For over a year, since MTM LinguaSoft published its new WordPress website at the end of 2011, visitors who followed the links to the foreign-language versions of the site might have been disappointed to see that those links still went to the translated versions of our old site. There’s an old saying: “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” Likewise, while MTM LinguaSoft handled an increasing number of website translation projects for other companies, we were guilty of neglecting our own.
Not any more! Foreign-language microsites based on MTM LinguaSoft’s existing website are now up and linked to the language menu in the website header. Users can access the site in French, Spanish, Arabic, and Simplified Chinese.
As we advise customers, a microsite is often a good choice for localization, especially if you have a large website. You can provide potential customers with all the important information about your company and its products and services, and allow them to contact you through forms that they can read and submit in their own language. Those users with some English can choose to go to the English site for more content, including recent news.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is still important on multilingual sites. You will want to do research on the best keywords in each language and, if necessary, modify relevant foreign-language content to use those keywords.
In our case, we modified the home page of the site to eliminate things like our blog feed and to emphasize those services that we would be most likely to provide to foreign customers. Individual pages were edited to eliminate or adapt material that was not relevant in other languages. And instead of including all of our work samples from the English site – which are pretty much self-explanatory— we provided links on the service and portfolio pages that take users to the English site for the sample content.
In the end we have a streamlined site that still provides all the necessary information for foreign visitors. A microsite could be right for your company as well.