How to Use Web Content Translation to Maximize ROI

Google recently put Web content translation onto the map by offering Web users the ability to translate search results from one language to another. Website owners need to decide what Website content should or should not be translated, how this decision will affect company branding and content control, and how translation will impact overall business ROI. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Swamy Viswanathan offers five best practices for how to translate your company's Website content to maximize ROI.


The fact that the Web is global by design is a blessing and a curse for companies. On one hand, companies can reach a broad audience simply by launching a Website. On the other hand, ensuring that their Website's content is available in the language of the visitor is a much more difficult task. There are a lot of things to consider if your company wants to effectively reach and influence a global audience. The following are five best practices for translating your company's Website content.

Best Practice No. 1: Use the translation technology that is most appropriate for each content type

There are dozens of content types within a company. These types include company policies, e-mail, training material, blogs, knowledge bases, product documentation, and user forums (to name a few). Every content type has a value that it serves for the business. Each has an audience and a value that it serves for that audience. As a result, each type of content has different requirements when it comes to translation. Some content types (such as advertising material) are highly influential and need to be perfectly written, which requires human translation.

Content types such as documentation need to be near-perfect, but they don't require the same nuance as other content types. This type of content can be served up with translation software and then post-edited by a human reviewer. Knowledge bases, FAQ pages and similar content types simply need to convey facts (but need to do so quickly). For these types of content, automated translation software can be effectively leveraged.