From buying the latest gadget to searching for your favourite store cupboard ingredients, in a digital world we have such high expectations of finding our most-loved brands in our native language. In a busy world, we want a quick and easy solution to our purchases, yet a website that does not allow this can be greatly frustrating. Website localisation is a translation solution that makes a customer’s experience that little bit easier to access your products or services and commit to a sale.
What is website localisation?
Website localisation is the process of adapting your website to suit specific languages and cultural preferences. It involves more than simply translating your content, as it includes adjusting your context, graphics, presentation and phrasing to suit the nuances of the culture and language of the market you are translating for.
Localising your website can make a real difference to your business, and here are 5 significant reasons why:
- Localising your website can have a hugely positive effect on your business sales, by making your website work harder and reach a larger geographical percentage of your market. Localizing your website will enable your products and services to be globally accessible, targeting a wider audience.
Research suggests that globally 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product if they receive product information in their own language. This high percentage is amplified by statistics stating more than half of all internet shoppers agree that having information available and accessible in their own language is considerably more important than the price of products or services. This indicates what areas are significant from a customer’s perspective, and gives a true understanding of how an accessible website can really affect your sales. It is important to keep up to date with the needs of your consumers and customers, and actively listening to feedback from consumers and internet shoppers can be valuable to your business.
In Europe, studies show that 42% of Europeans will not buy a product if the description is not in their language. Again, this indicates how without localisation, you greatly run the risk of missing out in the market and allowing your competitors to be the more favourable place to purchase.
- Localising your website creates a better user experience, which better accommodates your customers’ needs and provides additional value. By breaking down communication and language barriers, you are providing a more engaging experience. Diminishing any elements of confusion and user’s attempts to translate your content themselves, you prevent potential customers from moving to another brand who has a more accessible website.
Making your customers feel at home is more than likely to increase loyalty to your brand, as the statistics in point 1 demonstrate. They will have the comfort of knowing that the experience you provide is specialised, attentive and easy to use.
It is also important to note that this does not mean simply translating the text to another language. Gaining a proper connection with your customers goes a lot deeper than this and it is important to adapt your messages to demonstrate your understanding of the nuances of conversation and culture. Certain phrases do not translate directly into other languages; therefore it is important to seek linguists who can support you in bringing your brand story to life in a relevant way for the specific target market.
- Bulk machine translations are not always 100% localised.
When creating an accessible website, it is important to understand the difference between translation and localisation. Translation is simply the process of converting web content from one language to another. Localisation considers more aspects of accessibility than language only. It takes into account cultural preferences, different contexts and layouts appropriated for the user. This includes more than just text – it considers graphics, colours, societal codes and values, to name a few.
Machine translation can be good for bulk translation; however post editing is needed for the nuances of meaning to ensure there are no inaccuracies in context, grammar and phrasing. If incorrect, it can negatively affect the experience your customer has with your website and weaken the relevance. It can also cheapen the brand experience.
This may lead prospects to translating for themselves. In this situation, you run the risk of them receiving an entirely different message to the one you intended and your carefully crafted marketing messages can get lost. This could be anything that influences the customer to buy into your products and services, from product descriptions to prices.
- Website localisation can increase your brand awareness, setting you apart from your competitors. The more countries your website provides for, the greater your search engine optimization (SEO) reach will be. SEO strategies are an important element of website management and localisation is a vital part of this. For example, research has found that 60% of consumers start their research with a search engine before heading to a specific website. Therefore, it is incredibly important that your business stays relevant on search engine results.
Localisation allows the relevance of your website to be prevalent across several search engines, specific to each country that you target. Not all content is universal – what may appear to be relevant on one search engine may not apply to another.
- English is no longer the most common world language. In a competitive marketplace, with great digital transparency, it is important to monitor your key digital users.
Only a quarter of all internet users speak English, which is an astonishing statistic highlighting the need to localise. The current most popular language in the world is Chinese (Mandarin), followed by Spanish, English, Arabic and Hindi/Urdu.
Knowing who is accessing information about your products or services and what languages and customs are required for greater engagement in that market can greatly boost your business sales, as mentioned in point 1.
We are committed to connecting global audiences and recognise website localisation as a key tool in breaking down these international barriers. Your website is often the first point of call for people discovering and finding out more about your brand – research has found that 81% of people look at products and services online before making a purchase, which really does highlight the relevance of internet shopping in today’s digital age. It is vital that you show this depth of understanding of all your clients’ countries and respect their business enough to accommodate their needs.
For more information on our localisation services, visit our localisation page https://en-gb.thebigword.com/translation-localisation/website-localisation/