Translating a website into a new language is often vital to entering a foreign market. But despite their benefits, it’s typically best to avoid automated machine translations. Using translation services, with skilled human translators, is a much better option for startups looking at global growth.
1. Translation Services Help You Expand to International Markets
Globalization is quickly becoming par for the course for all startups.
In this day and age, you’d be silly to leave viable foreign markets untouched just because they use different languages.
What once seemed like an overwhelming task—translating web content into multiple languages—is now easy with a translation service.
Not only are these translation services experts in many of the world’s most commonly used languages (and many less common ones as well), but they know how to tie in quality translation with your overall SEO and online marketing efforts to most effectively boost international sales.
According to Ethnologue, the most widely spoken languages in the world are Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic, and Hindi, in that order.
There’s little reason not to test the waters in markets where these languages reign supreme, despite the fact that translation is required.
2. Translation Services Help You Reach New Audiences
Expanding your brand into new markets will help you reach new audiences.
There are countless Internet users around the globe that—while they don’t speak your language—are perfect for your products or services.
Rather than rely on a halfhearted marketing attempt with a machine translator, opt for quality human-translated content.
Human-translated content that takes each geographic region’s unique linguistic and cultural differences into account has a much better chance of succeeding.
Although English is the most common language of Internet users, Internet World Stats states that Chinese is a close second with Spanish and Arabic each boasting a significant number of online users.
3. Translation Services Help You Build a Reputable Brand Image in New Markets
An article by Entrepreneur claims that building a reputable brand image in new markets is key to increasing international sales.
But this is easier said than done.
Without an intimate understanding of customer behavior and proper brand positioning, it’s easy to make a costly blunder that ruins your reputation.
In fact, one of the most common website translation mistakes is translating words exactly from one language to another with no understanding of the wider cultural context.
You need to understand exactly what your words and phrases mean in the new language—and how they’ll be interpreted by readers in that culture—to avoid language-related snafus.
When you buy translation services from a professional agency, you can be sure they’ll use a combination of skilled human translators and state-of-the-art translation tools to ensure that no mistakes are made that could jeopardize your brand image in the new market.
4. Translation Services Help You Maintain a Trustworthy Brand Image in Current Markets
Just as important as building a reputable brand image in new markets is maintaining your brand image in current markets.
And the act of expanding to new markets can itself have a major impact on how people in your current markets perceive your brand.
Crossing borders and expanding operations into another country is often seen as a desirable trait.
Chances are your audience will appreciate your move into international markets, even if it doesn’t directly affect them.
The biggest reason for this is credibility. A brand that operates in multiple geographic areas is typically viewed as more reputable and trustworthy.
According to an article in McKinsey Quarterly, brands that expand into emerging markets not only capture the loyalty of customers in that market, but also improve brand loyalty in their audience back home.
5. Translation Services Help You Improve International SEO
There is a very fine line between good and bad international SEO.
This is especially true if you expand your global SEO efforts into new geographic regions with a different language.
It’s all too easy to make major mistakes when crafting translated content in a different language. It’s just as easy to make mistakes that will directly impact your search engine rankings.
Case in point: keywords.
Not only do many international search engines, like Baidu and Yandex, utilize different ranking algorithms, but words that mean one thing in English can mean a completely different thing in another language.
This means that it’s all too easy to use these words incorrectly, if you rely solely on an automated machine translation.
For effective multilingual SEO, you need a solid understanding of the local language—and how people use it—to know what they’re searching for and how they’re searching for it.
A skilled professional translator not only understands these nuances of the local language and culture, but also knows how to pair them with effective SEO best practices.
Machine Translation is No Match for Human Translation
Multilingual SEO is vital for any brand looking to enter a foreign market.
Although there are numerous strategies and techniques to get ahead of the competition, the most important element still boils down to content.
Rather than risk your company reputation on mistake-ridden automated machine translation, you’re much better off hiring a professional translation service that uses native speaking human translators.