Website translation: a path for business growth
1. Break the barriers of your local market
A multi-language website targets customers whose mother tongue is not your own. It facilitates global market reach and access to a potentially limitless audience. English is always a must for website translation, as it remains an international language. You can start by rendering your website in English, yet don’t stop there.
While English is globally understood, a recent statistical analysis (March 2020) shows that only 25.9% of internet users globally are native English speakers. The remaining 75% is a huge pool of consumers. The more the internet users of a specific language community increase, the greater the demand to localize content accordingly.
A couple of examples are quite useful at this point:
In 2013, there were 222.4 million Spanish-speaking internet users, 344 million in 2019, while in 2020, the number rose to 363 million. It is self-implied that if you wish to expand to Spain or South America, a proper website translation should be a top priority.
Many people would think that German is only spoken in the Federal Republic of Germany. While Germany’s population is estimated to be a bit less than 84 million in January 2021, around 98 million people in the globe speak German. Most amazingly, 93.8% of them are internet users! Moreover, Germany ranked first in June 2020 in internet users within the EU. In this context, German-speaking consumers are a very promising target group for a broad variety of businesses at the moment.
The numbers speak for themselves. Any business aiming for international expansion has to translate its website into the target-market’s language.
2. Show that you are customer-centered
Whether it’s products or services you are selling, it’s important to keep in mind that international customers (non-English speaking ones) prefer to browse websites in their language.
A relevant behavioral study conducted by the Common Sense Advisory has shown that 75% of consumers prefer buying products they can read about in their language. A Gallup survey conducted for the European Commission [PDF] showed that 44% of the internet users in the EU considered they missed some useful information if websites were not provided in their native language.
Make visitors to your website feel confident and comfortable by addressing them in their native language. In this way, you will increase traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and increase your chances of entering a new market. Show your customers you appreciate them and make them feel valued as they will be able to navigate easily on your site and engage effectively with your content.
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman argues that 95% of purchase decision making is taking place in the subconscious mind. Emotions drive people, therefore, if you want them to remember your brand and have a satisfying web experience, they must be engaged. What a better way to achieve that than by speaking to them in their language? The more valued and comfortable they feel, the better chances you have of increasing your sales.
3. Move ahead of the competition
Engaging international customers gives you an advantage over your market competitors, as you expand your customer pool. Translating your website into multiple languages will definitely increase your audience.
What will make a real difference and place you in an advantageous spot over the competition is including particular culturally-and-interest-focused keywords in the different language versions of your website.
While numerous businesses target their audience only with general keywords, make a difference by presenting a multi-language website with incorporated keywords customized and tailored to the specific market you want to engage in. In simple words, improve your SEO in the translated versions of your website.
Your multi-language content needs to reflect the cultures of your target markets. Show that you understand and value different cultures by properly localizing your content. Moreover, showing a multi-language site constructs an international image, thus, presenting you as a global brand.
4. A cost-effective choice for business expansion
Translating your business website offers a great return on investment (ROI). Marketing and advertising strategies are undoubtedly a valuable and irreplaceable tool if you wish to expand your business. Nonetheless, they are not the only tools.
According to a study conducted by the former Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), $1 of investing in localization results in a return of investment (ROI) of about $25. There is no need to spend right away business-crippling amounts on expanding your business. Website translation is a small investment that will increase your sales chances and build long-lasting relations.
5. Covid-19 impact on e-commerce
Lastly, and very importantly, Covid-19. The pandemic and the consecutive lockdowns have changed every aspect of our lives and the global economy unprecedentedly. Within a matter of weeks, companies had to digitize their infrastructure to continue conducting business, and online tools entered our lives as never before.
Despite the blow in many industries, there are cases of increased revenues. For instance, Zoom saw its revenue skyrocketing: from $122 million in the first quarter of 2020, it reached $188.3 million in the fourth quarter of the same year. It only makes sense, though, that Zoom and all relevant applications experienced rapid growth during such times.
Nonetheless, there are more cases of businesses that adapted to the new circumstances and benefited. An example is the famous Washington Post, which implemented solutions focusing on localization and regional outreach and saw in 2020 its global business subscriptions increasing by 60% over the previous year.
Finally, e-commerce is by far the great winner during this crisis. E-commerce was already on the rise even before the pandemic. It was estimated that in 2020, international e-Commerce would reach $1 trillion:
*Chart data source: invesp
A case in point is retail e-commerce. In 2019 retail e-commerce sales globally surpassed the amount of 3.5 trillion US dollars, a number that was forecasted to rise in the upcoming years, and estimated to have reached 4.13 trillion USD in 2020. It only makes sense. As traditional shopping is on pause, consumers turned to the internet. A survey conducted over 12 countries and 10.000 adults showed increased rates, as of March 2020, in online shopping, varying from 12% to 57%.
The shift towards the digital marketplace is undeniably a challenge for businesses globally, yet also an opportunity for growth.
Still thinking about translating your website?
Alexandros Tsouris – Translator | Founder at Verbalab
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