If you’re a hopeless monolinguist like I am, the thought of translating your website into other languages may have never crossed your mind. On the other hand, it might be something you’ve already considered but never taken action on.
Either way, this can be more of a difficult decision than it seems to be. There are potential benefits to ponder, but you also have to weigh up the cost and time commitment involved. Let’s talk about a few key points that could factor into your decision.
Consider Your Local Demographic
This factor is most relevant to location-based businesses, such as service providers and physical retail stores.
While Australia is incredibly multicultural in general, there are specific suburbs and regions that are home to many who speak English as their second language. If you have data (either first-hand from customers or via general statistics) that suggests your business’s location has a high population of people who speak a certain language, you could very well benefit from offering a translation of your website. Examples could include:
- A restaurant in Sunnybank, Brisbane having a Mandarin version of their website
- A fashion boutique in Carlton, Melbourne having an Italian version of their website.
Is Your Business Destined For International Greatness?
Do you have plans to expand overseas? Perhaps your products could sell well in South East Asia, or maybe your business model could become a chain with franchises around the world. Whatever the specifics are, if breaking borders and growing internationally is somewhere in your short- or medium-term future, it’s a great idea to get in early and equip your website to meet the demands of locals in every relevant country. The last thing you want is to miss out on the first key sales in a new location because none of your potential customers can read your site!
Maybe It’s Just A Perception Thing
So maybe your ambitions fall short of conquering the world. Or expanding to other countries is still in the distant future. There could still be some benefit to having that ‘translate’ option on your website. Doing so can create the impression that your business – and your customer base – is larger than it might actually be. And you might be surprised by the subtle-yet-genuine influence this can have when it comes to winning over clients.
Of course, no matter who your business’s target market is, you’re sure to have plenty of customers who do speak more than one language. Showing that your company can do the same is always a nice small touch.
Yep, I’ve Decided I Want My Website To Be Multilingual – What Now?
Just plug it all into Google Translate and you’re good to go! Obviously, I’m kidding. While this Google service is great (and free), its translations are known for not always being 100% accurate. It definitely pays to invest in a professional translator to handle this for you.
Beyond the actual words, it’s also vital to make sure your translated pages are implemented correctly from an SEO perspective. This means setting up your code correctly to ensure your website can recognise which country your readers are visiting from and automatically load up the most appropriate version. Another component of handling your translations successfully is ensuring your domains and URLs all line up correctly. Thankfully, this is something our SEO gurus can assist with – just get in touch if you need some help!