If you want to succeed in this overly competitive world, you need to think beyond your local community. In the U.S., for example, Latin Americans are a growing economic powerhouse, so making sure that your eCommerce website offers a seamless experience for them is an excellent way to grow your business. Now, just imagine how much your company could grow if you would target foreign customers too.
With that in mind, here’s how to give foreign prospects the possibility to explore your website in their native tongue.
Translate Your Content
Here’s one of the simplest and most efficient way of customizing your website for foreign users: translating your content. Be careful how you approach this task, though. Nail it, and it can bring new customers to your business. Fail, and it may damage your reputation.
We know that most small businesses operate on a tight budget, but website translation isn’t something you want to do superficially. The second a foreign user notices a grammar mistake, he or she deems your business is sloppy and unprofessional.
Don’t worry if you can’t afford professional translators. You can always hire freelancers that can do an excellent job for a fraction of the cost. For example, if you need to make a German version of your website, just look for a translator on professional websites like Preply. Search through this list here https://preply.com/en/skype/german-tutors and explain what you need.
Whatever you do, don’t use Google Translate – it’s full of errors, and unprofessional.
Work On Your Webpage Layout
Now that you’ve translated your content, make sure your visitors know that they have other language options.
Look for a web design template that will allow you to integrate a drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the page. It’s easy to see and access and visitors can change the language with just a few clicks.
Design-wise, you can also opt for flag representations of each language, but in some cases, it can turn out to be confusing. Some countries can have more than one official language, for example.
You can also try using an automatic language detector which will show the web page in the user’s preferred language. And last but not least, make sure that when users switch languages, they stay on the same page and are not redirected to the homepage.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Fonts
Translating your content and then pouring it into your website isn’t enough if you want to attract backlinks and customers to your website. You also need to ensure the character encoding is set correctly, and that your web font is compatible with the languages you support. It can be especially tricky and challenging for non-Latin based languages since the font needs to have every single character and glyph.
Also, don’t forget that some languages are denser than others and can take up more space. Make sure to design your website so that it looks good and delivers a flawless experience regardless of the language. Chances are you’ll have to tweak here and there, either trying different translations, rephrasing, or changing the fonts.
Don’t forget about language direction either! Whether LTR (left to right) or RTL (right to the left,) ensure that the coding is correct, especially if you’re combining languages.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you’re preparing to launch an international website. Work your way from here and remember always to customize with your visitors’ needs in mind.