You don’t have to be marketing internationally to need your website translated into different languages. Many companies sell their products and services to several international clients, but never think to translate their websites.
However, translating your website allows you to tap into a new market, generate new leads and help you grow. But how do you know when to translate your website? What languages should you translate it to? What does the process look like?
There are a lot of facts out there about how translation can help your sales but here are a few that paint an important picture.
72% of consumers spend nearly all their time online on websites written in their own language. 70% said they are more likely to buy when product information is written in their own language. And 42% never buy if the information isn’t’ in their native language.
How to Know When You Should Translate Your Website
Knowing when to translate shouldn’t be a guess. There are several key indicators you can use to know when it’s time.
- Your Website Traffic
Your website traffic should be the first place you turn to determine if there is international interest in your product or service. Your website traffic breaks down which countries users on your site are located in. If you are getting a steady stream of international users, then you know it is time to consider translating your website content.
- Your Customer & Audience Base
Do you currently serve any international customers? If so, there is a high potential for a new target market. If you revisit those stats laid out above, you are missing out on a lot of potential business if your website isn’t written in the language your foreign customers speak.
- Your Competitors
Keeping an eye on your competitors is always good practice. But pay particular attention to their website and online marketing materials. If they’ve invested in translating their website, there’s a good reason and if you don’t want to play catch-up, you’ll want to consider translation too.
- Your Attendance at Trade Shows and Conferences
If you participate in large conferences, trade shows, expos or other speaking opportunities, translation might make sense for you. Exposing yourself to a large, diverse, and multicultural audience at many of these events opens the potential to generate new, international attention to your products and services. To keep these audience members engaged, give them a website they can reference to learn more about you and your services.
Consider these questions during the first stage of a website localization project. Read about all five stages at our article 5 Steps Of Website Localization
What Languages Should You Translate Your Website Into?
Start with the first two indicators listed above; your website traffic and your customer base. Where are people coming to your website from. This will be the best starting point. The other consideration would be what other target markets do you want to break into?
Once you have two or three languages identified, you’ll want to consider localization for each. Localization is the adaptation of language and design to fit the cultural norms for your new target market.
English is spoken differently throughout the United States, in the same way that Spanish is spoken different across Mexico and South America. Each country and each region of the country has cultural differences that need to be accounted for when translating your website.
Localization helps build credibility with your new target market and will allow you to create customized marketing campaigns that will really resonate with your new audience.
How to Get Started Translating Your Website
Translating something as big and as crucial as your website can be done through online tools or applications you add on to your website. But there is a lot more than a simple translation of text that needs to happen, and these free tools and applications don’t always take these things into consideration.
Languages vary in length and sentence structure. Which means your one line English headline could be two lines in Spanish. When you start to adjust the length of text, this often impacts the design of your website.
The layout and architecture of your website is also called into question when dealing with international audiences whose design standards are different than those in the US.
Finding a trusted translation partner is often the best way to get your website translated. Not only will a professional translator be able to make text adjustments, but they can help you with the design and layout changes that need to happen.