Translating websites is something that many people have tried in an effort to bring in markets from other cultures and other languages, and it has not always worked. Sometimes it has failed quite horribly, costing a lot of money for nothing in return. While this seems to indicate that translation is a bad idea, this is not entirely true. Translation is just the first step. There is more to be done to improve the success rate and make the translation process worth it.

Spanish translations of websites can be expensive and difficult to maintain, indeed, if one has chosen the wrong partner vis-à-vis “the first shoe salesman in the story who said he can’t sell shoes in Africa.” Most website owners believe that translating a website to Spanish will do miracles for them, but this is very far from the truth. They have the website, but then they do not see anybody “wearing shoes,” so they assume that it is not a good business. While, in fact, translating and localizing the website, when justified, is just “buying the ticket to Africa.”

There is more to do afterward that cannot be ignored. One thing is using Spanish SEM/SEO activities to bring people to the website and make it successful. People will not come to the Spanish websites simply because they exist in the websphere. Visitors will come if the keywords that are relevant to the business show up in the search results, and if their web pages are well optimized and well exposed on the Internet and best theme-based social media networks.

Like the second salesman in the story who expected a challenge but was optimistic about his new opportunity of selling shoes in Africa, you can get the right perspective and find opportunities where others don’t. It just takes a little bit more work, and a little more effort toward gearing the website up with the right content.

If this is done, one will have many visitors. Translation is a good first step, and needed, but the story cannot stop there. One must remember that keywords are big factors when talking about website success. One can have the best website in the world, but no one will find it without the correct keywords, as people mainly discover new websites by running searches of the web. This is true no matter the language.

There are many opportunities out there that can be taken advantage of, even if others have tried and have not been successful. One should always remain optimistic, like the second shoe salesman. One should realize that it will take some time and it will take some careful work. If one sticks to this formula and does not back down, one can open up the market where others have failed, and can create a very successful business with much in the way of profits.

SOURCE MediaPost/Sebastian Aroca

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