country you will be operating in.
Honestly, with the amount of costly cultural mistakes made due to bad localization, we could fill an entire article!
#3.Futureproof Your Website With A Flexible UI
Your user’s experience is only as good as your user interface. Also valid for website translation. The rule of thumb is that a localized website should be as interactive and functional as the original. Preparing your UI for localization during your planning stage will save you several headaches down the line in future translations.
There are several instances when dealing with website translation that can certainly throw your entire user interface into turmoil. Don’t believe us? English to German or even French website translations can require expansions of up to 30%! Both Arabic and Hebrew languages read right-to-left (RTL), requiring an entire design shift of your site to the opposing side. Your, carefully and cleanly formatted, UI will become a horror show if you fail to take this into account.
#4. Test Your Outcomes Before Launch
You’ve translated your website, you’ve localized your content, and you’ve futureproofed your UI – so all systems go? Aside from making sure everything is functioning as you intended, a linguistic check on your translated content is a must. If you plan on breaking up your text with images and videos, be sure they are optimized while maintaining quality. A whopping 40% of users abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Even after launch, you’ll find there’s still work to do. Each time you introduce new content, projects, features, or products, they’ll need to be mirrored and translated for each language. Given the fact, you have other tasks to reach the point of taking your website global, managing your time and workflow is no small task.
A robust Translation Management System is worth its weight in gold when it comes to international expansion and globalization. A bonus step, you ask? Well, it would be rude not to!
#5. Bonus Step: Share The Load
As mentioned in #4, a TMS can save you time, effort, and most importantly, money. Although we broke this down into a simple 4-step plan, you shouldn’t underestimate the work involved in website translation. Text United (that’s us!) is a TMS like no other. You can leverage our software and experts to handle all of the above, all while keeping the peace of mind that any new content you create is treated with the same high standard. Finally, making a push for that Chinese market? We’ve got you. Got a stack of old documents you’ve scanned and want translating? Text United supports translations of 36 file types and over 170 languages. We’ve got you covered, no matter the task, and no matter where in the world your journey takes you!