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Translating Your Website to Break Into New Markets

Localise for success in international markets with a results-driven approach

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If you’re considering expanding your business internationally, localising your website for overseas customers is essential. There are numerous human translation agencies available to assist with this process, but achieving effective engagement with your customers and maximising conversions across different markets requires a strategic approach. At ALM, we have compiled a guide with practical tips on how to translate your website effectively and compete in the global marketplace.

Choosing Your Market

Market Selection

The first step in international expansion is choosing the right market. This decision should be informed by a variety of factors specific to your industry and the nature of your product or service.

Research

Begin by identifying potential markets that align well with your business objectives. Analyse the demographics of your target customers and observe the strategies your competitors are employing in those markets.

Market Knowledge

Once you have selected your target markets, invest time in understanding them deeply. Focus on learning about conversion rates specific to your industry within these markets. At ALM, we offer competitor analysis services that can help you set precise, market-specific goals for revenue or ROI.

Finding A Localisation Partner

Early in the process, it’s crucial to choose a translation company that not only provides translation services but also understands digital strategies. A good localisation partner will offer insights into local market preferences and trends, which are vital for tailoring your marketing strategies and enhancing your website’s performance internationally.

Technical Considerations for a Multilingual Website

Technical Aspects of Localisation

Beyond content, several technical elements need consideration when transitioning to a multilingual, multi-market website.

File Formats

Typical CMSs export content in formats like CSV, XML or JSON. If your CMS uses a different format, ensure your translation partner has the expertise to manage it effectively, including seamless integration of translated pages back into your CMS.

Workflow Testing

Before starting the translation, it’s important to “roundtrip” your content – exporting it, simulating the translation process with pseudotranslation, and then re-importing it to check for any content that may have been missed. This preemptive check helps avoid untranslated sections of your website, which can delay launch and incur additional costs.

In-Situ Review

After translating every page and importing the files back into the CMS, conduct a thorough review on a staging server. This step involves linguists performing final checks to ensure that the content’s appearance and user experience are appropriate and tailored for the target market.

Brand Identity Across Markets

Maintaining Brand Consistency

A crucial aspect of international success is ensuring that your translated content reflects your brand values consistently across all markets.

Linguists should understand when to adapt the content to fit the target language and culture and when to adhere more closely to the original message. Certain elements, such as humour, may not translate well across cultures and might require significant adaptation to maintain the brand’s essence and appeal.

Optimising Your Website for Global Audiences

Website Optimisation for International Visibility: Simply translating your website isn’t enough to guarantee visibility in new markets.

Keywords

Translating keywords directly often doesn’t yield effective results. It’s better to research keywords directly in the target language with specialist native SEOs, to capture those with the highest search volume and relevance in each market.

Off-Page SEO

Once your localised website is live, consider implementing an international backlink strategy. Obtaining links from reputable sites within your target market can enhance your website’s credibility and improve its ranking in search results.

Summary & Next Steps

  • Identify a translation partner early to assist with market selection and strategic planning.
  • Ensure your CMS is optimally configured to handle multilingual content and streamline workflows.
  • Allocate a budget for ongoing digital marketing activities to maximise the performance of your localised site in new markets.
  • Contact ALM for expert assistance in achieving your international market goals.

 

Find more of our “How to” guides and downloadable content here.

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