Translating your website is a big step. You’ve probably put a lot of thought into whether or not you need an online multilingual presence. Are you breaking into a new market, or are you improving service to clients who already know and trust your brand? Either way, a localized and search-optimized website makes sense.
Estimating the cost of website localization depends on a number of factors. The cost of translating your website copy, keywords and meta-data is one. It’s relatively easy to estimate translation costs on the basis of the word count, the target languages, and the level of specialized knowledge required of the linguists. On the other hand, estimating the localization engineering costs is project-dependent, and we need to ask questions to estimate how much technical work will need to be done to get your multilingual website up and running.
For some of our clients, we recommend that the localization engineering be done in-house, by the MTM LinguaSoft team in coordination with the client’s development team. For others, we partner with a platform or proxy solution to automate the localization engineering portion of the job, while ensuring the content is translated by professionals with the appropriate subject-matter expertise.
How does my choice impact pricing?
If you leverage MTM LinguaSoft in-house engineering, you pay once. Certain tasks can be assigned to your development resources to balance the workload and decrease our fee. Future updates will be billed separately, as they occur.
Different localization platforms offer different fee structures. Typically, you will be paying a monthly fee for as long as the localized site is in existence. The burden on your development team will be reduced.
Whether or not we recommend a localization platform depends on your estimated frequency of updates and the complexity of the authoring process. These, in turn, correlate with your plans for using your multilingual website.
What is the primary purpose of your website?
1. Information only (few changes expected) If you distribute your products exclusively through a network of foreign distributors or maintain sales offices overseas, you might use your website primarily as a means for
- Reputation management. A translated, localized website tells your prospects that the brand is committed to serving a region. It also establishes the foundation for building authority with the search engines used by customers in that region.
- Access to local sales channels. Many multinationals use translated websites to provide contact information for local offices or distributors.
- Meeting legal requirements. Regulators may require you to make certain information available to the public on your corporate website (for example, the European Union Regulation on Medical Devices (MDR) specifically refers to websites as resources for public information).
Our recommendation: If you expect relatively few updates, localization engineering should be handled by MTM LinguaSoft. The scope of work will depend on factors such as your site architecture and content management system (WordPress? Drupal? a custom solution?) We work with any CMS, but some are more translation-friendly than others. Our team will coordinate with yours to allocate tasks and our fee will be based on how many hours of work are needed.
2. Advertising, content marketing (moderate change over time) If prospects from other countries are already visiting your flagship website, this is a sign that you could profit from a more robust foreign web presence. In this case, the primary purpose of the localized site is as a gateway for
- Lead generation. A translated landing page attracts interested prospects and provides opportunities to engage them in your sales funnel.
- Establishing search authority. Even though your flagship website is available around the world to anyone specifically seeking it out, if it’s not optimized for search engines outside of the US (including google.fr and so forth) it won’t be served to searchers.
- Content marketing. Your blog and thought leadership content are important assets for your flagship site, and can serve the same purpose internationally. We can set up a translation team to maintain the voice and tone of your brand personality, in anticipation of periodic translation projects.
- Light customer support. Depending on the subject domain and the language, machine translation of chat interactions can suffice for answering questions from your customers.
Our recommendation: For this type of website localization project, updates may be frequent but they are also predictable. The same workflow and team from the initial translation project will remain in place. However, if you expect the size and scope of your website to grow significantly within the next few years, an ongoing contract with a localization platform or proxy solution may be more efficient in the long run.
3. E-commerce and SaaS (frequent changes, high interactivity) If you anticipate frequent changes, we would recommend a platform or proxy service. The platform communicates content changes directly from your flagship site to the linguist team with access to the platform.
- Dynamic e-commerce. If you are selling products through your site, and you expect a lot of content changes over time, the platform allows translators to be “on call” to translate small “chunks of content” as needed.
- Lots of user-generated content. If your customer support strategy includes maintaining an on-line knowledge base (as for business software), or you invite reviews and other commentary that you want translated, a platform will be better able to accommodate an unpredictable, time-sensitive workload. Similar to customer support, machine translation might be a suitable option for this type of UGC content.
Our recommendation: A proxy or platform solution would make the ongoing maintenance of the website more cost-effective. We are platform-agnostic. We can partner with any vendor you choose. Or we can recommend a partner whose services meet your needs. An important question you’ll need to ask when choosing one is how much the content will vary across regional sites (for example, will you highlight certain products in certain markets?) and whether the platform facilitates that.
On initial setup, our team would partner with the platform to translate all the content. After the site launch, changes would be served to translators as they occur. Over time, the investment in the platform will save you money and resources.
The best outcome for your localization project includes a hassle-free plan for ongoing website maintenance. We take a personalized, customer-centered approach to every project, and we want to see your multilingual site bring a return on your investment.