Establishing an online presence by creating a website or social media page for your business is, perhaps, one of the most crucial aspects to consider when operating a company today. Regardless of how big your firm is, you must make sure that it can be found online. At the same time, if your business is successful enough, it can and should be made searchable by a larger audience, which can easily be found in other countries. Internationalization is very important indeed, and one of the greatest ways to initiate it is to create a multilingual website that would speak directly to your audience.
In Their Language
It’s been widely known for a rather long time that creating a version of your website in another language could significantly improve the overall success and performance of the business in that country. One rather old research has found that customers do prefer finding information about the pursued product in their language even over monetary offers, such as discounts. The newer research only confirms this theory and demonstrates the importance of multilingualism in your online content. And while making your website multilingual sounds like a great idea (and it certainly is), approaching it properly is more easily said than done.
Translating your website into one or even multiple languages is a relatively easy task if we’re talking purely about translation. In general, commercial websites are prone to contain not as much text as it may appear at first sight. And indeed, online stores essentially contain the names of products, their description, some policies, contact information, and maybe a few articles about the company. However, at the same time, websites don’t contain textual information only and translation might not always be enough. You can click for more translation sites to see why it is so.
5 Steps to Create a Multilingual Website
Now, here are some useful tips that you can consider while internationalizing your website.
1. Organize your content appropriately.
Websites are not just hanging somewhere in the air and can just be accessed from your customer’s computer by magic. Most websites today are rather complex coding projects stored on servers or organized using the content management systems or CMSs for short. Regardless of what you use for your website, all content must be properly organized in your system. All the images must come from a single place, all pages must be properly organized and placed as if on your own computer for you to find them easily. That is what people call categorization and there’s a reason for it to be used. One of the advantages of CMSs in particular is their user-friendly interface that allows you to approach categorization and organization of your content like a boss. This, in turn, makes your website internationalization much easier and cost-effective.
2. Always use relative measurements.
As you work on the original version of website coding or instruct your programmers to do so, make sure they use relative measures when creating the layout for your website. The main idea here is that the text and maybe even other elements of the webpage might differ in size and will occupy different portions of the screen space. By using the relative measures in HTML or CSS code, you’ll make your website adaptable to changes. So, to translate your website, you will only need to simply input different values for text or insert different images, making the whole process much faster, easier, and more cost-effective.
3. Don’t stop at translation, localize.
Content translation is great for your website and marketing strategy but it might prove inefficient as you carry on with the process, expand to countries with radically different cultures, or just want to hit the right spot and make your customers feel your business, not just see it. Localization is a sort of advanced version of translation when you don’t just translate your content but also make it seem familiar, relatable, and overall appealing to your audience. To achieve this kind of effect, you may want to alter most elements of your website, including images, videos, and even parts of the interface. For example, you can use pictures of the sites from your target country or change the orientation of your text for your Arabic users. With localization, opportunities are limitless, you can check out the blog at The Word Point to see what it’s all about. And with such flexibility, you can essentially get any results you need.
4. Remember that there are different versions of a single language.
There is American English and there’s British English, there’s European Spanish and there’s American Spanish, you get the idea. Whenever you translate and localize your website, you must take this into high consideration as you might simply miss your target. Although the differences in versions of the language can be minor, in some cases, they are substantial (like with Chinese, for instance), so you might want to specify your targeted region and target more locally.
5. Make language choice as accessible as possible.
While in most cases, the location of your customers (and, hence, their language) will be automatically recognized by their browsers, there will be cases when they will still need to choose their language. Those cases can include the multilingual countries (Switzerland, Belarus, Canada, to name a few) or VPNs that your customers might use. This is where your interface designer must come into play and make the language choice button a work of art that instantly gets noticed by the customer (yet doesn’t conflict with the style of the website either). Then, the language selection menu must be plain and simple, use clear icons and instructions, and so on. Make the language choice a pleasure for your customers and using your website will follow this notion.
Reaching Out for More
A multilingual website done sensibly and appropriately as the result can do great things for your business. If you work hard enough to make your customers understand and navigate your website easily, the same website will return you the favor with extra. Approaching website translation and localization with high consideration of a variety of factors, pretty much like with everything else, turns regular things into magic. So, keep calm, carry on with your work, and never hesitate to innovate by learning and learn by innovating.
Starting with a blastoff as a young school teacher, Merissa Moore quickly took up researching and reporting to become an experienced and well-respected author. By using her extraordinary skills, which she acquired in pedagogy, Merissa succeeds in putting simple, some really complex things. Looking back on her path, Merissa is confident that she made the right choice when turned to report.