When you decide to offer your products and services on the international market, one of the first things you should do is translate your website into a foreign language. Studies have shown that around 72% of consumers spend most of their time online visiting websites in their own native language. At the same time, roughly the same percentage of people will complete their shopping more easily if the information on the offer is in their language.
Therefore, in order for a brand to attract attention from international shoppers, it is crucial that it speaks to them in their own language.
When translating a website to a foreign language, of course you will focus primarily on the sales texts. However, it is also important to pay attention to some other details that can make the difference between success and failure.
Who will work on translating the website into the foreign language?
Will it be a company employee who knows your offer very well, but doesn’t possess perfect knowledge of the foreign language in question or cultural knowledge of your target audience’s country? On the one hand, this might seem like an attractive offer, especially because it seems – at a glance – that you won’t have to put any extra funds into translation.
However, if you speak to your potential buyers from abroad using texts that are in their language, but don’t sound natural to a native speaker, they won’t accept them as something familiar and natural. On the contrary, they will focus on the phrases that sound wrong to them and/or examples that don’t collocate with their knowledge of their own language, while every grammatical error will jump out at them, pulling their attention away from the products. The consequences? Poor sales.
All of this can be easily avoided if you invest in hiring a translation agency. Professional translators will make sure that your content is delivered in a natural tone and manner of phrasing, correct expressions and metaphors that collocate in a way that’s natural for that specific language-speaking area. In other words, the translator will infuse the text with their knowledge of the cultural, linguistic and habitual spirit of the area whose language they are translating.
Hiring professional translators will also be of great help to you when selecting illustrations, graphics, photos and other visual elements on your website. Seeing how they know the cultural differences and specificities of the foreign country whose language they are translating into, the translators will be able to give you quality recommendations and advice in this area as well.
For example, did you know that the color yellow symbolizes happiness and calm in Hinduism, sorrow in Greece and jealousy in France? A translator will know these things.
In other words, hiring a translating agency to do your translations will help you avoid the risk of using inadequate coloring or color schemes for a certain market on your website.
Is your website really fully translated?
When translating a website into a foreign language, special attention should be paid to making sure that all elements have been translated. Make sure you double check:
- Contact forms
- Error messages that are displayed to the user if they haven’t filled in your contact forms correctly.
- Menu items
- The currencies listed in pricing for your products
- Alt-tags on the images
- The text accompanying your images
- Video titles
- The newsletter that is sent to your website’s visitors automatically (if you have one)
In other words, you should pay close attention to every little detail and your users will know to appreciate your effort.