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Website Translation Mistakes That Will Convince You To Use a Professional Translation Agency

By Neil Gauld, 

Suppose you are planning to establish your business in a new international market. In that case, only a professionally translated website will get your marketing message across as intended. What people experience when they visit your website plays a massive role in how they feel about your company and your brand and is a make or break when successfully launching a business abroad. If you make mistakes when translating your site, your new venture could be a flop. 

Here are some common translation mistakes that will convince you to use a professional translation agency.

Mistake 1: Not Optimising For Mobile

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has had a huge impact on the way we access the internet. Mobile now accounts for over half of all online searches worldwide, and that figure is only going to increase. You will have made sure that your website has been optimised for mobile in its native language, so it’s important that the same is done for the mobile version of your translated website. 

When text is translated, most languages expand on average by up to 30%, which means it can end up a lot longer and need changes to the UI to remain legible and visually pleasing. Also, some languages read in a different direction or appear differently on mobile, which will require alteration if you want your site to appeal to your readers and be easy to read. Finally, poorly translated and localised websites put people off engaging with your brand, which is why it’s vital to ensure experts have optimised your mobile pages.

Mistake 2: Ignoring Multilingual SEO

You could have the most successfully translated website in the world, but if people can’t find it, they won’t visit. Your website may perform well in its own country, but you shouldn’t assume that simply translating a website is enough to drive success in other territories. Multilingual SEO involves incorporating localised keywords and search terms into the content of your translated website to enable users to find it in their native language.

Implementing multilingual SEO techniques will help your site rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), which will drive much more traffic to your site. As a result, if your content is easier to find, you will grow an audience much faster. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking translating both your content and your keywords with Google Translate will be sufficient. In both cases, localise your translations appropriately and finely tune every aspect, from the nuances of language to cultural beliefs, to ensure that it is searchable and accessible in the new territory.

Mistake 3: Not Creating Termbases

Different words can have a variety of meanings within various industries and companies. For example, in most companies, the term ‘screen’ refers to a computer screen, but in medicine, it can also refer to medical checks. Phrases like these can confuse, especially in high-risk fields like law or medicine, where ambiguities or misunderstandings can have serious consequences. A termbase is a reference document containing all terms particular to a company and instructions for using them. Even when not being used within a high-risk field, termbases increase readability and stop users from getting confused.  

Termbases for translation should contain approved translations of relevant terms, along with information such as concepts, definitions, grammatical information and the domain that should use it. Inconsistent terminology can cause mistakes when it comes to translation and will require more work. Therefore, before translating your website, create a termbase to help you avoid costly mistakes. 

Mistake 4: Not Localising User Experience (UX)

User experience (UX) design is a design process used to create products that offer usable, learnable and relevant experiences to the end-user. UX refers to everything that affects the user’s experience of a website and makes their visit as friction-free as possible. However, a good UX in one country may not be the same in another. This means that your UX needs to be successfully localised if it is to be successful.

Localising UX involves converting measurements, numbers, date formats and phone numbers, adapting the layout to text length requirements. Another important consideration is adapting the visual design to appeal to specific cultures and making changes to images and other media to ensure they are appropriate to the target market. Not localising the UX will create a complicated or confusing website, making users click away much faster. Asking a professional agency with specialist knowledge of the target country and language to localise your UX will make the translated website far more successful.

Mistake 5: Forgetting to plan and prioritise

Translating your company’s entire online presence in a single go will be hugely time-consuming and may feel overwhelming. However, many companies don’t realise that it isn’t necessary to translate everything in one shot. If you are holding back on launching in a new country until your website is wholly translated, you could miss out on important business. By figuring out which parts of your website are essential and prioritising them, you will have sufficient content to launch your website into new markets, and the rest can be translated and added later. A professional translation agency can help you figure out which pages are the most important and create a plan to translate your website in an organised and efficient way.

There is a lot to consider when embarking on a major translation project and localising your website for a new market. But, unfortunately, mistakes that will harm your business can happen all too often. The best way to avoid these damaging errors is to employ the services of a skilled and professional translation agency like Brightlines. In addition, we will ensure that your website offers an engaging and consistent brand message, whatever the language.

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