As a healthcare entity, making your patients comfortable is one of your focuses, and that doesn’t just start when they walk in the doors of your practice. In fact, a great time to show your means for accommodating their needs is while they’re searching for you online. With over 20% of the American population speaking a different language at home, it’s important to know what your demographic needs to comprehend your website. While your first reaction may be to just opt in to the Google Translate tool, that should ultimately be your last option.
Here are a few ways you can get started on translating your website into a different language while also benefiting your online presence.
Steer Clear of Google Translate
Gone are the days of relying on Google Translate as your tool for adding multiple languages to your website. While digital marketers have been moving away from this for quite some time, Google is actually making the push away from it as well. If you log in to the actual system, there’s a chance that you’ll see an error like the one displayed below. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that your existing translator is broken, it does mean that new uses are not permitted.
Although there isn’t much research to support why this happened, it’s suffice to say that Google is pushing for stronger, more developed pages of content rather than reliance on a plugin. Moral of the story is, when building or recreating your site, don’t opt for the cheap (or free) version of translation!
Use a Human to Translate Your Content
A perfect segue from ceasing usage of the Google Translator tool is how you should always, and we mean always, use a human to translate your content. Robots that translate are designed to use exactly the words they are programmed to in order to spit out a page. So, if you’re using unique grammar or syntax, you risk losing the context of a page by using a robot to do your job. Despite the insane amount of technological advances, computers are simply not equipped to speak exactly like a human just yet. If you want to make sure that you’re appealing to your audience and providing a good user experience, make sure to have a native speaker of whatever language you’re adding to the site build your page out. You’ll be grateful for this groundwork in the long run.
Do Your Demographic and Keyword Research Before Writing
As with anything related to your online marketing, it’s important to do some research up front before starting website translations. First, make an effort to find out what types of languages you should add to your site based on what demographics are viewing you online and living in your area. There’s no reason to focus on making a page for a language spoken by absolutely no one within a radius of hundreds of miles, but a dense population of people speaking a specific language near you should be viewed as an opportunity. You can do this by viewing the analytics of your website, or taking a look at your city’s demographic overview. In addition, just as it is in the English language, keyword research is important. Although it may not seem as easy, it’s pretty much generally the same idea. Focus on those big search terms and use your resources (like similar searches) to develop a good layout for your new pages.
Don’t Forget About Compliance
By now, you should already know about Section 1557 of the ACA and the need to have multiple languages listed on your website. If you’re actively looking to make some translations, using this as a tool for researching languages is a great idea. Again, it’s not necessary to translate your site into hundreds of languages, but it may be helpful to translate into at least a few of the top 15.
Call the Experts at Practis for Your Translation Needs
When in doubt, give us a shout. That’s basically the easiest thing for you to do! If you require some help with translation, give us a call. We’ll make sure to guide you in the right direction so that you have a solid, well-performing website regardless of the language needed. We look forward to speaking with you soon!