Are you considering translating your website into multiple languages?
Translating a corporate website is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As we acknowledged in a previous post announcing the launch of our new website, producing and maintaining a site in multiple languages is definitely a challenge.
Today we give you 10 reasons why you might consider translating your website. But first, let’s take a look at the habits of the global online population.
Internet is a global marketplace with a population of more than 3 billion users, according to the latest annual report by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union. That’s 40% of the world’s population. And the number just keeps growing. 85% of these users speak one of 10 languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, German, French or Malay. And, while English speakers represent some 28% of the online population, 55% of the content available online is in English.
English is not enough
With such an astonishing predominance of English in online content, you may assume that Shakespeare’s language is the unofficial lingua franca of Internet. And you might be right to a certain extent. However, when it comes to business, working on assumptions can be risky, right? Several studies indicate that most consumers are more likely to make a purchase online if information is available in their own language:
- Can’t Read, Won’t Buy by Common Sense Advisory: 72% of consumers spend most of their time online (if not all) on websites in their own language. The same percentage also acknowledged being more likely to buy a product if the information is available in their own language.
- User language preferences online by the European Commission: 90% of Europeans always visit a website in their own language when given a choice. And 42% of them said they never buy products or services if the information is not available in their mother tongue.
So, are you speaking the same language as your customers?
Find out what’s the best way to translate your website in less than 5 minutes with this self-evaluation:
10 good reasons to translate your website
If you can identify with one or more of the following reasons, then it might be a good idea to translate your company’s website.
1. Your company sells abroad.
If your company operates in foreign markets or is planning to do so sometime soon, then it makes perfect sense to provide information about your products or services in the relevant language(s) of your current or potential customers.
2. You want to keep growing.
Sustainable businesses are based on profit and revenue. If your company’s growth rate is becoming stagnant in your local market, targeting foreign markets where your product or service is a good fit can help you continue growing the business.
3. Your competitors (don’t) have a multilingual website.
Competitive advantage is a strong decision driver. If your competitors don’t have a multilingual website, translating yours may help you differentiate and stay ahead of the competition. And the other way around, if they do, you probably don’t want them to leverage that advantage for a long time.
4. You want to strengthen your brand.
First impressions matter. Inevitably, people will judge your company based on what they find when they access your website. Tailoring the message, as well as the look & feel of your website to resonate with foreign cultures will help you build trust and credibility in your brand and enhance its global reputation.
5. You have no choice but translate.
In certain industries, companies need to abide by strong regional regulations that make it mandatory to provide information about your product or service in the local language. Typical examples include the Life Sciences industry and the Manufacturing industry.
6. You are an e-commerce shipping worldwide.
If your online store dispatches items to countries other than your own, localizing your website can really make a difference. Providing information in different languages, with appropriate currencies and unit measures, can improve trust and drive sales.
7. Your product or service has crossed boundaries.
In today’s hyper-connected world, anything can go viral. This means your brand could have a legion of fans and potential clients overseas before you even consider going global. If that happens, you may want to make things easier for them by providing information in their own language.
8. Your site’s data suggests translating makes sense.
Nowadays, virtually every website you see has a Google Analytics tracking code. Take a look at your Analytics panel and, in the Audience general tab, check out your visitors’ geographic data. Where are they located? In which language are they navigating your site? Do you provide support for those languages?
9. You want to improve conversion rates.
If your website is actually receiving traffic from users who don’t speak your language, translation could help improve conversion rates. This is especially true in the case of expensive acquisitions, which tend to require more extensive research before purchase.
The good thing is that you don’t need to translate your whole website to test its effectiveness. A good idea could be setting up A/B tests with some of the most popular landing pages on your site and compare the conversion rates between the translated and untranslated variants. This way, you can better assess whether it would make sense to translate the whole site.
10. You want to improve user experience and SEO on a global scale.
When done properly, multilingual SEO can help improve your website’s ranking and visibility. But, whether your company is a B2C or a B2B, don’t forget that communication is an H2H (human to human) process.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Establish an emotional connection with your global audience by providing them with a tailored user experience on your site. This way, they will spend more time on it and come back regularly. Eventually, this will benefit your SEO too.
The bottom line
Website localization is one of the most cost-efficient ways to open up new markets, and it’s almost mandatory for any company wishing to grow internationally in today’s digitalized world. The possibilities for ROI are endless considering the cost of translating a website.
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