How can website localisation help international businesses?
In today’s digital world, a website is an essential tool for any business. However, if you want to start operating at an international level, it’s more than just a case of ‘one website fits all’. If you want to target your overseas customers effectively online, website localisation is what you need.
What is website localisation?
Website localisation is the process of making your website accessible to your overseas audience, from one language to another. This isn’t limited to simply translating the copy (though this is a big part of it). Website localisation also has to consider the design and layout of the website as converting text from one language into another can sometimes alter the way the website looks. A piece of text translated from English into German, for example, may end up being slightly longer than the original. This may mean the layout of your website needs to be adapted to fit the longer copy.
Website localisation also requires adapting its design to fit cultural requirements, including images published. For example, something simple like the Thumbs Up sign, which is perfectly acceptable in the UK, might be considered rude elsewhere. Therefore, if you have an image showing this sign, it will need to be removed and replaced by something more appropriate.
What do the statistics say?
Studies have shown that most consumers only buy from websites that they can understand properly, meaning they are more likely to buy from a website that they can read in their own language. In 2014, CSA Research conducted a survey with more than 3,000 global consumers in 10 non-Anglophone countries in Europe, Asia, and South America; 75% said they prefer to buy products in their native language. In addition, 60% said they rarely or never buy from English-only websites.
What are the benefits of website localisation?
An increase in conversion rates & sales: Website localisation will increase your visibility online and encourage engagement with your overseas customers, which may lead to an increase in conversion rates and, therefore, sales. It is not only customers in your foreign market that will be more likely to engage, but website localisation may even help attract consumers that already live in your domestic market, but maybe don’t speak or read English fluently. An example of this could be if you’re operating in the United States, where the second most spoken language is Spanish. Getting your website localised in Spanish may provide a good return on investment as you will be able to reach both English and Spanish speaking Us consumers.
Boosts credibility and outreach: If your company only has a website in English, but your competitor has tailored their website content to several different markets, which one, in your opinion, will gain more credibility and build more brand awareness? Getting your website localised is a key step in becoming an established international player within the global market. In addition, through localisation, it shows that you understand, value and have respect for your target market.
Here at Language Insight, our website localisation service can help your brand’s messages be heard in any language.