The business landscape continues to shift into an emerging global economy. The most powerful and cost-effective channel to reach an international audience is through a company’s website. A multilingual website is imperative for success in a global marketplace. One of the biggest challenges businesses face when expanding business outside of their country are language and cultural barriers. The English language only has 25.3 percent of internet users worldwide according to Statista statistics. While still the dominant language on the internet, there are many languages such as Mandarin and Spanish that closely rank and continuously grow. Localizing your website to your desired international market is essential to effective communication and growth strategy.
There are many benefits to website localization:
1) Increased Sales
The low-hanging fruit of translating your website to other languages is an increase in sales or leads. In a report called “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” by Common Sense Advisory, researchers found that 85 percent of all consumers will not place a purchase if the content is not readily available in their native language. In another study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 56 percent of consumers consider the ability to get information in their local language more important than price. This has a powerful impact on the bottom line and lends itself to an opportunity to grow your business significantly.
Research shows that people want to consume content in their native language. Common Sense Advisory found that 72 percent of consumers said they spend all or most of their time on websites in their native language. Localization by a language service provider goes beyond rendering one language to another. A properly localized website considers culture and context. With fewer distractions from inapplicable references, locals will better connect with the content.
In addition to culture and context, proper localization also ensures that the translated website is compliant with local accessibility laws. Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508, different countries have their own guidelines and restrictions regarding website accessibility. Not only is it mandatory in some cases, but abiding by these guidelines promotes inclusivity and will reach a wider audience.
3) SEO and Visibility
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most essential and complex drivers that increases traffic to a website. Expanding SEO strategies to other languages will positively impact ranking for all sites. For Google’s algorithms, behavioral factors, such as the time visitors spend on websites, factor into SEO. Therefore, if a company promotes a website in the wrong language, the website will receive a high bounce rate and the ranking will take a significant hit.
There’s evidence to suggest that a translated website will increase traffic within weeks. Popular marketing consultant Neil Patel increased search traffic by 47 percent in three weeks when he translated his content into 82 languages. Patel noted that impressions for search queries also increased thus growing his prospects.
Translating your website into multiple languages will increase the awareness surrounding your brand. If you are among the first to reach a foreign market in your industry, you’ll not only attract new customers but become an authority in your field. The localized content will bolster trust and familiarity among locals. Customers will begin to associate your brand with a specific service or product. This builds your reputation abroad and solidifies your entrance into the global market.
The greatest part of website localization is that results can all be tested, measured, and tracked. Landing pages can easily be A/B tested for conversion rates and you can determine what language truly resonates with target demographics.