#FAIL: It’s Not the Website Translation, It’s the Marketing
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#FAIL: It’s Not the Website Translation, It’s the Marketing

#FAIL: It’s Not the Website Translation, It’s the Marketing


Companies embarking on their journey to global markets sometimes complain that their website translation has failed. But you’ll never hear global veterans griping about translation — they certainly have pains, but rarely those concerning the efficacy of translation. Why is that?

Chances are, it’s not the actual translation behind the perceived failure, but one or more missing steps in website localization. This is the first of a three-part series highlighting the most common reasons for dissatisfaction, and our first topic is…

Lack of Marketing

Translate and they will come? Well, in the sense of organic traffic, they will most definitely come over time, but if you’re in a hurry to see results, then you should do more than just translate. Here are just a few basics any global business should do, even on a shoestring budget.

  • Announce the new country site prominently on your global site. Don’t just keep the announcement to your News or Press page: give the news some prominent real estate “above the fold” on your home page!
  • Publish a press release in the language of your target market. Talk about your company’s commitment to that particular market and how your product fits in better than ever before.

    LinkedIn is an example of a company that does this really well. We wrote recently about the launch of their platform in Arabic. Similarly, when they launched their site in Simplified Chinese, they had highly visible announcements in English as well as Chinese, supported by a personal post from none other than LinkedIn’s CEO:


  • Create social media profiles in the languages of your target market and make a lot of noise! Keep in mind that top social networks vary by country, so you’ll want to customize a plan for each market.

    For instance, when HubSpot launched their website in Japanese earlier this year, they supported this by simultaneously launching their Japanese-language blog and dedicated HubSpot Japan Twitter account.


  • Link to the appropriate language site from your social media profile and vice-versa. On your website, it’s very important to provide buttons that allow people to join or follow you, rather than just share a particular post or video.

Keep in mind that a country or language website, when freshly launched, needs as much attention as you would normally dedicate to marketing a new product feature. After all, each additional language opens up a whole new market for your company.

That’s it for today. Tune in next week for all-too-common user interface fails that trip up website globalization.