Almudena López

Almudena López

Translator, copywriter and voice-over artist at TransLABtion.

What to Translate First when Hiring Spanish Translation Services

Okay, so you started searching the internet for potential Spanish translation services because you are determined to expand your business into the Spanish-speaking market. Great, but let’s say you have a lot of content—then it would be chaotic to have everything translated at once. Or maybe you don’t even need to have everything translated. Keep reading to get an idea of what content you should prioritise to start reaching your new audience.

Your Website Is your Online Business Card

I think you will agree with me if I say that your website is your main “presentation card” online. Nowadays, people spend more and more time on the internet and on social media, and not just for entertainment. According to the Spanish Observatory for Technology and Society (ONTSI), 79.4% of internet surfers buy products or services online, a striking figure meaning that 4 out of 5 people in Spain buy online. Therefore, your website is probably the first thing you should aim to make available to your international audience. But… all of it?

Start with the Main Content

Over my 10+ years as a translator, I have worked on hundreds of website materials for many different brands—homepages, product pages, case studies, blog articles… And I usually encounter that their website translation is not complete, that there are still sections in the original language, normally English. That may be because users only read 28% of a website’s text on average and most people scan instead of reading. So typically you can find the main pages are translated (Homepage, Services page, main Product pages, About us, Contact), but not blog articles, white papers or product specs or data sheets.

This is a good strategy because it follows the concept of progressive disclosure, meaning you give people only the minimum necessary (and appealing) information they need at first. Then, if they are interested, they can dig deeper into your website by using the different menu options and visiting as many pages as they like. Since the first time users visit a website tends to be just to get an idea of the company and what it offers, it makes sense to have your content translated like that. First, the main, generic pages, then the specifics. However, do not neglect the latter, since users who return to your website will probably want to look at those to make their buying decision!

Transactional and Legal Content

If you aim to do business abroad through your website, you will also need to make sure that users understand what is said in transactional pages (shopping cart, payment gateway). Otherwise, they may feel unsure where to click or may fear that they can lose their money. Many online payment platforms are available in several languages, so you should check whether yours supports Spanish, in this case.

Then, there is the legal content—Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy… Granted, no one reads that. But from a legal point of view, it needs to be available in your audience’s language so they are aware of the terms and conditions when buying from you.

Not Everything Needs Translating

Regarding website translation, some companies decide not to translate their blog posts. This may be fine if your marketing strategy is not based on SEO, at least in your target language, or if your website covers many languages, in which case it may not be financially feasible. Then, there is content such as case studies that you can also exclude when hiring Spanish translation services if your new audience may not relate to the story in the case study, for example.

Packaging, Labels, Internal Documentation…

Okay, so after your website (or part of it) is translated, what’s next? When deciding what other content you need to make available to your international audience, you need to reflect on how far you want to go in terms of doing business abroad. This implies thinking of how many channels you want to use to attract clients—SEO, e-mail marketing, social media, physical spaces… Are you planning to open up branches in your new market? Or do you just intend to have an online presence to provide digital services or send products from your warehouse? Are you happy with your current turnover or do you really want to drive lots of new business?

All this will result in many different scenarios. For example, let’s say you sell products, and you just want an online presence in Spanish because you will remain based in your country. In that case, it wouldn’t be mandatory for you to provide the product packaging and labels in Spanish. But you may want to boost your presence in Spain with digital ads, social media, e-mail marketing, etc., so you would need Spanish translation services for all those communications.   

However, if you establish your company in Spain and open branches, you may be required to provide the product packaging and labels in Spanish, as well as invoices, user manuals, etc. Besides that, you will probably hire people to work on your branches, and you will want them to know how your company works, and sign a contract. This entails the translation of your internal documentation and policies, contracts, etc. And not only that—you will also want to be aware of Spanish laws and requirements. Therefore, you may need to have some documents translated from Spanish into your language, as well as bureaucracy and back and forth communications with the different stakeholders (employees, lawyers, legal advisors, etc.). As you can see, the process gets more complex, so you should seek legal and commercial advice to enter your new market smoothly.

The Right Spanish Translation Services for You

Now that you know what content you should prioritise for translation, be sure to choose a language service provider that understands your needs and cares about your success. At TransLABtion, my colleagues and I will assist you with anything language-related, advising you from the beginning to the end. Whether you need website translation, copywriting for your blog or e-mail marketing, transcreation for your packaging or voice-over for your corporate videos, we are here for you. Contact us and tell us what you need!



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