I want to market my site to foreign markets - especially to Japanese and Chinese customers - but I don't know how to start translating my site, how many pages I would need to alter, multilingual website or not, etc.
So if there are any webmasters out there who have good knowledge of translating UK websites for foreign markets, please, please advise me. I really would appreciate any help I could get here, as I really do want to promote my site to as many foreign countries as possible.
As mentioned in another post, you need to translate the content you want ranked. I would even put in on a local ccTLD domain and go the whole 9 yards and create a "real" local language site.
If budget is limited, you can try to translate some of the top content and hang it off the original site - but do create as a minimum a local language area with navigation, contact options etc. to server the non-english crowd.
Translation can be an expensive task and needs to be done properly by professional translation guys.
Assuming you want them to buy, you need to translate the entire buying/checkout system, including all your refund/cancellation policies. You'll also need to translate one or more landing pages- the number depends on your budget.
Forget about using machine translation- it's a joke, makes you look cheap, and therefore lowers trust in you from potential customers. The best situation is if you can find a translator who understands SEO and can translate your pages with keyword rich translations.
Also, remember that translating the site is only part of the equation. The other part is customer service- how are you going to respond to those Japanese and Chinese customers when they write/call you with problems/questions in their native language?