You’ve invested a lot in your company’s website – hired the best web designer, found an amazing content writer, and managed to make visitors flock to your site. So why is it that you’re not having the same impact with international customers? Let’s see if you’re making one (or more) of the top 5 translation mistakes that could be losing you customers.


1. You used automatic translation

While automatic translation is constantly being improved, it still can’t match human translation. That’s because a person will be able to add personality to your writing and judge the context for ambiguous sentences. For example, the sentence “I am free all day Monday” could mean that you are available or that you do not charge for your services – an important point to translate for lawyers, doctors or anyone charging for their time.


2. You used your cousin

Your cousin spent a year studying in Spain, but can he really translate your website the way a native speaker can? Having friends and family translate your content may seem like the cheaper option, but you’ll be paying for it in the long run. Professional translators not only transfer your website from one lanuage into another, but they also keep the same tone and core message of the original content while rewording it to sound natural in the local language.


3. You didn’t adapt your SEO

International SEO is like your multilingual web content it’s not enough to translate it word-for-word – you need to adapt it to the target audience. The most important part of international SEO is analyzing which keywords to use. This is where you need to look at the most searched terms, which could be different than your original ones. For example, in one language, “housekeeping service” may be the most searched phrase, while in another language, “housekeeping agency” may be used more often.


4. You only translated your website

Many businesses are increasing their customer engagement by complementing their website with extra content like white papers, informative blog posts and social media interaction. The more value your content marketing brings to your audience, the more traffic and leads you will generate, which is why having an international content marketing strategy is an important success factor when expanding to foreign markets.


5. You didn’t check your whole website

Often website translation involves exporting the original content and importing the translated text. It’s important to check over your entire website and look for:

  • Correct layout (translated content can often be longer or shorter than the original and skew the layout of your page)
  • “hidden” text in images
  • Localization of currency, measurements, taxes, legal notices, etc.

There are a wide range of reasons why your website may not be taking off in foreign markets, but sometimes the answer simply lies in the quality of your site’s translation. By avoiding these 5 mistake, you’ll greatly improve your chances of reaching a global audience and protecting your company’s reputation abroad.

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