We’ve seen many businesses mistakenly rely on their English language website when attempting to reach new markets. But studies show that 65% of website users prefer content in their native language, and 40% of users won’t even buy products from companies that don’t support their language. If you want to engage consumers in a new market, you must create content specifically for them.
Ensuring a consistently up-to-date foreign website isn’t easy. Consider a major website like Amazon. The company changes product prices 2.5 million times per day. When you think about how many languages it supports, that amounts to billions of minor updates every year. While your website might not be quite so extensive, it should support multiple markets and thousands of weekly updates if you ever want to reach those levels of success. You’ll need to leverage two essential tools available in website translation online: connectivity and automation.
Connectivity and Automation: Critical Tools in Website Translation Online
Websites are constantly changing, which most project managers don’t truly appreciate until they try to update all their languages manually. A common approach is sending documents off to a translation agency, receiving them back, and uploading them to a new subdirectory for the target language. There are a lot of problems with this strategy. Specifically, it:
- Causes delays: It could take days or even weeks to update translated websites following a change to the original. In all this time, the customer doesn’t see the new product or content that could lead to conversion.
- Disregards SEO: Companies spend thousands of dollars on SEO strategies, but those don’t always translate well. A keyword that’s valuable in English may be less so in another language. It’s vital to map keywords to the best possible counterparts in foreign languages to ensure the SEO strategy remains intact.
- Creates a poor user experience: A robust user experience increases conversion rates by as much as 200%. However, a bad translation could lead to broken code or poor readability, which damages user perception.
- Hinders governance: The manual method of updating a website is impractical and can quickly become overwhelming. Every change will trigger the need for dozens of different jobs to drive updates.
- Limits ROI: Manual options don’t allow companies to keep track of their results. Without meaningful metrics, they won’t use the right strategies for continued growth in foreign markets.
- Drives scope creep: Manual updates can lead to spiraling costs in website translation services. Companies will have to hire project managers and assistants to send content back and forth. They may also invest funds into projects that don’t offer much return. Ironically, the initial attempt to save money will end up costing them more in the end.
Connectivity and automation are two key components to managing these issues. Connectivity allows companies to link programs so content filters seamlessly from the website language translation software to the content management system. Meanwhile, automation allows the company to track its website for changes, submit jobs automatically, assign linguists, and upload content. This process is sometimes called continuous localization and is an essential tool for managing website translation online.
Using Software to Manage a Website Translation
Starting website translation online requires the ability to leverage technology that supports connectivity and automation. That may mean looking beyond traditional website translation services that focus only on strings of content. It’s wise to outsource web and app localization to a company that offers tools to support ongoing updates. Some things to look for include:
- Integrations: Integrations are the types of programs you can connect to your translation platform. One primary focus is GitHub connections, as this code repository is the driver of your content updates. Another thing to look for is content management system support like WordPress or Drupal. Customer support programs like Zendesk are also invaluable.
- Developer tools: A robust command-line interface (CLI) will allow your developers to create their own commands, like those that crawl websites for updates, and batch projects together. The CLI should provide developers the flexibility they need to establish processes that best support your website’s specific requirements.
- Connectors: Connectors are the funnels that send your content from one program to another without the need for you to upload or download content manually. These are a significant timesaver that can’t be overlooked.
- Reports: Reporting templates should allow you to view the results of your website at a granular level. For example, someone who runs an auto parts store should be able to pull up activity for user manuals in Spain and compare it to some other locale to see where to invest in localization efforts.
- Workflow control: You should not have to use multiple programs to keep track of your content and projects. Ideally, you should have a single, end-to-end platform that holds everything in a secure space.
Complete website translation online needs support from powerful technology. Ideally, you can use a seamless program that preserves the user experience and allows you to manage all your tasks in a single space. With the right technology, entry to new markets is simplified while the ROI is maximized.