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Speedy Content Changes in Any Language

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In the past, we’ve urged marketers to do it wrong quickly. But how can you make quick content changes when you have to translate into other languages? For global companies, translating their content into other languages can be a time-consuming process that delays the launch of new pages and campaigns. So, exactly how do you speed up your ability to change content when you have to do all that translating at the end?

Well, the first tip is: don’t wait until the end. Get your translators involved early so they don’t object later—German needs a lot more space on the screen than English, for example.

To increase speed and to control costs, many Business-to-Business marketers use a tiered globalization approach—each country site, for example, is assigned to a tier that defines how much content is translated. So, the countries that garner your highest sales might be fully translated, the second tier might have only your top products translated, while the lowest tier has only the home page and a few high-level navigation pages in native language (with the rest possibly in English).

When you translate any page, make sure that you re-engage your search marketing experts to use the popular keywords in the new language. Otherwise you risk getting a semantically correct translation, but you aren’t using the words that most people will search for.

Most multilingual sites use on-staff or contracted professionals to do their translation, but a few pioneers have asked volunteers to do it—Google is probably the most famous example. Internet book cataloguer Library Thing offers no money for volunteer translators, but displays an honor roll of those who have translated the most phrases. You need a rabid following to work this way, and you probably can’t have a great deal of content. If you go the volunteer route, you may need to control what types of people you allow to volunteer. For example, a pharmaceutical site might prefer to be translated by medical professionals rather than by hypochondriacs.

Whatever your approach, don’t let a little thing like translation slow you down. If you put some thought into it, you can be speedy in any language.

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