ProZ.com global directory of translation services
 The translation workplace
Ideas

 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
User
Thread poster: Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Does good website = business boost?

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 10:23
English to Polish
+ ...
Jul 18, 2011

I'm thinking about getting my website professionally re-designed and I started wondering how much should it be worth to me. So my question to those of you who have invested in the online marketing is how worth was it? Have you seen a significant business boost, especially when it comes to direct clients?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:23
English to Croatian
+ ...
Marketing or design? Jul 18, 2011

Never mind how professionally designed, your website won't reach direct clients without a quality marketing, which costs quite a lot.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Viktor_Panch
Local time: 18:23
English to Russian
+ ...
website boost Jul 18, 2011

Website is the thing of constant money investing. Once started you have to spend certain amount for different areas like google indexing, CEO etc. Without these things you'll have little chances to get lots of clients.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mohamed Mahmoud  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 18:23
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
I think it worth Jul 18, 2011

Dear
I think that it deserve
once client reach your profile link any where and find that you have a strong website it encourages him a lot.
Client considers that a sign of deep strong professionalism and enhanced specialist.
And I do not think it will cost a lot of money. I have professional friends can help you in case you need that.
It is more like a speaking CV or An interview with client. My word Never hesitate and DO IT.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:23
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
My two cents Jul 18, 2011

Yes, it makes sense to have a professionally-designed website, but remember that the only way it is going to work for anyone is by keeping the promise.

Avoid statements you cannot comply with when a customer comes by. An honest description of yourself and your capabilities works better, since a satisfied customer is one who gets what is advertised.

And please, please, please... avoid the terrible catalog pictures depicting people of several cultures and origins in suits smiling at each other over a meeting table. Seeing that kind of stuff automatically disconnects me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 10:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Tomas: Jul 18, 2011

Oh no, no way, I'm not going to clone myself multiculturally and multiracially and sit at a meeting table I don't even have a meeting table...
@Lingua 5B:
Yes, I guess marketing would be rather more important than the design itself. Right now my website is not optimized for search engines, for example, and it is just simply not "findable".
Right now most of my new clients find me in ATA or HITA directories but I'm wondering if there is a whole huge group of potential clients who would have found their way to me via google if my website was not stuck in some dark corner of the web...
(Here's my website right now [not posting just to boost the traffic but rather to give you an idea of what I'd be going with] www.joannawftranslations.com - comments welcome - and yes, it has not been updated in ages)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 10:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Victor Jul 18, 2011

Exactly. Thus my question (directed at those who have invested in it) is - is it worth the money you spent on it?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:23
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
My 2p worth Jul 18, 2011


Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison wrote:
Yes, I guess marketing would be rather more important than the design

Absolutely right. What clients want is information about yourself and your skills, perhaps some examples of your work. Design is secondary. Of course it should look good, be presentable, and above all be editable and updateable by yourself. Unless you are an HTML whiz, spend your money on a simple CMS (Content Management System) rather than a fancy design. Anything to avoid a static website that can only be updated by your professional website designer.

...my website is not optimized for search engines, and simply not "findable".

Entering "Polish English translator" gives over 2 million hits. I think your clients are far more likely to find you via translator websites such as ATA and ProZ.

I'm wondering if there is a whole huge group of potential clients who would have found their way to me via google if my website was not stuck in some dark corner of the web...

You have answered your own question. Reaching you via translator websites gives you credibility that a solo website in the outer reaches of the Google solar system can never achieve.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 10:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
True... Jul 18, 2011


Peter Linton wrote:
You have answered your own question. Reaching you via translator websites gives you credibility that a solo website in the outer reaches of the Google solar system can never achieve.


but those are educated clients, i.e. those that know of existence of ATA and proz and they're mainly agencies. Wouldn't a potential direct client rather start their search by googling "Polish translator Houston"?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 17:23
English to Polish
+ ...
paid off in a surprising way Jul 18, 2011

Most translators use their website to project a certain image to their prospective clients. I agree with this approach. I set up my website not in order to be found online (given the money needed to optimise the website for search engines on an ongoing basis) but to have a virtual "business card" that I could refer prospects to. For obvious reasons it is very difficult to estimate how much money this sort of a website earns you.

Surprisingly enough, I was found online nevertheless. Maybe it's thanks to the links in proz and other sites. Anyway, the website alone has generated about EUR 2,000 net in revenues. Not impressive in the grand scheme of things but very good if you consider that my initial assumption was EUR 0.00 (the website being a mere "business card" addition). These are projects for end clients, good rates. I've spend about EUR 25.00 plus ten hours of my time setting up the website, which is amateurish to the trained eye but good enough to get praise from my friends. Assuming that they're real friends.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:23
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
My guess Jul 18, 2011


Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison wrote:
Wouldn't a potential direct client rather start their search by googling "Polish translator Houston"?

It would be great to find out, but I suspect we will never know for sure.
Googling for "polish english translation" Houston gets over 100,000 hits.
Googling for "Polish translator Houston" gets 2 hits - one of which is your question on ProZ.
Either way, discouraging. I would not start my search this way.

From the clients I have talked to, time is of the essence, and trawling through the ATA and ProZ gives much more information much more quickly than googling.

I stick to my original view – spend money on a neat little CMS that you can update regularly with sample translations that backup your comprehensive profile on ProZ and elsewhere.

A personal professionally-designed website is a "nice to have", but not a "must have". But don't let me deter you -- a personal website is fun and modern and shows you are aware.

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz's suggestion of a website as an electronic business card makes sense. Perhaps that's the answer to this question.


[Edited at 2011-07-18 17:19 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

David Turnbull  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:23
Italian to English
With Peter and Krzysztof Jul 18, 2011

As a famous man once said: "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

Whether a nice website will immediately boost your business is hard to know, but I think for the freelance professional it is one important way (out of many) to show that you are a serious professional and it all adds up to an overall impression of you.

This is not to say I would endorse spending thousands of pounds on a slick, professionally designed website. Nor would I spend hours and hours on optimising your site for Google; it takes months of constant application (writing content-rich blog posts, building backlinks from reputable sites, etc.) to get anywhere near the top of the rankings for a generic search and it is probably not worth your time for the potentially meagre rewards.

I think the important thing is to be able to direct prospective clients found elsewhere to your website, as an added way to show that you are a serious professional. So, as Peter and Krzysztof have suggested, you just need a simple, smart website with relevant information.

The best way to do this is to use a CMS and a theme. I did mine using Wordpress (as the CMS) and Headway (as the theme) - it's a simple, intuitive and cost effective way to get a decent looking web presence. It might cost you about £70-£100 to set it all up and there is lots of help available. http://headwaythemes.com/


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison
Malaysia
Local time: 10:23
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I do have a website... Jul 18, 2011

it just seems like it's not doing any work for me, hence the plans to redesign and optimize it. Maybe I'm expecting too much from it?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sarah Swift  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:23
German to English
To optimize or not to optimize? Random musings Jul 18, 2011

How long have you had your current site up and running?
It's not still stuck in the Google sandbox, by any chance?

Trying to optimize your site for very generic keywords like English-Polish translation is probably a mug's game. Even if it worked, you would be kept so busy optimizing the site on an ongoing basis that you would have to hire someone else to do your translations.

On the other hand, if you can come up with niche keywords that put what you do best in a nutshell, you should certainly see some new business coming in off the back of that. Don't forget your location as well - town, county or region, state, country.

In my ideal world, generic agencies with generic keywords inserted into generic texts would attract generic customers looking for generic translations. The more discerning customers, the ones with more specific searches, would end up with specialist freelancers and small boutique agencies who can be much more specific about their key competencies because they don't boast that they can handle anything.

Are you analysing the traffic to your current site? What page do people land on when they find you on the web? What page do people leave the site from? How long do people stay on the site? What keywords do they find you with?

Also, have you analysed the usability of your current site, and possibly canvassed a few users for opinions?

It may be worth making major changes - but it can't do any harm to analyse the current situation over a few weeks or even months first.

I can't really quantify how much business my website brings in or helps retain, although I do know that it does bring in business. It is still very much a work-in-progress (albeit a sadly abandoned one at the moment), and I will be relieved when it finally hits the maintenance phase and only needs periodic updating.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:23
English to Dutch
+ ...
Almost 100% of income generated via website Jul 19, 2011

The vast majority of my (current!) clients has found me via www.loekalization.com Is it worth it? Absolutely. However, you need to distinguish yourself from the masses, come up with a unique concept and find your niche. If you're just the umpteenth Russian-English translator who "delivers quality", "meets deadlines" and specializes in "tourism", no one could care less. You also need to come up with something professional, not some template built with a Build Your Website In 3 Days kit.

BE UNIQUE. BE SPECIALIZED. UNDERPROMISE AND OVERDELIVER.

Even better: learn PHP, MySQL and JavaScript instead of Portuguese, so that you can control every single aspect of your website. Chances are that by smart programming, you can generate more income than by learning a 6th foreign language. These languages are also very handy to automate certain processes. Which proceses? Every process you need to repeat more than once on your computer.

The exact income generated via the website is indeed hard to estimate, but I'd say 100-130 K euro per year at least.

[Edited at 2011-07-19 03:09 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Kristina Radziulyte[Call to this topic]
Jorge Rodrigues[Call to this topic]
Mahmoud akbari[Call to this topic]
Jenn Mercer[Call to this topic]
Natalia Volkova[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Does good website = business boost?







Fluency Translation Suite
Come see the Fluency Difference and SAVE

The most affordable and easy to learn translation tool! Start and finish your translations faster than ever with Fluency Translation Suite 2013. TMs, Terminology, and Online Resources are fully integrated and only a click away. Download a free trial today

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexbible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: Completely redesigned user interface Live Preview Inline spell checking Inline formatting and more

More info »