Targeting the 2nd biggest consumer market in the world

China is the second biggest consumer market in the world, and targeting this market for Western based organisations can be difficult. This can become more so if the historically the majority of your site content is in English.

The World Gold Council’s corporate website gold.org is a mature web property containing decades worth of material. It is constantly updated with market intelligence and price data, running from two data centres in London and Hong Kong. 542 Digital were commissioned to upgrade their existing site with multi language functionality, using simplified Chinese in particular.

The process

The first task was to audit the entire site’s content and to evaluate what should and should not be translated.

A second, parallel, task was to investigate how development, interface content translation could be completed without affecting the day to day operation of the website.

The third task was then to implement the translations. This was done by using the translation agency Lingo 24 and coordinating with client teams in London, Beijing and Shanghai. A major project management task in itself, with multiple time zones to work around.

The implementation

Translated content input was completed on the live website, leaving it unpublished in the content creation workflow. This was to ensure the translated website instance was kept up to date with concurrent updates in English.

The live website was then regularly duplicated onto our in-house quality assurance [QA] platform. Here the translated interface and chinese content could be reviewed by all parties exactly as it would be when the project was live. Of course in the background the 542 Digital developer team were constantly implementing and testing the code changes, modules and processes. This allowed us to refine the go live process so as to minimise any potential down time when the translated website was to go live.

As the site translation neared completion, we instigated multiple SEO crawls on our QA platform. This meant we could be certain that the correct alternate language references were being generated prior to the site being indexed by search engines. We would do this as a matter of course for all our web development projects, but in this case it was particularly important to allow Baidu and Google to semantically link the English with the Chinese content.

We then implemented the go live process. The load balanced nature of the World Gold Council network meant we could achieve downtime for gold.org when this happened. To the general public the chinese content was revealed in an instant.

The result

Within a week visits from browsers using simplified Chinese as the primary language had doubled, and their bounce rate had halved.

Job done.