Translating your ecommerce site into another language will help you expand your business into new markets. But how do you go about doing the actual translation of your content to appeal to your international customers?
One option is hiring an ecommerce website translation agency to translate your site.
At first glance, this sounds reasonable. Translation agencies use professional translators to translate your original content into the chosen language. But for many retailers and ecommerce companies, a translation agency comes with too many drawbacks to be a practical solution.
Translation agencies are:
Expensive: Translation costs vary because agencies base their quotes on how much content you need translated, your site’s native language, and what language you’re translating into (along with other factors). But an agency can easily charge $20k+ to provide ecommerce translation services.
Time-consuming: Using a team of professional translators takes time. The workflow will consist of delivering the content that you want translated to the agency yourself, and then their team needs to translate each word manually.
Limited in what they offer: An agency will help you with translating your content, but you actually need more than that. You also need the translation implemented on your ecommerce platform, and you want your site optimized for search engines in its new language. Translation agencies don’t help with these things, and they’re only one part of the translation process as a whole.
That’s why using translation software is going to be a better option for your ecommerce store.
In this post, we look at what most ecommerce companies need from translation services, and the benefits of choosing software over an agency.
Note: Weglot is an ecommerce website translation software that can translate your website into over 110+ languages. Weglot has both automatic machine translations (for speed) and manual translation services (for when you want the human touch).
What Ecommerce Websites Need From a Translation Service
Generally speaking, here’s what your ecommerce company will need from a website translation platform:
Fast translations: The faster you can turn your online store into a multilingual website, the faster you can start selling products to your new audience. Software excels here because it lets you do machine translations. This means you can get your ecommerce site translated in minutes, rather than weeks or months and vastly improve the user experience of your customer base.
High level of customizations: Each multilingual ecommerce site will need different things, from the pages that should be translated to the specific quality level of each translation and how many new languages they need to translate into. That requires translation technology with several features that translation agencies can’t offer.
Implementation (i.e. uploads): You don’t just want your website content translated, you want it translated and put live on your site.
Ongoing additions/changes: You may want to update copy on your product descriptions, translate user reviews, experiment with split-testing different landing pages, or add new products to your ecommerce store. This means you’ll need new content translated down the line, or you may want to go back and change previously-translated content.
SEO services: You want to make sure the new translated version of your site is optimized for search engines. That way the right audience in that language will find your ecommerce store when looking for products online.
In short, what an ecommerce website needs is very different from what most translation agencies offer.
How You Can Quickly and Accurately Translate Your Ecommerce Website With Software
Weglot is translation software that works with any ecommerce platform: Shopify (and Shopify Plus), BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento… you name it. You can use Weglot to quickly and accurately translate your ecommerce content and skip the hassle of using an agency.
Here’s a quick video that shows you how easy it is to set up Weglot on your site:
There are 4 key things that make Weglot a better option than using a translation agency for your ecommerce site:
A website that’s translated in minutes, not days or weeks. Weglot uses automatic neural machine translation from leading providers like DeepL and Google Translate to translate your content quickly and as accurately as possible. Plus, whenever you add content to your original site, Weglot will automatically update your translated websites.
Translations you can edit. With Weglot, you can make edits to any of your translated copy on your live site (so any changes you make are automatically updated on your site). Plus, if you don’t have your own translation team, you can outsource the job to professional translators directly through your Weglot account.
Localization options. When serving a global market, it’s crucial to ensure you tailor your online store to the context of your audience, whether in Spain, China, or Canada. All to provide a top-tier customer experience and improve conversion rates. Weglot makes ecommerce localization simple through various collaboration and translation management tools, allowing you to implement your localization strategy flawlessly.
Advanced SEO features. Weglot won’t just translate your ecommerce website, it’ll also make sure your new site is optimized for SEO to help it rank in its new language.
The Perfect Combination of Machine Translation and Human Translation
When you use a translation agency, you’re relying solely on human translation. That’s what makes it so expensive and time-consuming. That’s why we recommend a faster and more practical method: start out translating your site with machine translation. Then you can use human translators (also through Weglot if you want) as-and-when you need them.
Machine translation is perfect for ecommerce stores that are constantly updating their product catalogs. When you add new content or products to your store, Weglot automatically translates it. This was a big win for Volant, a Norwegian ecommerce business that has websites in 11 languages including French, English, German, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, and several more.
Since using Weglot, they’ve seen a 2.4x increase in online visits. Their revenue from international markets had also jumped 39%.
They need to make regular updates across all language versions of their website, and Weglot let them breeze through updating and translating their 100k word website in multiple languages.
How? Weglot automatically detects new content on their original English site, and then updates all of their translated sites. A seamless translation experience for them and an improved online shopping experience for their international customers. Easy.
To get started with Weglot, simply pick your source language (i.e. the language your site is currently in) and then pick which language you want it translated into. You can translate into as many languages as you need. We have over 110 different language options, including right-to-left languages like Arabic and Urdu, and custom languages.
Bonus Feature: Get Professional Translation Services Through Weglot
Sometimes you’ll want a professional translator to review parts of your ecommerce site. When you do, you can easily order professional translation services through Weglot.
This is still much more affordable and faster than using an agency because you don’t need to track down a translator on your own. Plus, when the translations are ready, they’re automatically updated on your site in 24-48 hours. This cuts out a lot of manual work.
Optimize Your Translated Website for SEO
A translation agency will take your content and translate it. But their job ends there—they won’t help with SEO. So, if you want your on-page SEO translated (alt tags, meta descriptions, and meta titles), you’re going to need to send that content to the agency, too.
But that’s just one small part of optimizing your translated site for SEO. It’s not enough for a significant boost in rankings in your different locations.
With Weglot, we have built-in SEO functionality that will help your ecommerce website rank in its new language. For example:
We automatically create unique URLs for each translated version of your ecommerce site. These are called subdomains or subdirectories. For example, weglot.com is our English site, while weglot.com/de/ is our German site. You (and search engines) can tell it's German by the “DE” in the URL. This helps your German-speaking customers know they’re in the right place, and it also tells the search engines that your translated site is meant for German speakers.
We add tags in your source code that tell Google you have other different translated versions of your site. When Google looks at your site, it’ll see code that tells it you also have other translated versions of your store. This helps Google recommend your site to the right people based on search queries.
By helping your site with SEO, Weglot increases the likelihood that your translated site will reach a wider audience online.
Because Ron Dorff used Weglot to translate their site, they get the right kind of multilingual visibility. So, when a French-speaking customer searches “Ron Dorff Dad t-shirt” in Google, they automatically get taken to the French site, while a German-speaking visitor will get sent to the German site.
Next Steps: Translate Your Ecommerce Website with Weglot (Free Trial)
Translation agencies are good at what they do, but they’re expensive, slow, and often limited in what they offer. For fast-moving ecommerce sites looking to grow, that’s not ideal.
Instead, we recommend you use translation software like Weglot.
When you use Weglot to handle your ecommerce translation, you get:
Fast, high-quality machine translations. You can translate your ecommerce site into multiple languages within minutes.
Translations you can edit. You can manually edit your translations, either with your own team or with professional translators sourced through Weglot.
SEO features for your newly-translated site. Weglot’s SEO features will help your translated sites rank in the right search engine and in front of potential customers.
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