The nature of online customer acquisition is changing at a rapid-fire rate. Globalisation has become a galvanising force, leading many companies down the path of localisation to reach new international markets. A critical piece of the global expansion puzzle is website translation. However, translating the company website has historically not always been an easy endeavour. Added to that, studies consistently show that one of the biggest struggles for marketers is lack of time to produce engaging content.
The need for speed in today’s dynamic, hyper-connected world calls for a faster alternative to website translation – one that allows marketing professionals to spend more time creating content.
Spotlight On The Different Approaches
Previously, the marketing professional who owned the company website had limited options for website translation. Those days are gone. Three main approaches now exist, based on levels of manual effort or time spent.
The Manual Approach:
This first approach requires a manual import and export of content intended for translation, largely taking place by email. Files make their way to your language service provider, get translated by linguists and are returned to you by email. This puts overhead on your resources and turns valuable marketing team members into file managers.
Connecting CMS To TMS:
Another approach builds in a bit more automation and so is faster. It works by using a connector that pulls content in and out of the content management system. In this scenario, you need only hit publish within the CMS, and your content gets sent to your language service provider’s translation management system to be professionally translated by linguists.
The Third Approach:
Website translation proxy technology is the fastest and requires the least amount of involvement. A cloud-based technology that sits in front of your website, it enables website translation by mirroring your site, then displaying a translated equivalent version of your content without the need for local hosting.
The Proxy Approach And Why It Can Make Sense For Global Marketers
Many global marketing professionals are in the position of simply needing to adapt their company’s website for new markets, in the most expedient and least demanding way possible. For this scenario, proxy technology can be a great solution. It provides a more hands-off option that lets marketers turn their full attention to creating digital content and analysing results – instead of labouring over global website management.
In a nutshell, it’s a technology that enables website translation and monitors for changes to your source site. When a change is sensed, it automatically kicks off a website translation project. Everything happens behind the scenes, so you don’t need to monitor it. You change source content, it’s detected, translated and the localised version is rendered as if by magic.
People may think that because it’s technology, it requires some heavy lifting. Yet it’s actually the opposite. Website managers need only allow a 10-minute DNS switchover, which is tech speak for pointing international Web visitors to the appropriate translated version of the site. All content gets pulled from your website, everything from the UI to all assets. Linguists then translate it in context, meaning that they can actually see how the translated segments will appear on your site.
All told, the translation proxy method typically reduces website time to market by up to 90 percent , and it allows near-instant results for reaching target markets. There’s no developer time investment, unlike with the other options. If it suits the business goals and website setup, proxy technology can save global marketers a great deal of time and effort.
Organisations Expanding Their EMEA, LATAM Or APAC Reach And Market Share
Many organisations invest heavily in sales and marketing resources in their global expansion journeys. They open international offices, agree that localisation is important, sometimes appoint an owner and often delegate it to product, engineering or marketing.
However, in many such cases the US or UK resources in a company’s corporate headquarters, who have focused all their attention thus far on creating great English products, are often not allocated to support global expansion and localisation efforts. Support and marketing and sales managers out in EMEA or APAC or LATAM struggle to get budget allocations for the technical resources needed to support localisation.
For web-based content (product, marketing, etc.) this challenge is removed with the deployment of translation proxy technology. It eliminates the need to hire or allocate stretched technical resources to support global technical needs. It also facilitates the global release of content speedily, smoothly and without increased overhead—manual or otherwise.
Take The Next Step
Considering how strapped global marketers are for time, the proxy approach to website translation can be highly tempting and certainly beneficial. Still, it needs to be a good fit. If your own team and IT can’t spare the time or resources for web development and translation efforts, the proxy approach makes sense. It also lends itself to situations in which you need your entire website translated, with no customisation of pages required.
When all is said and done, the choice of method for website translation really comes down to what is most feasible and appropriate for the business’s needs. Do all of your research. Talk to all of the stakeholders within your firm. See what level of involvement – which approach to adapting your website for new markets – makes sense.
The best source of information regarding the solutions will come from a language service provider who specialises in all methods. Ask to see a demo of their website translation proxy technology. They should also offer guidance to help lead you toward the most fitting path (and not just push proxy solutions, which in some cases can be the wrong fit) – and become a true partner on your global expansion journey.