Designing a user-friendly website means all elements of the user experience (UX) should fit neatly together like a puzzle. The images, copy, navigation and design all motivate the consumer to explore the site further and hopefully make that all-important purchase. If you are launching a global website, translation plays a key role in the UX and should be considered from the start of the website creation process.
The localization of your content is influenced by the needs of your target audiences. Unfortunately, the translation of a website can sometimes be overlooked, as many feel these “final touches” can be added towards the end of the process. If you want to reach global audiences, translation should be an integral piece of your website from the beginning. Websites need to be highly adaptable for their environment, which also means adapting to the location that their content is being shown in.
The benefits of including translated content towards the beginning of the website design process are great. It will help position your website as an international entity from the get-go, boost SERPs and SEO and will help you understand how to tailor your website for various languages, locales and buying cultures.
Website Translation Tips
In order for translation to positively affect the UX of a website, a few factors need to be taken into consideration and followed:
- Know the multilingual capabilities of your content management system (CMS). Translation capabilities differ from CMS to CMS. Check out GPI’s Translation Plugin site to see how easy exporting and importing translated content to your CMS can be.
- Research your audience. Detemine which languages and locations you want to target. Once you decide which global audiences you want to attract to your website, thoroughly research their languages, cultures, demographics and online and purchasing habits. Some of the questions you will want to answer are: “which search engines do they use?”, “what social sites do they visit?”, “do they prefer mobile searches?” All of these questions, and many more, will help you create the best UX for your customers.
- Utilize professional translation services. To avoid costly translation blunders, try to avoid machine translation software when translating the content of your website. Professional, experienced, and subject matter tested translators understand the needs of your target audience and will be able to offer creative solutions to any translation challenges.
- Translate the meaning, not the words. Localize. Translating websites is about how the message of the content will come across to a particular audience. Double-checking certain words and phrases, images, colors and the tone of the copy when translating will help ensure the content is understood and respected globally.
Copywriting for a website is creative and challenging work. Translators understand this, they know that they need to understand the context of the website and what the site is trying to deliver. Translating your website from the initial planning phase will help the content be understood. This is why translators, developers and designers should work hand-in-hand in order to present the public with a globally interactive website that will reach more people and be understood by more consumers.