Blogs are common enough these days. The term “blog” was originally coined as a shortened version of the term “web-log” and this gives a clue as to what a blog is all about. When blogs first appeared they were primarily a form of a diary, written by individuals. They included travel notes, ideas, opinions, and real news items which were added to someone’s website or uploaded sequentially to a blog site.
These individual blogs continue and there are many, many more now and appear in multiple languages. The most sophisticated of them are YouTube video blogs which serve the double purpose of providing revenue for the blogger and information or entertainment for their followers. It should be mentioned that blog site services usually cost something, or though there are still some simple free sites that individuals can use for blogging.
The emergence of business website blogs
Soon, blogs started to appear on business websites. These blogs again appeared on a regular or irregular time interval and gave useful information relating to the business or the interests of its customers. Blogs are now often written by ghostwriters who are contracted to write regular blogs on behalf of website managers and designers in an attempt to make the business website more visible on the major search engines, especially Google. The theory is that continually updating a website’s content and especially introducing unique content or information, makes that website more attractive to the search engines and gives it a chance of moving up the all-important search engine pages. Most businesses that need to advertise their services tend to get better attention when a link to their website is on the first page of a major search engine, preferably in the top half. Website designers think that well-written blogs help their clients to reach that coveted position.
The importance of translation for business website blogs
Business website blogs are designed to attract attention and increase the use of the website, thereby hopefully leading to greater use of the business’s services. A blog that only appears in a single language is as restricted as a website that only appears in a single language. Of course, if the website is a local business or one that only serves a monolingual customer base, then there is probably little to be gained in translating either the website or the blog that is featured on that website (presuming there is one). However, it is increasingly difficult to find truly monolingual markets. Many countries have become multicultural and therefore multilingual. Research has confirmed what many would expect and that is most people who use the internet prefer to search whatever their interest is in their own language. This has ramifications for businesses that fail to adapt to this changing environment.
Take the U.S., for example. It has become a bilingual country in many respects because of years of immigration from Latin America. Of course, the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and there are many more languages spoken than just English and Spanish, but the growing importance of Spanish simply cannot be ignored. This means ensuring that business websites that are seeking to reach as many potential customers as possible are at least translated into Spanish as well as English. Because the regular blog is expected to do the hard yards in terms of search engine optimisation, it means that the blog should be translated too. Navigation around the website should make it easy for browsers to click on the language version of their choice.
The importance of professional translation
It can be tempting to economise on translating websites and any material that is included in them like blogs. One of the reasons for this is that like a lot of marketing, it’s often hard to justify the expense of using professional translators to keep a website and all its important pages up to date. However, the use of cheap or free translation tools can often have the opposite effect that the idea of translation is supposed to provide. Poorly translated information, whether they are regular web pages or blog material conveys a very poor impression of the business and is likely to put potential customers off. If a business cannot be bothered to provide a professionally translated version of what it is selling, then the impression may be that the business itself is unprofessional.