How To Automatically Translate Your Website Into Foreign Languages...

...And Appeal To Overseas Guests

If you're anything like me, you take the odd booking now and again from overseas. Have you ever wondered how you could make your accommodation experience more appealing to these overseas guests by making your website more accessible to them? One way to do this is to add language translation to your accommodation's website.
How To Translate Your Website Into Foreign Languages

Google offers a tool to do this for free, called the Google Translation Web Element. This widget works by adding some custom code to your website which then calls Google's Translation service to show your web pages in up to 30 different languages automatically. Giving visitors the option to translate your website on the fly puts control in their hands and avoids you having to maintain different, manually translated pages — everybody wins!

Having the Google Translate web element incorporated into your website provides for a richer user experience for visitors to your website. Google won't say for sure if translation effects SEO; however, reading comments from Google employees on the official Google forums, positive visitor experience due to translation options is looked upon favourably when it comes to your website's search engine rankings. Google won't guarantee that translation will effect your rankings but its fair to say that having user-controlled, automatic translation available on your website certainly can't hurt your rankings.

How To Incorporate the Google Translate Web Element Into Your Accommodation Website

Use the following instructions to give visitors to your website the option of automatically displaying all text on your webpages in the language of their choice:

  1. Go to Google translate.
    You do not need a Google Account to use this tool, although you may want to have your Google Analytics Web Property ID ready for step 5.

  2. Scroll down the page to the section "Add Translate to your website".
    You will find this under the heading "Translate Web Element"

  3. In Step 1 choose the option "Add translation to the entire webpage".
    This is the easier option to go with. If you need to translate only a specific section of each of your web pages, you can do this but it requires more detailed HTML coding on your part. I will not go into this option here.

  4. In Step 2 select the language that your webpage or site that you'll be translating is built in.
    "English" is the default option here and should be fine.

  5. Click the blue plus icon in Step 3 to show optional settings.

    • You can then choose to translate to all languages or specific languages. Unless you are targeting very specific regions with your online advertising, I suggest leaving this setting at "All languages".

    • You can also choose how you would like the Translate tool to display. It can be either "Inline", "Tabbed", or "Automatic". The first two options have sub-options for each. Play around with the settings until you find something that works for your website layout:

      • Choose "Inline" if you have specific spot on each webpage of your site where you would like the Translation web element to be placed;
      • Choose "Tabbed" if you would like the Translation web element icon to hover in one of the four corners of your website;
      • Choose "Automatic" to have the Translation banner automatically appear only when a guest visits your website and their default browser language is different from yours.

    • There are also several Advanced options you can select as well:

      • Select "Automatically display the translation banner for the users speaking other languages than your page language";
      • Don't select "Your page contains content in more than one languages" — unless it actually does already; and
      • Select "Track translation usage in Google Analytics." because you should have Google Analytics already installed on your web pages so that you can track visitor behaviour and make improvements to your website design. When you select this option, you will be prompted for your Google Analytics Web Property ID. Enter it here. Selecting this option will give you even better insight into who is using this function and how you might better tailor your website for these types of visitors.

  6. Step 4 will now contain a snippet of code that renders the Translation web element based on the options you've selected above.
    Copy this code and paste into each of your web pages that you'd like translated. Publish your website changes and you're all done!

I hope you've seen just how easy it is to add simple tools like Google's Translation web element to your own website. With this new feature on your website you can win in three different ways — start appealing to a new, wider audience, increase your search engine rankings and boost your bookings!

Good luck!

Christopher Van Eenoo
Australian Holiday Property Marketing Online © 2008 - 2015

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