Before you retort “Isn’t it just a matter of typing it in?”, let me warn you:
East-Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) are a bit of a mess on the internet. There are issues with browser implementation, system fonts and web developers neglecting to address the issue on their side.
But in order to better reach the sizable Chinese market in South Australia and nationwide, you do need a digital presence in those languages.
Should I create a Chinese website?
If you’re exporting internationally, I’ll ask you to Stop. Right. There.
Before putting up your first Chinese post, you need to decide on an overall strategy, as there are website structure and SEO implications to consider. Some crucial questions we regularly work through with clients include:
- What are your top 3 most profitable markets and what is your growth strategy?
- Are you going to target a specific country because there is enough search volume going on there about your services or products?
- Or are you going to first target customers by language and create specific landing pages to test the market, before you decide on a full international website version for that country?
Your answers to those questions will impact on decisions with regards to ccTLD (country code top-level domain), subdirectories and subdomains.
Reaching the Chinese market in Australia
For clients exporting to China, we recommend setting up a separate Chinese website hosted over there. But today, our focus is on reaching Chinese customers in Australia. And what you need is Chinese pages on your website.
There are 3 ways to do this:
- One post per language and having the same content linked (best for complete site translation)
- Having two or multiple languages in one post (for partial site translation)
- Installing machine translation (RISK: disastrous results)
Polylang and qTranlsate-X are two plugins commonly used to display Chinese on your website. (Note: checks need to be done to see if they are compatible with your chosen WordPress theme.)
A big advantage with Polylang is that your pages—and all the text inside the pages—are left entirely intact if you uninstall. Nothing to clean up! It is also compatible with the Yoast SEO plugin.
With qTranslate-X, the downside is that once/if the plugin is uninstalled, all your translated content will be lost. That is why having a sound decision-making process at the early stages is so important.
Talk to your Baker Marketing consultant today if you need advice on reaching the Chinese community in Adelaide and Australia. We can help you craft Chinese marketing material and a WeChat presence.
Also, if you need export planning support and advice on export grants, you know what to do!
Image credit: Mark Gamtcheff.