Having a Chinese website is a lot different than having one in the UK or anywhere else, not only are there differences in the cultures and languages, but also in the ways internet works. If you are thinking of expanding your business in countries where Chinese is the main language, then the website obviously in the Chinese language. However, do you know that there are more than one version of Chinese Character set and do you know which one to use? Right from the planning stage of your Chinese website, you should keep in mind the following list of checks.
The following is a list of things that you need to consider:
Where are your target markets? There are many countries where Chinese is spoken: Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore. Then there are Chinese communities with other countries in South East Asia and even in other continents. There are different localization standards that you will need to consider. So our advice is research well in these areas.
There are many dialects being spoken within mainland China. However, in terms of the written languages, there are 2 Chinese character sets that you should be aware of: Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. As a rule of thumb, Simplified Chinese is used mainly in Mainland China and communities made up of those from mainland China; Traditional Chinese is used mainly in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore and communities that are made up of people from these countries.
Make sure you have a localized Chinese keywords list and keep maintaining it. Please note that direct translation of keyword from dictionary does not work very well most of the time. You will probably need expert help with this.
Installing some sort of analytics tool is important for measuring statistics to see how your website performs and how successful your conversion rates are.
There are many tools you can use and Google Analytics is an obvious choice but there are some Chinese Analytics tools like Baidu and Tongji that you may want to consider too.
Make use of Webmaster tool will help you analyze the critical problems of your website. It will save you’re a lot of time in website analysis.
Onsite SEO should be considered in the website development phase, well before its launch. Please make sure which search engine is your focus, Baidu or Google – this is because they have different algorithms and you can get better results if you can understand their differences.
There are advantages and disadvantages to local China web hosting that you should consider. If you want to reach a Chinese audience in Mainland China, it is
preferred to host your website in Mainland China. The reason for this relates not so much on geo-targeting, but more about control.
You should also have an understanding of the various requirements for having your site hosted in Mainland China too. It might be difficult for many companies or organisations to get an ICP license in China. There are many China Web Hosting choices available to get your website working fast and stable for web visitors in China.
There are a couple of questions you should ask:
- - Is the domain easy for your target Chinese users to remember?
- - Is it a Chinese .cn domain?
Your branding messages will need to be localized and these include brand name, slogans, logo etc.
Design: Color Combinations, Typography, Favicon
Make sure the colours and user interface are adapted to the Chinese culture.
Logos, Banner, Videos and Images
These elements are components of branding. Make sure the themes of the images and videos are not offensive to the Chinese audience.
National Flags, Maps
Be sure to use the correct version. Do not use them if you are not sure.
Numbers, Figures, Address, Currency, Time and Dates
Make sure your website uses Chinese scales, time zones and date formats.
Use the most popular payment gateways in China.
Title and Meta Tags
This is an important job to do,
- - Titles
- - Meta Description
- - Meta Keywords
- - H headings
- - Alt Tags
Make sure you follow the SEO skills with the Chinese search engine giant Baidu.
Professional Chinese Translation Proof Reading
How your website content is written says a lot about your business. You will need expert help to translate your website content into Chinese. A professional Chinese translator will save you time and money in the long run. You will also need someone to do the proof reading too.
Suitable Web Copy
Sometimes you need to write specially for the Chinese markets instead of translating existing content.
Space and Language Order
Because of the differences in language structures between that of Indo-European languages and Chinese, translated text must undergo full testing to ensure accurate expressions. Be sure that you have checked all the interfaces, dialogue boxes and so on.
You will need to make sure that the video can be played, had been localized and can be understood by the audience and importantly that it is not blocked.
Countries, Districts and Map
Make sure you use the proper expression when referring countries/districts
No Offensive Comments, No Political, Gambling Content or Pornography
Avoid publishing content that is frowned upon or banned in China.
Western Social Functionality: facebook, Google Plus and Twitter
These sites are blocked in China. So limit or completely eliminate the use of these platforms in China.
Chinese Social Functionality: Weibo, QQ, Wechat
Make sure you are promoting your website or business on popular Chinese social media platforms.
Western apps: Google Maps, Youtube Video, Facebook or Disqus
Do not use major western platform functionality like Google Maps, Youtube Video, Facebook or Disqus as they are blocked in China.
- - Website Links
- - RSS Links
- - Website Functionality
- - Validation
- - Back Up
- - Cross-Browser
- - Character encoding
- - Limit your external links to non-Chinese sites – especially to sites with banned or potentially banned content
- - Make sure your website functions are adapted to the Chinese habits
- - Understand what devices most Chinese are using and support them