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Four Translation Mistakes that could harm your Law Firm’s Website

Nov 15, 2016

Websites in professional industries such as law rely on the trust, credibility and reputation built by the company in question. More often than not, a potential customer’s first impression of a law firm is the law firm’s website.

For this very reason, the way that the information is displayed and delivered on a law firm’s website is of paramount importance. Translation is key to getting the branded messaging across to the target audience effectively and an accurate and localized translation of the website’s content is a key part of this task.

There are countless examples of embarrassing website translation mistakes, some of which would leave the most stoic lawyer red in the face, but these mistakes are easily avoided by using the right tools and translation services. We’ve highlighted four of the most common website translation mistakes made by law firms and provided useful tips for avoiding these pitfalls

1. Using machine translation for multilingual versions of your law firm’s website or landing pages

Whilst it may be tempting to utilize the immediacy and low cost of machine translation to create your law firm’s multilingual website, the poor quality of these translations may be detrimental to your firm’s credibility and leave your potential overseas’ clients with a bad first impression.

Of course, translated landing pages will ensure the website is visible and targeted to a wider audience, but if that audience sees mistakes in grammar, syntax and word choice in the translation, then it would be difficult to convert them into a paying customer.

The solution to this really common mistake is a simple one, and it comes in the form of hiring a professional legal translation firm that employs legal translation experts who also have website translation experience and are able to understand the nuances of legal translation as well as how to effectively market legal services to the target audience.

2. Forgetting to translate email and contact us forms

So, your law firm’s website is ready to launch and contains perfectly translated copy for each of your target markets, but what about next steps in the conversion funnel?

Take this conversion path for example:

  • A potential client who only speaks Spanish is looking for legal assistance with divorce proceedings.
  • She visits the site and is impressed with the way the website is translated in a professional manner.
  • She clicks ‘contact us’ and sends a short message asking for more information from your specialist divorce lawyer.
  • The automated response she receives is in English and she cannot understand the next steps required of her.
  • She leaves the website to look for another legal firm to handle her case.

Particularly with sensitive legal matters, it is important to have the entire user journey translated properly to ensure that no potential client leads are lost.

3. Failing to translate lawyer profiles

The majority of website searches that lead visitors to your law firm’s website will be by potential clients searching for a lawyer to potentially work on their case.

These visitors have often been given a recommendation by a friend, family or work associate. In order not to waste this warm lead arriving at the website, ensuring that your lawyer’s profiles and descriptions are translated will improve both conversion and decrease bounce and exit rates on your site.

Monitoring Google Analytics is a simple way to see which lawyer profiles are generating inbound traffic and this information can be used as a benchmark to decide the order and priority in which these pages are translated, to have the maximum impact in the shortest time – a significant quick win for your law website.

4. Email Marketing and Newsletters – all important for getting your localized message across

If your law firm uses email marketing or newsletters as a channel to communicate with clients and prospects, then translation will be important to consider when spending time on these marketing assets.

Email marketing and newsletters are an example where audience-specific translated content should be considered. If, for example a market you’re looking to target is the Spanish-speaking community, then it makes sense to send out translated newsletters and email campaigns to coincide with national holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Día de Acción de Gracias and similar.

This will demonstrate a clear understanding of the audience you’re catering to, and this relates back to establishing trust, credibility and confidence in your law firm’s ability to tailor your services to your client’s background and specific needs.

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