Why Professional Translation Services are important for Website Localisation

Website localisation is the process whereby a business translates all its content to ensure it is culturally appropriate, relatable, and accessible to global customer bases.

The world is increasingly international, and around 30% of internet users are not native English speakers. Having a website in several key languages is an excellent opportunity to reach new demographics and establish market share in different countries.

However, a direct translation is often unsuitable for business use because translation is about more than vocabulary – true localisation requires a translator to interpret the right style, grammar, and tone to communicate the correct messages and present a credible, understandable website.

Essential Factors in Creating a Multilingual Website

The first step to localisation is to think about your intended audiences and demographics to ensure the style of your content is engaging and designed for the customers you hope to reach.

It is also worth thinking about extending your translation project across all touch-points those customers might come across, for example:

Localisation isn’t as simple as translating each piece of text into a different language. It looks to ensure that every aspect of the website – or other digital content – feels natural, professional, and trustworthy, wherever your customer happens to be.

We’d also suggest checking whether your website hosting infrastructure is of a high enough specification. Most businesses have one website and one address but activate geo-tracking so that the version of the site each visitor sees depends on their location.

Other aspects of your website content will also need changing; think currencies, sales taxes, shipping rates, contact phone numbers and returns information.

Absolute Translations translation team can assist with each of these elements, working through a comprehensive checklist and ensuring every web page is ready for publication with accurate, updated information alongside professionally translated content.

The Business Benefits of Effective Website Localisation

Translating digital content can provide multiple competitive advantages – often above and beyond access to new customer demographics.

The key priority for profit-making businesses might be to reach new audiences, sell in new locations or expand market reach to different countries. However, you might also be interested in making informative content or public service guidance available and accessible worldwide.

Medical advice and cybersecurity news agencies are good examples. They need a localised website in multiple locations to ensure the assistance they offer or knowledge guides published to help consumers are accessible to all.

From a commercial perspective, website translation additional benefits include:

  • Boosted SEO: websites that have been translated into multiple languages can rank higher in the Google algorithm (although a low-quality machine translation might have the opposite impact!). Additional web pages in different languages can also be a great opportunity to add more backlinks to your digital content, which can further improve your search engine position.
  • Accessing less competitive markets: if the product or service you sell in the UK is widely available, you might need to work hard to compete. However, you may have a far broader audience and less competition overseas.
  • Improved reputation: an international business with a diverse customer base and global brand presence has greater credibility than a smaller, domestic business. A smooth transition to cater to international audiences is also an effective way to demonstrate your capacity for growth, which can be important if you wish to attract investment.

Working with an experienced translator can also help identify other ways to improve your website.

Taking a fresh look at your content, brand tone of voice, and visual content can be a chance to revisit older content or spend some time refreshing your existing website – while you localise it to expand your business further.

Website Translation vs Localisation

Translation and localisation are linked, but they aren’t the same! Localisation considers your content as a whole rather than focusing only on the language and text on your website.

Images and videos may not be relevant to other countries. In some cases, a graphic that works perfectly well at home could be considered negative or even offensive to another culture.

Symbols are also relevant because icons or imagery we use in the western world can be unacceptable overseas. Examples such as animals, houses or imagery, especially hands or feet, may need to be modified. Other symbols are more obvious – such as units of measurement, currencies, and time and date displays.

Native translators can also pick up on subtle design flaws that might dampen the returns you make, such as using a colour that is deemed unlucky or untrustworthy.

While we might assume localisation applies to global expansions, it can be just as valuable if you wish to connect with growing audiences closer to home. For example, if you ship throughout the UK, would your Welsh customers appreciate the option of viewing product information in Welsh?

A fully localised website considers the customer experience from start to finish, ensuring the content makes the right first impression, respects their language, culture, and religion, and adapts messaging and branding to meet the expectations and needs of their intended audience.

The Importance of Professional Translations in Localisation

Entering the global marketplace is a significant opportunity. Still, without the right investment in a properly localised website, it can also present numerous hurdles to success that may not be immediately obvious.

Understanding a foreign market is fundamental, and even an innocent mistranslation may alter the intended message or information you had meant to publish. These mistakes can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover from.

There are thousands of subtleties and differences in the way we interpret words, and a simple piece of text that works nicely as a play on words, alliterative title or humorous joke might mean something very different in another language.

Working with a capable translator experienced in website localisation can make a huge difference to your prospects in an overseas marketplace and ensure all the content you publish – including multimedia content – is suitable, on-brand, professional and credible.


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