The blog post below is written by Morningside Translations:
Websites are usually the first destination customers visit when they’re interested in a company. In the same vein, for professional industries like law, clients will often gauge a law firm’s credibility and reputation through their website.
First impressions are important, especially when we’re talking about an industry like law. The last thing you need is for your website to tarnish the reputation you’ve built through hard work and determination with incorrect errors.
Which brings us to translation, a key way of offering up your sevices to different audiences on a localized scale. A low-quality and mistake-ridden website translation can be extremely detrimental to the success and growth of a law firm.
Here are four of the most common legal translation mistakes made on law firm websites, and how to potentially avoid them.
1. Forgetting your email and contact forms
Your website is ready for launch and you’ve double-checked all of the translations made on your site to ensure it’s perfectly localized for your target markets. But, you leave your email responses and contact forms in English. This is a very common mistake that could lead to lower conversions on your site. Why?
The steps to a user’s conversion on your website often occur like this.
A potential client, who only speaks X language, is looking for legal assistance.
He/she looks through the site, is visibly impressed at the attention given to localization efforts, and enjoys reading it in their native tongue.
The potential client clicks on the Contact Us form to provide information on the services they might require.
Your website shoots back an automated email in English, but the client can’t read English.
He/she leaves the website to search for another legal firm that can handle the tasks he/she requires without reverting to English.
If you forget about this step, which is an important one in actually converting a client, you’ll be losing many potential leads. It’s important to have the entire user journey translated properly, especially since a law firm will be handling a lot of sensitive legal matters.
2. Multilingual versions of a law firm’s website or landing pages through machine learning
While law firms might consider the low-cost, quick turnover qualities of machine translation an advantage, the translations are usually littered with mistakes that can harm the digital branding of your law firm. Even for law firms that are just starting out with minimal funds, machine translation on its own is a dangerous method to use for website translations.
The solution for this is to find a professional legal translation firm that utilizes legal translation experts to do the work for you. These legal translation experts will understand the nuances of legal terminology so that they can accurately translate difficult terms into the language you require. While the cost will be higher than machine translation, you’re paying for a premium service that will net you better results in your localization efforts.
3. Email marketing and newsletters should also be localized
While a full translation effort on your website is a good first step, if you’re trying to enter a new market, you should ensure that all of your assets and campaigns are also localized. Email marketing and newsletters are commonly used to communicate with potential and current clients. Make sure these marketing pieces are translated in order to reach everyone, across all platforms.
If you’re looking to target new communities in a different language, it would make sense to send out translated newsletters on days that coincide with specific regional or cultural holidays. This will show your clients that you care about them, have a clear understanding of who they are, and why they should choose you or stick with you as their law firm.
4. Translate lawyer profiles
A lot of web searches that will lead potential clients to your site will be searches for a lawyer to work on their case. Whether these visitors are led to your site through references or search engine queries, you don’t want to waste this warm lead if they can’t read English.
Ensuring your lawyers’ profiles, descriptions, and bios are translated will help improve conversion rates and minimize the chance of early bounce and exit rates. By looking at Google Analytics, you can break down the traffic that your lawyers are generating and create a plan of action for translation efforts. If one lawyer is getting a lot of traffic from a specific demographic that you are targeting, it might be time to put some serious efforts into localizing their descriptions for better chances of conversions.