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Speedy in any language

In the past, we’ve urged marketers to do it wrong quickly. But how can you make quick content changes when you have to translate into other languages? For global companies, translating their content into other languages can be a time-consuming process that delays the launch of new pages and campaigns. So, exactly how do you speed up your ability to change content when you have to do all that translating at the end?


Well, the first tip is: don’t wait until the end. Get your translators involved early so they don’t object later—German needs a lot more space on the screen than English, for example.
To increase speed and to control costs, many Business-to-Business marketers use a tiered globalization approach—each country site, for example, is assigned to a tier that defines how much content is translated. So, the countries that garner your highest sales might be fully translated, the second tier might have only your top products translated, while the lowest tier has only the home page and a few high-level navigation pages in native language (with the rest possibly in English).
When you translate any page, make sure that you re-engage your search marketing experts to use the popular keywords in the new language. Otherwise you risk getting a semantically correct translation, but you aren’t using the words that most people will search for.
Most multilingual sites use on-staff or contracted professionals to do their translation, but a few pioneers have asked volunteers to do it—Google is probably the most famous example. Internet book cataloguer Library Thing offers no money for volunteer translators, but displays an honor roll of those who have translated the most phrases. You need a rabid following to work this way, and you probably can’t have a great deal of content. If you go the volunteer route, you may need to control what types of people you allow to volunteer. For example, a pharmaceutical site might prefer to be translated by medical professionals rather than by hypochondriacs.
Whatever your approach, don’t let a little thing like translation slow you down. If you put some thought into it, you can be speedy in any language.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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