7 Things Often Forgotten On A Multi Language Website

When we build multi language websites, the focus is usually on the main parts of our site;  copy, menus, footer, logo, sidebars etc.  But it has been my experience that there are a number of hidden parts to your site that are often overlooked and not translated.

These missed items are jarring and can impact on a site visitors experience if not translated.

In this post I want to give you my top 7 list of things that are often overlooked on a multi language website.

1) 404 Page

This is the page that is shown if a page cannot be found, it is very frustrating if a site visitor is given an error message that they cannot understand.  A confused visitor will not become a customer.

2) Images

If your images contain text, do your site visitors a favour and translate them too.

Common issues I see are call to action sliders with one language through the site. Go that little further and create multiple copies of your images.  I understand this may cost a little more in graphic design fees, but the rewards of new customers from brand new markets should be factored into these costs.

Another thing to think about with your imagery is cultural sensitivity.  One image that may be suitable for one market may not be suitable for another.

An example;  you may have an image of an emergency ambulance, in the west traditionally we use the Red Cross, but in Islamic countries the Red Crescent is the accepted symbol.  I’ll write about cultural sensitivity more in other posts, but be aware one set of images may not be acceptable in other countries.

3) Specialised Scripts

If you have special scripts or plugins running on your site, you may need to ensure they are fully translated.

A great example is a shopping cart script.  Have you been through the entire buying process with the eye of a foreign language customer.  Does you add to cart script translate, is your checkout in the desired language?

If your customer cannot understand the checkout process, the cart will probably be abandoned.

4) Downloads

Are your downloadable media files translated?

I’ve been working with a company to ensure their PDF downloads are available in multiple languages.  They understand it’s not just the website but all their electronic media that needs to be translated.

Does that free gift you offer people as an ethical bribe to join your mailing list have different language versions?  It should.

5) Error Messages

I’ve touched on this already with 404 pages, but are the error messages your site displays in the appropriate language?

Imagine you have a contact form that requires people to add their phone number, if someone submits without adding their phone details, and they see an error message they cannot understand, how do they know what to do?

6) SEO Meta Information

This is a biggie, if we are spending a l0t of time and effort translating your content, why do people not go that extra step and translate their SEO meta information so they can match their content to the searches?

The great people at iCanlocalize.com offer SEO meta data translation services, check out their service page for details.

7) Video

This is often overlooked because of the cost of video production (I hold my hand up and say my video is only in English).

Why not get a new voice over or add subtitles to your videos and create multiple versions to show to people with different languages.

YouTube has a captioning system where you can add subtitles fairly easily.

Wrap Up

It’s the little missing pieces that jar with people when visiting your site.  Missing translations and small errors are the difference between a sale or a cart abandonment, show your site visitors you care.

Do you need a second pair of eyes to review your translated site to find and fix the missing translations? Get a no obligation quote today.

Photo Credit: Di’s Eyes via Compfight cc – A knotted handkerchief, is a method used in the UK to remind you to do something.

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