Your business has grown sufficiently to start trading abroad and you need a multilingual website to market your business globally. This is not simply a case of translating the content of your existing website into the different languages, there are several things you need to prepare for. Launching an international website carries with it an amount of reputation building risk in terms of the translation of your content. What you don’t want is to find that your website abroad is sub-standard and is reflecting badly on your business at home.
Yes you will need to translate your content, but for each site you should ensure this is carried out by individuals who are fluent not only in the language but also in terms of the culture and of the online marketplace relevant to your business. They should be familiar with your business and be able to recreate the site content with an eye to what works locally. Take a look at www.msn.com and compare it with uk.msn.com and you will see how different the two are in terms of presentation and content.
It is more than likely that you will need to bring in a search engine optimization company to manage the process and ensure your translated pages are optimised for the big four, but also for local search engines. Search terms should not be translated, they should be newly created and come from an understanding of what other countries might use to find information. Your SEO company should provide link building, manage local social media and ensure your site content is appropriately copyrighted in the country concerned. It is crucial to get these things right before launching – and don’t forget to convert to local currency!