Offering your website in many languages makes good business sense. While your primary audience might be in a particular region, offering your site in more than one language means that you can appeal to a broader audience and be ready for expansion. Having a multilingual site is an important part of scalability plans.

Making your website content accessible in the most common languages of your market is an important step for converting web visitors into customers. If people can fully understand your product or service, they are more likely to convert to sales than those who do not.

Translate your website

When you are ready to translate your content, it is important that you invest in professional services. The subtleties of context, grammar, culture and other nuances can easily be lost when translating, and if you’ve ever used generic online translation tools, you’ll know that much can be lost.

The essential elements that need to be translated include:

Text: Your site’s copy, from text boxes on your homepage to the buttons on your menu, and all of your online retailing details if you’re using an eCommerce platform. You also need to be aware of any potential cultural references. If your CTAs use snappy catchphrases, make sure they actually mean something in other languages.

Images: You can also ‘translate’ your images. If you offer localized services and want to display photos of your programs from sites across the world, you can select the requisite images to match the regional language of the text.

Dates: The format of the month and date is different around the world. The best practice is to write the date in full, rather than 02/11, which in some regions means 2nd of November, or in others, February 11th.

SEO settings: Optimising your pages for the best search results is vital to your marketing strategy. Start by going through the process of finding the perfect keywords in the additional language – and update your site’s SEO settings accordingly. That way, curious potential customers searching the web for a business or solution like yours in their native language will have a higher chance of stumbling across your site.

Feature your website’s multilingual capability by adding a language menu

Add your language options as a drop-down at the top of your page, or even better, add a pop-up to let traffic know about their options. Add a flag that the user can click on to change the content. Make it easy to find because traffic looking at your site who do not understand the language are looking for that translate option in the first few seconds that they land on your page. If they can’t find it, they will navigate away.