You’ve worked very hard to bring your business to success and now it’s time to take the next step – go global. Or at least try to conquer a neighboring market for starters. Translating a company’s website will be the first priority. There has to be an appealing and comprehensive description of your products or services to give the prospective customers an idea of what you have to offer. And it’s not the benefits you need to write about in your product description, it’s something else.
The most common mistake entrepreneurs make is writing too much about their products. People don’t care about how much time you’ve spent to design something or how difficult it was to find the right material. The result is all that matters. Don’t describe the benefits of your products, write about the ways they can make the consumers’ lives easier or more comfortable. That’s what they want to know in the first place. And that is the best way to attract their attention. But there’s a twist when entering a foreign market.
Relevance of Your Benefits
Entering a market with a different cultural environment and economic development might be challenging. Before you rush to a professional translator, you need to check if the benefits you want people to know are relevant to them. Is the comparison to the previous of your service/product versions appropriate? Did they get to use them or not? Does technological development of this country allow consumers to use your service/product to the fullest? For example, the internet connection might be slow or unstable and some of your descriptions will be useless and bring no utility.
Choose the Target Audience
Who is your client abroad? Is s/he any different from the TA you’ve been using so far? Do you know your client’s needs? Do you know how to evoke some emotions in them and what words to use for that? You have to know everything about the prospective consumers and their behavior. Again, pay close attention to the cultural differences and adjust your product description accordingly. That also applies to the design you use. Some nationalities are fond of reading about products’ features and benefits, and some enjoy the magic of banners and graphic elements. Keep that in mind when working on your descriptions.
Appropriate Tone of Voice
You have to decide what tone of voice to use in your translation. It may differ from the one you use for the source text of your product description. Every country has its own cultural traditions in terms of communication. Some languages make a strong emphasis on the respect to the person you’re talking to via countless grammar rules, others don’t have anything like that. But you should also ask yourself if it’s appropriate to use colloquial expressions when talking about your products or it’s better to use the authoritative approach (especially if you’re selling some kind of medicine).
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SEO of Product Description
Optimizing your text for search engines is something you might be well aware of. The translation of your copy needs to undergo the same process. You need to take care of the keywords before you ask a translator for help. But don’t get carried away and turn your text into a boring collection of keywords with no useful information in it.
Translation of Videos
Sometimes it’s better to show something than to describe it. If it’s the case of your service/product and you have a fantastic engaging video you want to share on your website’s product description page, translate it as well. If you don’t have enough resources to dub it, there are tons of online tools you can use to add subtitles. It may not be that fancy as having a native speaker talking about your company, but much better than a video in a language your target audience doesn’t speak. It’s the attention to the small details like this that matters.
If you don’t use the services of professional translators and want to do everything yourself, you can get some help from your friends or acquaintances. If they are native speakers of the target language, of course. Your text should be vivid and lively, without long and confusing phrases no one uses anymore you’ve come across in a dictionary.
More Space, Please
Consider the fact that the text translated to a target language can take up much more space than it does in English. There is a high probability that some of your important points won’t fit in your perfectly designed website. Ask your translator to suggest a couple of options for translation – a longer and a shorter one. You’ll save some time and hopefully will be able to fit everything you need.
Make sure that the translation you get has the right adjectives and verbs to awaken the imagination of the prospective customers. It is well known that people are more willing to buy something when they can touch and hold it. Unfortunately, this option is not available for the online retailers. The only chance to influence their decision-making process is to appeal to their imagination. The target text should paint a desirable picture of the benefits a client is going to get after making this purchase.
This might be an obvious point but we want to mention it nevertheless. Make sure you have someone to proofread the translation you receive. If you are using Translateshark, there will be no need in doing so as we are sure our translators avoid making any grammar errors. In case you are cooperating with a translator for the first time, it is a good idea to hire an editor as well. Nothing makes a more unfavorable impression of a commercial website than misspelled words and wrong verb tenses.
Many entrepreneurs use professional slang words in a conversation with their partners and colleagues. Writing product descriptions is not the right place to use them, though. Some may think that these expressions will help them show off their knowledge and professionalism but in reality, they will confuse clients. The translation should be comprehensive so use the words a real person without any background in your subject would use.