Languages & Markets (Which languages should I translate to?)
Website translation or localization is an effective tool that can have many benefits for your company, including increasing global reach; building credibility with other cultures, language-speakers, and countries; increasing overall customer engagement; defining your company’s consumer brand identity further; increasing SEO effectiveness; gaining new customers; increasing sales; and decreasing global business costs.
Let’s take a look at why localization or website translation is a key part of global business expansion and marketing efforts for your company. We’ll also look at which languages are the most important for global businesses today, and help you select a website translation company that’s right for your business.
What is Website Translation or Localization?
Global growth is the goal for many companies these days — even small to medium businesses established firmly in home soil are looking to expand into the global market with easy communication apps and the ability to reach clients on the other side of the globe. One of the most important pieces of effective client communication for your business is language. When it’s done well, you can increase your clientele, increase your global reach, and increase your sales and marketing efforts to grow your business exponentially. When it’s done badly, your website will appear unprofessional with broken language and an ineffective message for your clients — and no one wants that.
Enter website translation or localization, a process adapting the language and feel of your main website to fit a specific market or locale somewhere on the planet. Language and images are the main communication tools of our world, and leveraging them for a company is the best way to ensure global growth. While website translation is the most important piece of localization for your company’s website, other elements are important to consider as well, including:
Local regulations and laws
Proper date, address, email, and phone number formatting
Proper currencies and units of measure
Graphics local clientele will resonate with
Content modification for local consumption patterns
Design and layout that displays modified or translated text correctly
Overall, your specific market or clientele should feel the website was created just for them, and not for a large, generic population that encompasses the entire globe. Everyone prefers to browse a website or shop for products in their native tongues; it just makes life easier. The combination of website translation and localization are the most effective way to reach clients.
What are the Benefits of Website Translation or Localization?
Website translation or localization is becoming increasingly popular among many international business titans, and the top 25 websites in the world average about 54 language translations each. As the world shrinks and markets become more localized, the challenges of website translation and market appeal become more pronounced. We all want to increase our global visibility and the appeal of our products or services to many people, and adding different language translation options to our company websites is one of the best ways to do that. By including a particular language or languages in a website, companies can increase their credibility in that market as clients interact easily and quickly with your website, instead of stumbling through unfamiliar concepts and words that may not apply to them. Your potential clients and customers will become more engaged with your website and come to recognize your brand as one they can trust.
Which Languages Should I Translate My Website Into?
This is the big question: which languages will be the most effective for increasing your company’s global reach? The answer often depends on the services or products your company offers, and the markets you currently reach. A little online research into the markets that are most receptive to what your company offers can go a long way in determining which languages you should concentrate on. You can do this research yourself, or rely on an effective and dependable website translation company to it for you. Either way, the selection of languages should reach every market you have customers in, and also markets that may be receptive and lucrative for your services or products in the near future.
What Do Website Analytics Have to Do with It?
Key factors to consider when choosing translation languages for your website include current market demographics which can be easily determined using a website analytics tool. The analytics tool (Google Analytics, Spring Metrics, Woopra, Clicky, Mint, and Kissmetrics are just a few of the options out there) can tell you exactly which countries and areas your clientele are located in, which naturally leads to specific languages that you may want to add to your website.
What Are the Most Popular Website Translation Languages?
Once you’ve selected the target countries that will best help you expand your business globally, you’re halfway there. It can be tricky to find out which language type you need, since there are different forms of languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese, for example. Another issue is that there are often many different languages spoken within the borders of one country — which are the most popular and most important for your website? You don’t want to miss out on business opportunities because you didn’t address the top three languages in a specific country. Here’s an easy tool to use when determining the languages spoken in any country around the world. Next, talk to your IT department or content management department and make sure your content management system (CMS) can handle languages with different scripts like Chinese and right to left languages like Arabic or Hebrew. You’ll be glad you did. In 2018, the top three languages for business and marketing translation other than English were Mandarin Chinese (one billion speakers), Spanish (400 million speakers), and Arabic (300 million speakers). Runners-up include German, Portuguese, Russian, French, Japanese, and Indonesian/Malaysian.
How Do I Find the Right Web Translation Company for My Business?
Website translation and localization companies abound on the Internet, so again, do your research and find the best companies in your services or product marketing translation niche, take a look at their reviews, their accomplishments, and the companies they’ve assisted in website translation in the past. Expanding your business is important, and doing it right from the get-go is important to gaining and retaining new clientele and customers all over the world.