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Why Website Translation

Today savvy website owners often search for cost-effective ways to increase the number of their online visitors and certainly conversions of those visitors into clients. Enhancing daily internet traffic provides a recognized e-commerce strategy for promoting goods and services more effectively to increasingly international markets.

Some experts believe that translating your site into other languages remains one of the most effective methods for accomplishing this goal. But you need to be paying attention to mobile…

Some Startling Statistics

To fully appreciate why website translation holds value in the highly competitive e-commerce marketplace, it makes sense to study some important statistics. These figures indicate the importance of considering language issues as cyberspace grows more mobile and international. Google, undoubtedly the most important search engine around, recently changed its search algorithm to rank sites that load well in mobile devices higher, a recognition of the increasing importance of smart phones and other PDAs. These sites are called “Responsive” – as in being able to serve all types of screens based on the need.

We had talked about website translation (also known as localization) in a recent article titled, “Localization FAQ’s“. But here is some more information that makes the case that localization is something that needs to be considered:

  • Some recent studies reveal that only 15% of online visitors will purchase products from non-native language websites;
  • Today, fully half of the searches conducted on Google occur in languages other than English;
  • Some 30% of the world’s population understands English;
  • Every year, an increasing number of non-English language speakers access the Internet for the first time.

Crunching The Numbers

These statistics suggest that English does indeed remain a very significant language online. However, as people increasingly use smart phones to access the Internet, companies that concentrate only on English-speaking consumers fail to appreciate the significance of a growing market of non-English speaking customers and mobile device users.

While three out of ten Internet visitors may benefit from visiting an English language website, some seven others remain unable to fully access the content without a website that is geared for mobile or a website translation. If the vast majority of customers only purchase goods and services from sites written in their own native language, potentially a vast untapped market awaits firms willing to invest in high-quality translation services. By communicating with these prospective clients in a readily comprehensible language, an astute online marketer stands a far greater likelihood of converting a casual visitor into a loyal customer.

These marketing statistics explain why so many businesses today have decided to develop a multilingual approach to engaging in e-commerce. The demand for proficient language translation services has grown robust in this dynamic online environment. Factors include:

  • The falling cost of data plans;
  • Greater availability of wireless and WIFI hotspots;
  • Widespread mobile use internationally.

Towards More Effective Global Marketing

Appreciating the need to obtain qualified website translation remains only part of the challenge confronting business leaders. How does a company (or their marketing partners) actually implement an effective translation strategy?

Both established and startup companies face important planning decisions in terms of devising the most cost-effective approach for implementing website translation. The solution to this dilemma may hinge upon understanding a firm’s unique circumstances and market niche.

Know Your Customers

As a full-service translation agency, and a translation company that has been providing website translation service since the advent of internet, we advise companies to conduct careful research before seeking translation services. Taking time to complete this preliminary step carefully prevent delays and saves money later.

For instance, a company which sells products in a primarily local marketplace may find focusing on just a few languages far more effective initially than seeking to translate its entire website into every possible language. By contrast, an American firm shipping highly portable products intended for an international market might want to consider a broader initial approach. The importance of smart phone use to access the Internet emphasizes the critical significance of an international (and often non-English speaking) market.

One great way to determine the linguistic needs of your customers and potential customers involves developing a survey to ask for feedback about language issues. A manufacturer interested in expanding international markets to mobile smart phone users might want to use this strategy to determine which languages would offer the best initial website translation targets, for instance.

Translate Static Content First

For companies with existing websites, some marketing authorities suggest focusing on seeking the translation of static content first. This approach frequently offers the biggest initial ROI.

By focusing on the most responsive initial market niches, a company might direct more resources towards translating additional sales materials, such as emails and educational videos, for its most highly receptive markets.