Better Languages serves SME customers as well as larger clients. Our work for the King Charles Hotel, in Gillingham, Kent, is a good example of a website translation project. The client had an existing UK website, and wanted to create mini-sites to attract customers from neighbouring European Countries. We discussed the relative merits of separate sites with in-country hosting, or a single UK site. In the end, we translated a number of key pages into German, Flemish, and French.

Selecting website translation copy

We are often contacted by clients who want their full website translated. It is a good idea for you to first think through your key messages. You may need to alter and localise your message depending on your target audience. King Charles run events such as weddings, but this was not relevant to their target audience of overseas visitors.  Key facts like proximity to London, local tourism points of interest, and the hotel facilities, were really vital however.

Localising your message for the target audience

This type of approach is also relevant when we internationalise e-commerce websites. You may need a different product mix for a given international market. You may want to give country specific information, for example localised distributor information.

The King Charles Hotel had minimal need of search engine optimisation. They were aiming at local search, and already ranked well. It was important that we included location information, and an idea of the surrounding area, for example proximity to Chatham, Gillingham, and Rochester.

We worked from an agreed set of content from the UK site, and then provided the translations in a word format, with pdf copies. This allowed the client to verify correct display of accents and special characters.

We delivered the translated versions of the site, and we then checked and signed off the live web pages. This is a really important part of the process with website translation, as it is very easy for errors to creep in when pages are uploaded or coded. Even with content managed pages, it is possible for you to have cut and paste errors. You may have issues with things like hidden text, or alt text not being included, and needed at the end of the project. We can turn round small amounts of text very quickly, but it is important to plan for this kind of contingency, including allowing time for corrections and alterations.