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6 Useful Tips To Rule Your Website Translation

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Website translation done right can result into a significant increase of traction and users. Expert Anja Obermüller from LingoHub explains what to keep in mind:

Startups nowadays compete from the very beginning in international markets and expand their products. An essential ingredient of global success is translation. Translation and localization open doors to enter international markets and reach a global audience.

This blog post goes beyond simple text translation and points out tips and tricks to consider when planning to go global with your website.

6-tips-website-translation

#1 Take Time To Explore Your Core Markets

At the very beginning of your translation process it is crucial to invest time in exploring your core markets. A detailed analysis will lead you to the languages you shall focus on. Statistic tools provide you with a ranking of languages your visitors and users speak. This helps you to prioritize languages you shall translate.

Do not only focus on recorded data and consider trends and potentials in your analysis too. Tools such as the Google Global Market Finder help you to figure out relevant trends for your business.

#2 Master SEO For Multilingual Websites

As search engines favour relevant content for local target groups, it is important to put emphasis on translation. Once you’ve decided to translate your website there are several aspects of search engine optimization to focus on.

URL Structure

  • Top Level Domains (e.g. lingohub.com / lingohub.at / lingohub.fr)
    This domain type is especially recommended when localizing by country. You can run separate websites in the same language localized for a specific country (e.g. lingohub.com.ca for Canada and lingohub.com.au for Australia). Bear in mind that buying various domains is quite expensive and dealing with squatters can be annoying.
  • Sub-domains (e.g. en.lingohub.com / de.lingohub.com / fr. lingohub.com)
    Sub-domains are extremely versatile and you can use them for both localization by language and country. However, users may not identify sub-domains as locales at first glance.
  • Sub-directories (e.g. lingohub.com/de or lingohub.com/fr)
    By adding sub-directories to your domain you can use various alternate URLs. You can also use them for localization by language and country and share cookies across all locales. We at LingoHub will use sub-directories when publishing translations as it fits best our Google Analytics setup.

It’s no problem to use translated domain names. Make sure to use UTF-8 encoding to translate parts of your URL (e.g. lingohub.com/website-translation → lingohub.com/de/webseiten-uebersetzung)

Language Annotationsmaster-seo-multilingual-websites

As already mentioned above we will use sub-directories once our multilingual content is published. So let’s take lingohub.com as an example for language annoations too. Google offers us three different ways to indicate the language of our content or website.

  • We can insert a HTML link element in the header of our website. This indicates that lingohub.com/de is the German version of our website.
  • We can use a HTTP header when publishing non-HTML files.
  • Our third option is to submit a sitemap with information about the different language versions of our website to Google Search Console.

Keyword Research

Keywords are the key to be ranked highly on search engines and indicate what is on your website. You may already have a list of keywords you’re using in your source language. This is a great starting point and you can easily translate them. To be sure to cover all relevant keywords of your target audience use tools like the Google Keyword Planner. That way you can identify similar keywords and terms your local target audience searches for.

For a comprehensive overview of the topic check out our handy SEO guide for multilingual websites!

#3 Double Check Your Source Content

Before you actually start translating your website it is crucial to review your source content and identify possible mistakes in grammar, spelling and diction. Consider that mistakes in your source content are multiplied through translations. That’s why we at LingoHub have partnered up with professional human translators in their native languages. Reviews can be ordered any time to avoid this multiplier effect.

#4 Consider More Verbose Translations

Keep in mind that the length of words differs from language to language. Your source text may take up more or less space in translations. It’s best to consider this already during the design stage of your website. When translating from English to other languages the word length can expand considerably. Translating from English to German may result in a text expansion of up to 40%. A rule of thumb estimate when translating from English to other other languages is to consider approximately 35% text expansion.

Designing for more verbose translation can be tricky, especially when it comes to the navigation bar of your website. To ensure translators are aware of the space allotted you can define LingoChecks. Just set an individual criteria on LingoHub for maximum text length (e.g. 15 characters) and your translators will be notified if the maximum number of characters is exceeded.

#5 Localize Your Content Rather Than Simply Translating Text

Focusing exclusively on text translation when planning to go international with your website is not enough. Hence, associating website translation with simple text translation is a common misconception.

Consider that among others your target audience may be used to a different script and layout (e.g. Arabic users), format (time, measurement, date, currency and more) and spacing (e.g. French users). These slight adoptions during localization will make you a truly global champion.

It might be self explanatory but don’t change currency symbols without adapting prices according to their conversion rates. Note that some currency symbols are listed before the price (e.g. $ and £) and some after the price (e.g. €). If you are selling goods online implement the payment methods your target audience is used to. That way you remove another hurdle in the buying/onboarding process. If you want to learn more about preferred online payment methods splitted up by countries give our infographic a try!

#6 Speed Up Website Translation With LingoWeb

LingoWeb ultimately speeds up your website translation process. Just insert your URL and start translating your website or webshop. Linked pages are automatically crawled and texts imported to LingoHub. Once you’re done editing your translations publish your translations at the push of a button.

LingoWeb-Screenshot

Curious about LingoWeb? Have a look at our preview or sign up for email notification. We’ll inform you immediately when launching!

 

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