English is used by just 27% of Internet users. While this is higher than any other language used on the Internet, it still means that you are ignoring 73% of internet users when you write exclusively in English.
Many website owners have realised the importance of targeting users globally. However, taking your website to the international stage involves more than just translating the words.
CBR consulted Sarah Dawes, a writer at translation agency BetterLanguages.com, to pinpoint the five most important technical matters to consider before translating your web pages into different languages.
1. International Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
You might appear on the first page of the search engines for your target keywords in English, but this doesn't mean you can take for granted a high ranking all over the world.
Keyword research needs to be carried out for each language you translate into, as a simple translation of your current keywords might not be what people are searching for. Beware that literal translations might suggest something completely different than what you intend. For example, when talking about the 'body' of a car, a literal translation into Dutch or Flemish of 'lijk' would mean 'corpse'. The correct term in the car body context is 'carrosserie', but Dutch also uses the English term 'body', so Dutch Internet users may search on the English term, or on a combination of English and Dutch.
Take into account common colloquialisms, and regional dialects if relevant. Target the keywords that people who speak your target language are searching for, taking care to place them in influential places such as title tags, alt tags and headings.
Established in 1957, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, promotes wider social and economic progress through the advancement of information...