When it comes to marketing and business development, a multi-lingual practice has the ability to reach, and serve, more patients in the community. These practices, however, often struggle with finding the balance in promoting their services to these different groups. One of the major hurdles is a practice’s website; we regularly encounter doctors and dentists who question how they should feature copy in multiple languages on their sites. And as with all other marketing strategies, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
As a general rule of thumb, we highly recommend that practices avoid using automated translation software like Google Translate. While these services do have some merit, they provide a literal translation. In some languages, and in some marketing content, the real meaning of the message can be lost with a strictly technical translation. While it may be more costly to have a member of your team translate the copy on your site, it’s a worthwhile expenditure if you’re able to more effectively convert visitors to patients. Additionally, by actually having the translated content hosted on your site, you have a better chance of getting in front of more prospective patients in local search results since the search engines can crawl that information and match it up with relevant keywords.
Without the translate tool directly on your website, you are faced with a big decision – how will you display two languages on a single site? Of course, you can feature copy in two languages on each page but this can be overwhelming. In cases where there is a great amount of content, we often recommend that the practice have two unique sites – each one dedicated to a single language. With this approach, you can easily link between the two sites and give both languages equal treatment.
Alternatively, if you only wish to have single site, you might consider creating dedicated pages for each one of the languages you feature. Provided that you create a “yellow brick road” with a sound link structure, visitors should be able to find the content in their desired language. There are pros and cons to both options, and it’s best to consult with an experienced healthcare marketing professional to weight the options and decide on a solution that will work best for your practice.
For nearly a decade, Zola Interactive has helped professionals highlight their expertise and values on comprehensive websites. Whether you have 8 languages you’d like to feature or 8 locations you need to highlight, we have the skill and experience to help you reach your goals.