You've got questions.
We've got solutions.


A BLOG FOR THOSE WITH VISION...


Multilingual SEO: Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Site for Other Languages

Maintaining your company’s website ranking can be a difficult task with its own set of challenges. You know that maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important when it comes to gaining visibility for your company, product, or service. So, what happens when you decide to sell and market your product overseas or to a multilingual audience? Is translating your website content enough?

Multilingual SEO_ Tips and Tricks for Optimizing Your Site for Other Languages.png


Ultimately, that answer is no. While translating your website content will help you connect with your international audience, you also need to consider a multilingual SEO plan to ensure you reach your target audience. Here are some tips and tricks for optimizing your site for other languages.

What is multilingual SEO and why is it important?

Multilingual SEO covers both translating content into other languages and optimizing that content in such a way that it drives search traffic in those other languages. Developing a multilingual SEO strategy for your translated content is what helps customers find your content. After all, what good is a translated website if no one in your intended market is able to find it?

Planning your multilingual SEO strategy

Before anything else, it’s important to develop a solid plan for what you want to do and learn more about the demographic you’re trying to reach.

Get to know the audience you’re targeting

Your new market most likely has different customs and cultural practices than your English-speaking, U.S.-based audience does. A lot of how they search is determined by language. You must choose keywords and phrases that your target audience would enter into search engines. This is how you successfully draw them in. What is important to your current consumer base may not be important at all to the multilingual consumers you are looking to reach. If you do not already know this multilingual market inside and out, be sure to find a consultant who does. Skimping here could have a particularly negative impact on your search engine rankings, and therefore, your sales revenue.

Some preliminary questions you may want to ask yourself as you’re creating a strategy:

  • How are our customers searching for information online? 

  • What is important to them?

  • Is there anything currently use in our marketing strategy that may be perceived as negative or offensive to this new audience?

Shape your SEO strategy to fit your target market, instead of trying to make your target market fit into your current SEO strategy for English speakers.

Decide what content you’ll have professionally translated and adapt your SEO strategy there first

Your SEO strategy can be laid out in phases, depending on which pages of your website you plan to have translated first. If you are not planning to translate certain pages (perhaps those that are not relevant to your non-English speaking market), then there won’t be any need to translate or optimize keywords or create SEO descriptions for those specific pages. 

Doing so could actually have a potentially negative impact. If you create Spanish search terms for pages that haven't been translated or localized yet, the user who searched for those terms will visit your website expecting to read that content in Spanish. If the site is only in English, the visitor may feel disappointed and frustrated with your company, and click away without visiting other pages of your site that may actually be localized specifically for them.

This strategy is typically easier on your overall translation budget as well. Choose the pages that will help you reap the most benefits from your investment, and either save the rest for later, or leave them in English, depending on your long-term goals. Mirror your SEO efforts with this overall plan.

Don’t forget about the details behind the scenes that will help your search engine rankings

There is a lot that goes into multilingual SEO strategies that has nothing to do with what your new site visitors will actually see when they visit your site, but is still just as important to your overall goals. 

  1. Translate your tags and keywords. Even the best translation won’t show up as often in a search result if your tags are not translated into terms your target market is actively searching. They won’t be searching for these keywords in English; they’ll be searching for them in their primary language. The tags you use should reflect this as well.

  2. Think about search terms your multilingual customers may use in a voice search. When you’re creating your multilingual keywords, be sure to optimize some of these for voice search as well. You can read more about how these differ from typical search terms here.

  3. Include hreflang tags for any page with multilingual offerings. Hreflang tags are basically the code you include on the back end of your site to show search engines like Google that you have content in multiple languages. In a nutshell, it is the coding behind why a user sees the correct URL/language in their search results. Having these tags in pace also prevents content duplication issues (which actually hurts SEO rankings by making your pages compete against each other!).

  4. Consider location settings. When coming up with a new SEO strategy for foreign markets, don’t neglect to include the country, city, or even the region your new target market is in when deciding on keywords to pair with your product. People tend to use “near me” or city names in their search when trying to find a product they’d like to purchase or browse for online. Having the location information in your SEO setup will help your site appear more often in search engines.

Make it easy for site visitors to switch between languages if they don’t land on your page in their preferred language

If someone is searching in Spanish when they come across your page, chances are good that they’ll be automatically directed to your Spanish-language site. However, sometimes people come across your page through other means (links from a friend, searching in English because they assume more information is available, etc.) so having an easy way for them to switch to their preferred language is a great way to take them there. You can make a drop-down menu available for the language options you offer, for example. Keep it visible and easy to find for anyone who may wish to switch to another language. If they have to search for it, they’ll be more likely to click away.

Planning a brand-new SEO strategy for an international market can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone! Did you know we offer website audits? We’d be glad to take a look at yours and help create a strategy for your international growth! Feel free to contact us if you’d like to tackle this one together.

How to Produce a Great Website Translation That’s Still Budget-Friendly

Your customers deserve the same positive, intentional experience when they visit your website, regardless of which language they speak. Translating and localizing your website is a great way to not only reach a broader scope of people, but to also connect and engage with these individuals in the same way you would with your English-speaking site visitors. Although a fully immersive website experience with each page translated into every language you’re targeting would be ideal, most companies cannot afford to make such an investment, especially in the beginning. Fortunately, this isn’t usually necessary. Here are some tips for translating your website effectively, while still keeping your overall budget in mind.

How to Produce a Great Website Translation That’s Still Budget-Friendly.png

Ways to stretch your translation budget while still delivering an effective experience

Before requesting any translations, it’s important to have a plan. Planning for the audiences and pages you want to prioritize will help keep you aligned with your overall financial goals.

  • Choose the language(s) you’d like to prioritize. If you plan to localize your content for multiple domestic or international audiences, it may be easiest to handle a select few first. Decide which languages and markets will be most beneficial for your company to reach, and which will provide the biggest ROI. In most cases, you do not have to handle every language you may ultimately wish to target at once. 

Often, it’s better to translate to just a few languages at first so that you can learn from these. If there’s anything you’d like to change about the process (on either your end or your translation provider’s end), you’ll know for the next set of languages which will make the process easier for you! It will also allow you to spread out the costs of localization over time, which may be more desirable for your company’s budget.

  • Reduce the scope of the project if needed. In the same way you prioritize which languages to tackle first, you should also decide which of your web pages are most important. While it’s nice to have a fully translated website in every language, not everything may be relevant for your target market. Choose the pages that will help you reap the most benefits from your investment, and either save the rest for later, or leave them in English, depending on your long-term goals.

  • Make sure the text you are sending for translation is current and up-to-date. No one wants to pay for the same service twice! If you’re unsure when pages may be scheduled for an update, it may be worth asking the various departments who oversee their portion of your company website if they plan to make updates to their respective pages. If they’ll be updating content in the coming weeks, and if you have a timeline that allows you to wait for any potential updates to be applied, it would be worthwhile to delay the start of the translation project to make sure everything is in its final version.

How to decide what to translate now (and what to save for later)

Localizing your website’s content can be done in stages. You’ll want to decide which pages are relevant for and important to your domestic or international audience and which can remain in English at the beginning.

  • What should you prioritize for translation? Ultimately, what you decide to prioritize will depend on your company’s mission and vision for your domestic or international reach. But we would recommend prioritizing:

    • Your home and landing pages

    • Your mission statement and/or “About Us” page(s)

    • Any sections or pages that may be considered part of your sales funnel

    • Contact forms

    • High-traffic pages that are relevant for your target markets

Since you want site users to have a seamless and positive experience, any pages that allow them to get to know and trust your company, as well as those that help turn them into paying customers, should be first on the list when deciding what to translate.

  • What can usually wait for later (or just be left in English)? There may be parts of your website that are not quite as relevant for your non-English-speaking audience. These are the types of pages that can either be left for later when you’ve got the budget for additional content, or can just be left entirely in English, depending on your specific goals. Some examples of these types of sections may be:

    • Product landing pages for products that will not be sold in areas where the target language is spoken

    • A careers page for local job opportunities

    • Upcoming local event notices if the market you’re targeting is not local to your area

Things to plan for and consider once your translation is complete

Having your website content translated is a huge step forward when it comes to getting your multilingual website up and running. Here are a few other things you may want to keep in mind when planning your budget:

  • If your site is updated often, you’ll want to account for frequent ongoing maintenance costs. Your website experience should be the same for all users, no matter which language they speak. This means that if your English content is updated, your translations should be updated to reflect these changes as well. 

  • Make sure your site is set up to accept the sales you’re aiming to funnel in. An exceptional translation won’t do much good if your customers cannot complete their sale. If you are launching products in Italy, for instance, not only should your website be translated into Italian, but you should also make sure your site is set up to accept foreign payments and communications. The shipping and billing section should not request a US zip code during checkout, for example. Moreover, product descriptions must use the metric system instead of the imperial system, and the cost of your products or services should be reflected in Euros instead of USD.

  • Decide if you’ll offer customer support in the languages of your target customers. If customers browse your site in German, you should expect to receive phone calls and emails from customers who expect to communicate in that language. Determine whether or not you’d like to implement customer support options in these languages, or if telephonic interpreting might be a better and more budget-friendly option.

Offering a positive multilingual website experience is a wonderful way to strike a balance between customer needs and your business goals. Not only will you be able to reach new audiences just by having information available to customers in their native language, you’ll be on your way to gaining their respect and trust, while seeing a return on the investment and staying aligned with your budget.

Should You Translate Your Blog?

If your company has a goal to reach a non-English-speaking market, you may have considered whether or not you should translate your content marketing blog posts in order to reach your new target demographic. There are many options available for blog translation, but not all of them may fit your company’s specific needs. Before all else, it’s important to understand whether or not it makes sense for your company to translate your blog posts. So how do you know whether or not you should translate your blog? And if you decide to pursue it, what are some things you should consider as you begin?

Should you translate your blog.jpg

What are the benefits of translating your blog?

Translating your blog can have several benefits when it comes to reaching non-English speaking markets, both domestically and abroad. These benefits include: 

  • Increasing organic search traffic

  • Enhancing your reputation and building trust with non-English speaking visitors

  • Helping more people by disseminating information to a wider range of visitors 

  • Growing sales as you convert your new site visitors into fans and paying customers

Blog posts are a great way to reach new audiences if you write them consistently and with a genuine desire to help. When you choose to translate your content, you essentially add new and valuable content to the web for those searching for answers and solutions. This can help increase your SEO ranking when handled correctly. And if your content is translated well, you’ll build loyal customers as they learn to trust and engage with your brand.

Are there disadvantages to translating your blog? Why doesn’t everyone do it?

While translating your blog can certainly bring you new customers and sales, it is important to note that there are some disadvantages to consider, such as:

  • Unlike a typical website translation, blog translations are not one-and-done projects until you decide to revamp the website.

  • Depending on how many blog posts you’d like to translate, costs can increase quickly.

  • Your Return on Investment (ROI) is unknown at first, so taking the leap without knowing what your ROI will be can create some uncertainty when it comes to budgeting.

A well-maintained blog is regularly updated, so having the posts professional translated is an ongoing project. Knowing whether or not your company is ready to tackle a project like this will help you determine if making this move is the right step for your company. Just remember that content marketing is incredibly valuable right now, as more and more people are searching the web for information before they make a purchasing decision.

When should you consider making the investment to translate your blog?

Thankfully, there are a few things you can consider that will help you determine whether or not you should look into translating your blog for a non-English-speaking audience. Here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Does your current blog bring in revenue? If so, your chances of seeing increased revenue from translated content is higher, since you know your content is already crafted in a way that results in sales from current customers.

  • Are you pursuing these target markets in other ways already? If you have marketing materials, advertisements, social media posts, and a website already translated and localized for these markets, you are already building their trust. The blog may be a great way to then expand on that relationship.

  • Do you have the budget for an ongoing translation project? If the answer is no, see the Options section below. There may be another fit that’s right for your company if this is your only hesitation. 

Whom should you target?

Perhaps it seems to go without saying, but you do not need to translate your blog into various languages if it will not benefit you. Consider which languages will make the most sense for your company and your ROI and go from there.

  • If your website is already translated, focus on those languages for your blog content translations. If it is not already translated, it doesn’t have to be out of your budget. If your current non-English-speaking site visitors can also access your blog in their native language, you can more easily grow your site traffic organically. 

  • Determine which languages your target market speaks. If you want to grow your Canadian customer base, for example, you may wish to focus on producing content in Canadian French.

  • Use Google Analytics to find out where your foreign website traffic is coming from for your current blog posts. You may be losing many of these visitors without a translation available, and if you are not already targeting these languages, it may be worth looking into. Lost visitors mean lost revenue.

What are your blog translation options? Do you have to translate every post to be effective?

There are many options for what to consider when it comes to translating your blog. It does not have to be all or nothing. Here are a few options for translation that you can keep in mind before making a final decision.

  • If your blog is wildly popular and already bringing in substantial revenue from your English-speaking visitors, it may be prudent to translate each blog post as you write them, as well as some of your most popular or recent content. What does well in English may not have the same impact in other languages, but it’s still quite possible that a great amount of your content is appealing to non-English-speaking readers and customers.

  • If your blog is “hit or miss,” you may decide to take a “wait and see” approach by just translating a few of your best-performing blogs. Bear in mind this approach will not work if your blog posts are time-sensitive in nature.

  • You can also decide in advance what content you’d like to have translated based on what type of information you want to make available to your multilingual target market. If there are blog posts that won’t be as relevant to this customer base, plan to keep those English and only translate the posts that cater to specific target audiences.

What else should you consider before taking the steps to translate your blog?

If you decide that translating your content marketing blog posts is the next right step for your company, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before hitting publish on your translated content to ensure you maximize your SEO strategy and outreach.

  • Translate the tags for foreign-language posts. Even the best translation won’t show up as often in a search result if your tags are not translated into terms your target market is actively searching. They won’t be searching for these keywords in English; they’ll be searching for them in their primary language. The tags you use should reflect this as well.

  • If you link to other blog posts or sites, make sure the links you use lead to the translated version whenever possible. If you are linking to another blog post on your own website, for example, it would be helpful to translate the blog post you are linking to. That way, your readers have a seamless experience when browsing your website and topics. If you link to an outside source that you cannot find in your target reader’s language, it may be helpful to let your reader know (in parentheses) that the page you’re linking to is in English so they can decide whether or not to click away from your blog to follow the link. 

  • Translate the name of any images you include in your post. Naming your image files something relevant to your blog topic helps your blog show up more often in search results. These image names should be translated to reap the same benefits when you add them to your translated blog as well. 

  • Recreate infographics to include translated text. If you create an infographic for your English-speaking audience, make sure the text of the infographic is translated, too, so that your non-English-speaking readers will be able to read what you’ve created (and share it with their friends/colleagues!).  

Why it’s important to use a qualified translation agency and avoid automatic translation tools

It can be tempting to install a plugin that translates your website content automatically. After all, it’s free and instantaneous. But these translations are typically laden with errors, which can be detrimental for your brand. Here are a few reasons to always use a qualified translation professional instead of automatic translation tools:

  • Automatic translations create mistakes. These tools translate copy quite literally. If a word has multiple meanings, or you are using colloquialisms or figures of speech, your content is almost guaranteed to be mistranslated. Native speakers will be turned off by incorrect or unnatural sounding language, which means you will repel the audience you were hoping to attract. A competent agency will employ a translation team that makes sure to capture the meaning and nuances of your content, as it was originally intended to be read.

  • Machine translation errors could have potentially disastrous results. Depending on the type of information you want translated, there could even be legal ramifications if something is translated erroneously. This is far less likely to occur if you use a professional translation agency. In fact, agencies and professionals should carry Errors & Omissions Insurance to cover these rare instances. This helps to protect you if something is incorrectly translated and causes damage to your company, brand or customers.

  • Freshly translated content is not considered duplicate content, so it’s helpful with SEO! However, pages built with machine translation or automatic translation could negatively impact your site’s SEO. Google has actually covered this topic, saying that auto-generated content is usually removed from their indexes entirely. It’s just not worth the risk to lose SEO potential by automatically translating these pages.

“In general, when we determine that a page contains only auto-generated content, we may remove it from our index...This may sound a bit harsh, but auto-generated content that is created for search engines is a really bad idea and a waste of our resources.”

No matter your decision, we are here to answer any questions you may have about the process of translating your blog content in a way that is beneficial and unique to your company’s needs. And if you have already had some of your posts translated, we’d love to hear about your experience. Let us know in the comments!

How Translating Your Website Can Drive Traffic and Boost Sales

Have you ever clicked through to a website that wasn’t already in your primary language without meaning to? If you clicked away from that web page almost immediately to find another option, you’re not alone. Over half of internet users will not make a purchase on a website if the information is not readily available in their native language. 

With that said, you were directed to that site for a reason. There’s a real potential that the site you visited could have met your needs. In this scenario, you are part of the traffic (and potentially, the sales) that the website’s owner missed out on, simply because they did not have a website available in your primary language. The same can be said for your own website. 

If your site is not optimized for visitors who speak another language, you are missing out on a ton of potential traffic (and leaving money on the table!). If you are looking to drive new traffic to your website–and keep them there long enough to turn them into potential customers–you should consider translating your website for your target demographics.

Why does a translated website perform better than one that isn’t?

If your first language is English, it can be easy to think about the internet only as it pertains to English. Although English is, currently, the most common language used on the internet, Chinese is not far behind, and Spanish is the third most common internet language as of April 2019. Did you know that both China and India have a much higher number of Internet users than the United States by a long shot?

If your target market speaks a language other than English, neglecting to translate your website could have a serious negative impact on site traffic and sales. This is a large number of users who likely won’t even visit your site and inquire about your services or products.

How do you determine where your foreign website traffic is coming from?

An easy way to find out where your foreign website traffic is coming from is by utilizing Google Analytics. Within Google Analytics, you can filter the Acquisition report by country. If you notice that a decent amount of website traffic comes from specific countries, it may make sense to prioritize translating and localizing your content for that audience.

However, it’s important to note that this alone does not tell you the language your website visitors speak. For example, your U.S.-based visitors could speak Spanish, and your Canadian visitors could speak French. If you plan to target these markets, translating your website into the languages most commonly spoken in these areas is a great way to help keep visitors on your site once they land there.

Quality matters. Don’t drive your new visitors away with faulty translations.

When you decide to translate the content on your website, it can be tempting to use a free translation plugin. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can basically just add it and forget about it. But at what cost? These translations are almost always faulty. Entire blocks of text can be incorrectly translated, and the whole meaning you are trying to convey will be lost. This is an easy way to lose the customers you are attempting to engage, and it doesn’t say a lot about your brand’s image. 

Using a professional translation service ensures that the consumers visiting your page have a consistent experience on your website, thus remaining engaged with your brand and increasing the likelihood that they will convert to paying customers. By choosing a reputable translation service provider, you’re setting yourself up for increased website traffic–and boosted sales!–in no time at all. If you are looking for guidance on how to make your website translation work for you, don’t hesitate to reach out.

How a Quality Website Translation Will Help You Reach More Customers

In the current economy, eCommerce is the go-to shopping platform for many consumers, and the number of online shoppers grows each year. This opens up an effective way to reach new target demographics, both in the U.S. and abroad. In order to reach these demographics, your company should aim to use marketing materials, both print and online, in the preferred language of your target consumers. Your website is the perfect way to reach these consumers... if translated professionally! Here’s how a quality website translation will help you reach more customers.

Don’t assume an English-only website will suffice.

On the whole, people prefer to read information in their native language. By maintaining your website only in English, you risk alienating an entire potential consumer group. In fact, a study by Common Sense Advisory found that over half of consumers simply will not make a purchase on a website if information is not readily available in their native language. 

Translating print materials and advertisements may not be enough.

If you have taken the step to translate some of your marketing materials, like advertisements, mailers and flyers, it is even more critical to offer a seamless website experience in those languages. If a customer is intrigued enough that it drives them to visit your website to learn more, they will expect to find information available in their language once they land on your website. If the process feels seamless and easy for consumers, they are more likely to continue through the sales funnel, because they feel they can trust your company, as well as the information presented.

You could reach more people than you realize with a quality website translation.

More than two-thirds of the world’s internet users speak a language other than English primarily. If you are looking to target a demographic outside of the U.S., it is imperative that you localize your website for these users specifically. Even if you are only looking to reach more U.S. users, the census data shows more than 15% of all adults in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. This is a large percentage of the population that you could reach in a market where not everyone is already doing so, potentially giving you a huge advantage over competitors.

A quality website translation is an investment in your business. While it may be tempting to use a free translation service or ask a friend who studied the language to do it for you cheaply, this could have disastrous effects for your company and brand. You worked hard on creating the perfect text for your website; make sure that level of quality is reflected in the translation, too! A professional translation will not only correctly display the text in the desired language, it will also capture the nuances and tone you intend to convey to your new target audience, resulting in a more positive experience for your users... and more sales for your company!

If you are interested in translating your website, but are concerned about the budget for the initial investment, we recommend reading Translating and Localizing your Website on a Budget: Where to Begin

And of course, if you have any questions or concerns, let us know. The ATS team is always available  to help.

A Step-By-Step Plan: Marketing to Speakers of Other Languages

With 2019 in full swing, you’re likely considering new ways to market your business. Have you ever thought about reaching out to and marketing directly to speakers of languages other than English? Even if you only speak English, don’t worry. You don’t actually have to speak another language to effectively market to a demographic that does. You can market to this audience in a variety of ways, which can have a positive impact on your brand this year (and beyond!). Here are 5 steps for targeting your non-English speaking client base in 2019.

Step by Step Plan for Marketing to Speakers of Other Languages (1).png

1. Start with translating your website.

Your website is the best way to interact with customers who do not speak English. Customers will most likely start their online search for a product or service by searching for those with information available in their preferred or primary language. If your website and offerings are translated and localized on your website, your target market will feel confident in your ability to assist them, and they will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to tailor your content to them. Be sure to use a professional translator or agency to handle this. Errors caused by free, automated translation tools can be extreme and do real damage to your brand.

2. Consider multilingual SEO strategy.

While your site is undergoing translation, you’ll want to consider a multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. After all, it needs to be compatible with the terms your target audience is actually searching for! If your translated website content isn’t showing up in search results, the translation you’re investing in will certainly not give you the best bang for your buck. Analyze your audience and tailor your strategy to them. You’ll find that it often differs from what you’ve already created for your English-speaking customers. Work with your translation provider to ensure they know about your SEO strategy while creating your foreign-language website content.

3. Don’t forget about your local foreign-language market!

While online marketing is important, it is not the only way to reach your new audience. Partner with local businesses in your community, specifically those who already have an existing customer base in your target demographic. See if you can leave your business cards or brochures there as well. Don’t forget to translate and localize your hard-copy marketing content, too!

4. Consider reaching out with a translated targeted email campaign.

If you already send out email newsletters, consider translating them for your non-English-speaking readers. You may not have to translate everything within your newsletter, but if you know your customer's email address and preferred language/region, you can target your content specifically to that group! Email blasts in someone’s preferred language are more likely to drive traffic to your website and are a quick and easy way to stay in touch with those who have already decided they trust you enough to hand over their email address!

BONUS TIP #1! Don’t forget to ask for referrals or testimonials you can use in your marketing or on your website. Once you’ve driven more traffic there, it’s a great way for new and/or potential customers to see why working with you is such a wonderful option. Don’t worry about asking; most people love giving their opinion and will happily do so for you!

5. Remember to translate your print marketing materials.

Dedicate some advertising dollars to one or two of the most widely read publications in your area, ensuring the advertisements you place are localized for your non-English-speaking audience. You can direct customers to your website for more information, which will help drive traffic and deliver more information to your target audience.

BONUS TIP #2! Utilize interpreters as needed for your new customers.Once a new customer reaches out to you, make sure you have a way to communicate with them if you do not already speak their primary language. You can use over-the-phone interpreters for initial meetings or unscheduled calls, and look into requesting an on-site interpreter for client meetings or any interaction that involves contracts, providing more information, etc.

In short, keep an open mind when it comes to your marketing strategy to a foreign-language market. Like all strategies, it will take time to set the moving parts in place. But the growth you’ll see from marketing to a new demographic will be worth it!

If you found this information useful, you may also like:

Provide Value: Translating Parts of Your Newsletter For Your Customers

Translating and Localizing your Website on a Budget: Where to Begin

How Partnering with a Translation Agency Will Maximize Your Marketing Efforts

Translating your marketing content can have huge benefits for your company, especially if you have partnered with an agency that is well-suited for helping you meet your goals in foreign-language markets.  Here are a few tips for working with a translation agency when it comes to maximizing your marketing campaign efforts:

hand-895588_1920.jpg

1. Know your audience. As important as this is in marketing in general, it’s just as important in translation of marketing materials. Where does the ideal audience live and work? What dialect do they speak? Do a little homework on the group you want to reach so that you can provide this information to the agency you choose for your project.

2. Inquire about localization. Whether your content will be in print, on your website or part of a social media outreach plan, localization encompasses more than the translation of a text to reach a specific population. It incorporates the entire concept of the message via the terminology, language, images, colors, etc. used to be relevant to the audience in a specific region or locale. Localization allows you to avoid promoting content that might be offensive in another culture so that you can truly sell your brand well to consumers.

3. Ask about the translators assigned to your project. The translators who handle your marketing content should specialize in the type of translation you require. You wouldn’t want a medical translator who is a native speaker of Chilean Spanish to translate your site’s digital brochures meant for customers in Mexico City. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your project manager about a translator’s credentials so that you can feel confident the work is in good hands.

4. Don’t leave a translation request for the last minute. As soon as you know about the translation project and have the final document in hand, reach out to the translation agency so that the project manager can begin assembling the right team to handle your specific materials. Be up front about your preferred turn-around time on the project. Allow for adequate time to translate your content accurately and professionally.

5. Feel free to request the same team of linguists if you are pleased. If you are pleased with the work the agency has completed for you in the past for you, it is perfectly okay to ask that they utilize the same translators, editors and proofreaders that handled your previous projects. Agencies keep track of the teams it assigns for each project, and ensuring consistency can be as simple as maintaining the same team to work on projects that require similar terminology and context.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Translating Your Law Firm’s Website

When aiming to appeal to a demographic that does not primarily speak English, one of the first things you may want to consider is translating your law firm’s website into the languages you’re targeting. This is a great step to take in reaching new potential clients, but there are a few common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when beginning this process.

0E12F466-F2AC-449D-8504-94ABEA11EB87-38462-00002BE1F0048DD8.jpeg

1. Relying on an automatic translation tool like Google Translate. We understand how tempting it is to choose a “free” option like Google Translate when trying to trim costs. However, when your potential clients are looking for legal assistance, they want to use someone who is professional and trustworthy. If the information on your website is translated poorly (or completely mistranslated, which is often the case with automated translation) because it was handled by a machine, the individuals you are targeting are likely to continue searching elsewhere for help. Make sure your website is translated by a professional and experienced team so that your website’s tone is competent and worthy of their time from the moment they click onto your site. Professionals will also be able to help you localize the content for the exact market you want to reach.

2. Failing to translate contact information and lawyer biography pages. Sometimes you may wish to tackle website translation in different stages, which means some of the links within the site may be neglected on the first round so that the information you find to be most relevant for your law firm is translated first. One thing we recommend translating from the beginning that may be overlooked is the contact page and the lawyer biography section(s). Knowing who will be helping them on their legal journey is often critical for potential clients, so the more they can get to know and trust you from reading your biography page, the more confident they will feel about why you are the right person to help them. It is also crucial for potential clients to understand how to get in contact with you, so keep the contact page in mind when translating your website as well.

3. Having no one available to speak to them in their native language when they call. You don’t have to speak the languages of your target clients personally to be able to assist them when they call for more information, nor do you have to have a bilingual assistant available for these calls (though you certainly can!). Another option is to invest in a telephonic interpreting service plan so that you can be connected with an interpreter over the phone the moment you need one, and your potential client can feel more confident from their initial phone conversation with you. When it’s time to follow-up with an in-person meeting, reach out to your language service provider and schedule an on-site interpreter to assist you.

4. Not accounting for a foreign-language SEO strategy. Translating your website is vital for reaching new potential clients who do not speak English. However, it is not enough if your target clients cannot find you when searching online. You’ll want to choose keywords and phrases, for example, that your new audience will use when searching for legal assistance, to be sure your website turns up in those search results. When it doubt, seek professional help to ensure you are implementing the best foreign-language SEO strategy to get your law firm’s new foreign-language website launched and seen.