10 Ways How to Translate a Website in 2020 [Full Guide]

Alex Buran
14 min readJul 9, 2020

Running a business without a website:

  • Is it possible?
  • Would it be a successful business?
  • How would clients get to know this business?
  • Will it manage better marketing strategies than your business?

Although we know “word of mouth” advertising is one of the most efficient and classic ways to gain potential customers, technology has made possible so many ways to connect with your customers that nowadays, your business could literally be found with just one click in their mobile phone’s screens.

What would better than that little spot where your customers could learn about your business, your products/services, check your updates and who knows, probably shopping online? A website, your social media channels and a good marketing strategy would help a lot when it comes to let them know you.

Some people use local listings as the first option to expand their business in a local market, making it easier for customers to find them. Others, maybe some steps ahead, use a website to add key information about their business to be found on search engines, which means, the proper keywords and a good SEO strategy is required to drive more clients directly to your website.

Although creating the website and creating content sounds like an easy process, with so many websites and so many businesses, you may wonder what exactly to share on your website. Besides your image, logos, colors and website layout, the pages you create to share your content are the best way to let others know about your business.

Some important pages to engage clients:

About — let the world know how it all started, your mission, your vision.

Product/Service — specifications, benefits, advantages, why should we buy it or hire you?

Blog — share updates, stories that would inspire others and motivate them to come back regularly for a second purchase.

Contact — this will be your link to customers, phone, email, social media channels, live chat, etc.

Some important details to share:

Images — adapt them to your target market.

Location — a physical store where we could find you.

Schedule — working hours.

Links (on the sidebar or footer widgets) — this could be interesting websites, posts, videos, audios, anything that’s related to your business that may catch customer’s interest.

Social Media Channels — this is one of the most common ways for customers to connect to businesses, most of their comments may be a good sign that your work is on the right path, so you want to keep your attention on the things that make your customers happy.

Knowing the information on your website will help you improve your customers’ experience, makes it essential, defining your marketing strategies to acquire new customers and build loyalty could be a good reason to take some time to generate interesting content. Now, if we change a little the approach of what your website represents to your local customers for what it would be to your global customers, it sounds like a good idea to focus on what your message to your customers is and how you decide to share it.

Once you decide to boost your business growth, it’s time to define your target market and adapting your website for this new phase means to reach that new target market literally with their own words, making a research about this new country, new culture, new customers is simply important because that is how you will adapt your strategies knowing the market you will face.

It isn’t a secret that no matter if we are bilingual, it is always more comfortable to get information in our native language, especially when it is related to topics we enjoy, products we are used to or services we may need. That is why I would like to highlight the importance of your message in a different language, whether your target market is Costa Rica, Japan or Brazil, if you really want to measure good results in these countries thanks to the impact of your website and social media content, you will need to translate your website into Spanish, Japanese or Portuguese.

“Translation is the process of rendering text from one language into another so that the meaning is equivalent. Localization is a more comprehensive process and addresses cultural and non-textual components as well as linguistic issues when adapting a product or service for another country or locale”. (Source: Venga Global).

Translation, this common process to transform your website from your native language to the target one, allows your customer to fully understand what your business is about and of course, your updates. Being consistent in how they see your website determines whether they buy or leave, so your design and content in English is what they should see in their own language.

Translation Options:

Here comes the eternal question, should I use Human or Machine Translation?

The truth is that you could use both, just keep in mind this will be your website’s translation, the purpose is acquiring new customers through your words and images and a wrong translation could cost you a lot more than just some dollars. You want your website to be as professional as your business culture, if your credibility is already established in your home town or your country, you may want to do the same in this new target market and using the right or wrong words on your message is definitely an opportunity to succeed or fail, when it comes to translations, define what you need from this document, paragraph or image and you will be able to decide the type of translation you will use.

Human translation is well known for its accuracy and the incredible benefit that a native speaker would give to this project. There are certain aspects of human translation that would make this work sound as a native business, the tone, the intention, the grammar, language nuance, cultural facts and proofreading abilities. These professionals will provide sense where literal translation would absolutely fail. Of course, in this case you depend on the translator’s ability and availability to get the work done.

There also, machine translation as a quicker alternative, this automated translation uses artificial intelligence and neural machine system to translate. Some of the most common ones are: Google, DeepL, Skype, Yandex. Although artificial intelligence is enhanced everyday, at times machine translation tend to be literal and as you can imagine, it isn’t possible for a machine to correct certain aspects of your content in case there were errors which is why certain companies offer both type of translations, it is a fact that machines have reduced the delivery time, making the work more efficient, it is possible to use the same tool to translate into several languages in a short period of time but the accuracy and language nuance would not be the ideal ones since a machine won’t take the context into account.

Once you have your website translated into your target language, it’s time to think if your website is SEO to this new market and if it can be found on search engines result pages (SERPs), a SEO strategy would ease the localization process of your website.

It is essential to make sure your website has basic and important information for both, your regular and potential customers but how do they find your website? This is when a SEO friendly website helps, every detail is important; the domain name, the quality and quantity of traffic to your website is affected by organic search engine results.

I want to make sure you understand that the quality of your traffic, this is basically related to the people that would genuinely visit your website because they are truly interested in your product or service, and the quantity of traffic is a total different topic, it improves once the website or information is found on search engine result pages (SERPs), organic traffic is the one you don’t have to pay for, they come from search engine result pages (SERPs) while SEM ads are paid.

Knowing that localization is meant to highlight your product/service or content by making users feel home, comfortable when they land on your website as if they landed on their native language one, it is absolutely worthy to take time in this step.

Some details you may want to consider when working on localizing your website:

– Adapting images and colors to appeal to local audiences, remember a specific color may have different meanings depending on the country or culture, when it comes to images, you could post something that’s familiar to the target market.

– The target language format. Some languages may need special characters or are RTL languages. Ensure your website layout supports the localized site language format.

– Units of measurement, such as the date and time formats.

– Cultural norms and values are extremely important, you don’t want your customers to feel offended by your website layout or content.

At times it is possible that your goal isn’t just translating into one target language, maybe you just want to transform your website into one that can be found worldwide by the international audience without a specific country in mind but maybe with a wider audience. If this is your case, the proper translation and localization processes are still as important as we have mentioned along this article. The right words will take the right message to the target market and generate the sales you work so hard for.

As we know, some languages are more spoken than others making them the most common languages to translate websites into, such as Spanish, German, Portuguese among others.

Here is a list of 20 most spoken languages (source: Lingoda):

  1. English
  2. Mandarin Chinese
  3. Hindi
  4. Spanish
  5. French
  6. Standard Arabic
  7. Bengali
  8. Russian
  9. Portuguese
  10. Indonesian
  11. Urdu
  12. Standard German
  13. Japanese
  14. Swahili
  15. Marathi
  16. Telugu
  17. Western Punjabi
  18. Wu Chinese
  19. Tamil
  20. Turkish

Translation, Localization, SEO, a few concepts that you must manage to properly Optimize your multilingual Website:

Optimizing the content of your website in each of your target language is the key to be found on search engines and of course, by your target market. Although English is a common language, globally used, you have to keep in mind that even in English speaking countries there are non-native speakers who would prefer your website content in their native language.

A simple way to understand your website or blog, as a non-English speaker is trying Google translate, but going back to the main idea of this article, sharing your words in a professional way requires more than an automated translation. A SEO strategy requires a good knowledge of your target market, interests, language, culture and most importantly, their search habits.

Once you define your target audience, know them and start creating content to engage them, it is important to determine the keywords they would use on search engines and the probability that your website matches those keyboards. Some other factors that will help you understand your audience better are:

  • How your SEO is influenced by Social Media
  • Backlinks and how to build more on multilingual markets
  • Content strategy, create content native people would enjoy as they would in their language
  • Google statistics, this provides information about the number of user and their location
  • Online stores? you might want to consider the currency and the expectations of the international market and local SEO strategies
  • Your domain name is how you will be found by your customers worldwide, depending on your name’s choice, some target languages speakers will find it easier than others
  • Test your website, visit it from the client’s perspective and keep in mind the search engine result pages (SERPs), is your website easy to find?

If you have read my previous articles, I guess you know the ConveyThis blog has a variety of topics to help you improve certain aspects of your business, from translation and localization to optimizing your marketing strategies to get the best of your online store.

Not only have we given the best tips to optimize your website in several ways, but also, we have made possible the communication between businesses and their target market.

Today I would like to explain some of the ways ConveyThis would help your business succeed, but first, let me introduce you to this company.
Created as a side project of Translation Services USA, ConveyThis comes to our screens as a website translation software and a company that promises to optimize your SEO strategies and e-commerce. Breaking language barriers and enabling e-commerce worldwide are the motivation behind ConveyThis, the intention is basically, helping small businesses reach a higher level by becoming global businesses thanks to their translation and localization services.

ConveyThis — The Website

This website offers a variety of pages anyone would find useful.

— Home: from a reason why to the different approach this company would cover, they let know why you wouldn’t consider any other company.

— Integrations for WordPress, WooCommecer, Shopify, Wix, SquareSpace and many more platforms to be translated. Once the plugin is installed, your website will be automatically translated into your target language.

– Resources: This is a very important page because they describe the “how” they would help your business.

The Plugin
One way to make the process easy and quick, is the plugin, installing their translation plugin on your website will allow you to translate it into +90 languages, including RTL languages, SEO optimization, proper domain configuration.

How do I install ConveyThis plugin in my WordPress?

– Go to your WordPress control panel, click “Plugins” and “Add New”.

– Type “ConveyThis” in search, then “Install Now” and “Activate”.

– When you refresh the page, you’ll see it activated but not configured yet, so click on “Configure Page”.

– You will see the ConveyThis configuration, to do this, you’ll need to create an account at www.conveythis.com.

– Once you confirmed your registration, check the dashboard, copy the unique API key, and go back to your configuration page.

– Paste the API key in the appropriate place, select source and target language and click “Save Configuration

– Once you’re done, you just have to refresh the page and the language switcher should work, to customize it or additional settings click “show more options” and for more on the translation interface, visit the ConveyThis website, go to Integrations > WordPress > after the installation process is explained, by the end of this page, you’ll find “please proceed here” for further information.

More on translation services

Free Website Translator: when you need a quick solution to translate your website, create a free account, login and activate a free subscription to use the free website translator, it has +90 languages available and developed by Translation Services USA.

Translation Memory: this memory will recycle the content and count repeated segments, this database will quickly reuse repeated content on future translations, privacy is guaranteed, even if several translators are working on the same document through the Cloud, and this is a memory that is constantly enhanced with new functions and can be used as a foundational database for specialized translations engines.

Online Translator: in cases when the information you need to translate doesn’t require a whole website but a paragraph of max. 250 characters, you can count of the Convey This Online Translator. It’s machine translation powered by Google Translate, DeepL, Yandex, and other neural translation services, although this is machine translation, it is good to know this company counts on human translation too, so professional translators could work on your project if needed.

If you ever need to count your words, ConveyThis also has a free Website Word Counter based on public pages, including every word on your HTML source and SEO tags.

You may find the ConveyThis classic widget for your website as a JavaScript widget that can be copied and pasted to add a translation functionality to your website.

ConveyThis — The Blog

I would like to make special emphasis on this blog because as a translator, content creator and editor, I consider it one of the most helpful I have read in terms of e-commerce and of course, translation and localization. For entrepreneurs, startups and even the most experienced businesses, this blog may be at least a suggestion, an advice, guidance or is simply a reference to reconsider your strategies and adjust them to what today’s technology demands.

ConveyThis presents two comparative charts where you can study which of the companies, ConveyThis, WeGlot or Bablic offer better prices for similar services.

Besides the comparative charts, you have a great number of articles divided into different categories depending on their purpose:

  • Our Journey
  • Website Translation Service
  • Translation Tips
  • Localization Hacks
  • New Features
  • Website Builders

As you can see, this company has well covered most of the important aspects regarding a good communication between your business and your customers, the most important now is that you choose which of their services is the one that would help you and your business stand out in contrast to your competitors and an always growing, changing and challenging market.

Choose your platform

I think of these platforms as the best ways to share content and images. An ally with several integrations, plugins, widgets and many more functions to let our creativity flow and transform our local business into a 100% functional and responsive website. Some of the most common platforms to start build your website or start your blog are: WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, SquareSpace, Wix.com, Weebly, GoDaddy, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, among others.

Desktop Browser/Google Chrome Translation

When we talk about translating your website and optimizing your SEO so it can be found on search engine result pages (SERPs), which is the web browser you use the most? You would probably say: Google Chrome.
Now, how could you automatically translate websites on chrome?
This isn’t necessarily the traditional way to translate a website, but a truly helpful tool whenever you need a quick language switch.

— You got to click the red up arrow in the top right of your browser window.

– Click the “Settings” menu.

– Scroll down to “Languages” and click on your selected language.

– Enable the “Offer to translate pages that aren’t in a language you can read” option.

– You will now automatically translate any webpage that is not in your selected language with a simple click.

In case you are one of those who prefer Firefox, there is always a Google Translate add-on you can use to select the text you want translated by Google Translate, the benefit: it is a quick and easy to use tool but it is machine translation only.

Other devices/Mobile Phones Translation

If you think of what technology has done for us along the years, it is obvious that somehow we have the world in a phone and a click away, this includes taking our business to our customers’ phones too, finding new and alternative ways to send our message, sell our products and offer our services, if we add the fact that now your business is a global one, some of your customers living on the other side of the planet would love to read about you in their own language too, are there ways to do this? Absolutely!

Microsoft’s translator would be a good alternative for iPhone’s users, this can be found using Safari, in the “Share” button when you scroll until you read “More”, there you will be able to enable “Microsoft Translator” by clicking “On” and “Done”, although this is limited you can still use it when your phone is the only device you have in that moment.

For Android users there is the Google Translate in the built in Google browser, so once you open a page you can select “More” and then the target language at the bottom of the page, Chrome will give you the choice to translate it one time or always.

In conclusion, I was given the important job to transmit a message that I hope it is helpful to anyone looking for some guidance or tips to find the aspects you can adjust in your business, your strategies, your business plan and you will probably discover the many ways you could innovate in a global marketplace. Technology is without a doubt, the most useful tool to build that close relationship with your customers, by choosing the proper platform to provide the right information, you will increase the number of visits on your website, generate the sales you expect and eventually achieve the goals in your business plan. Now you know you could use Google Translate for details and Website Translate Software providers based on human and machine translation made by professionals. Although we talked about websites’ translations, we also discovered the alternatives we can find on our mobile phones in case it is the only device we have at a specific moment, always keeping in mind that our website was created using a responsive design that can be seen on multiple platforms.

Originally published at: https://www.conveythis.com/website-translation-service/how-to-translate-a-website-in-2020/