Increase Conversions with World-Class Content

Once you have a solid SEO strategy, your next challenge is to provide your visitors with the information they are seeking and convert them as effectively as possible. User-friendly design and engaging content is a key element in reducing your bounce rate and encouraging conversions.

What is good content?

In order to have a website that keeps your target market browsing, your source content must be high-quality and easy to translate.

In order to translate well, your content needs to be

  • Simply written - brief sentences without overly descriptive language.
  • Free from humor - humor is different from culture to culture, and is often challenging to translate.
  • Free from metaphors, idioms, and slang - same as humor, these have deep cultural ties.
  • Written in an active voice - it is more professional, and is easier to translate.

Qualities of a user-friendly website

Easy to change language

Having an easily accessible, universally understandable graphic for changing website language makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for. Being able to access their language easily makes it more likely they will spend more time on your website, often leading to more conversions.

Only use flags as language markers if you are targeting specific countries

Do not use flags as language markers, unless you have country-specific versions of your website. For example, people in many different countries speak Spanish, so using a Spanish flag will not be an easily recognizable indicator for those from South America.

Matches cultural expectations

Having a properly localized website comes down to education. The more you educate yourself about the customs, norms, and values of your target market, the easier it is to have a culturally intelligent website. color use, image content, symbols, dates, currencies, and units of measure are just a few examples of what must be addressed in the localization process.

Responsive design

Responsive design means that your web pages look great and are completely functional at any size. With the volume of people who use smartphones to browse the web, responsively designed websites have become increasingly important. An easily accessible website that is consistent across platforms makes your company look professional. Also, responsive design means all your translations will work automatically.

Purposeful color, graphics, and media

color, graphics, and media exist for a purpose - to support and enhance your message. Know exactly why you are choosing certain colors for your website, and what emotions they ignite in the viewer. Use high-quality images and media that serve a specific purpose - not just as fillers or distractions. When using icons, ensure they are simple and clear, and accompanied by a text label to avoid misunderstandings.

Word Length

The average word length in English is approximately 8.23, whereas in German it is 11.66. This may not seem like a significant difference, but when it comes to web design it certainly matters.

Ensure your website is flexible enough to be able to accommodate varying word lengths while still looking good and maintaining function. This is mostly taken care of by responsive design, but certain elements of your site such as fixed-size buttons may need to be replaced with more flexible options.

Right to Left

Hebrew and Arabic read right to left, which presents some design challenges. An entirely different page layout is required - usually mirrored, and you may need to select new images, as horizontally mirrored images may not read well. As with any language that doesn’t use the modern English alphabet, choose your typeface carefully, ensuring the characters are clear and easily readable.

TL;DR

  • For content that translates well, you should be sure that your text is written simply and free from idioms, metaphors, and humor.
  • User-friendly design encourages conversions. Responsive design, purposeful graphics, attention to cultural details, and clear language markers are keys to success.
  • There are certain features of website translation that you may have to work around in your design, such as languages with particularly long words, RTL languages, and forms/fixed-size buttons.
Chapter 5: Myths and misconceptions