Globalization is taking hold faster than ever, increasing the need for linguistic diversity
Never has there been a time in history when businesses were so connected across borders, time zones, and cultures. And never has translating a website been so important.
Recent events, most notably the global pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns of brick-and-mortar businesses, have thrown this global connection between business and customers into sharp focus. Where globalization was a concept to many people, it has now become a day-to-day way of life for businesses hoping to survive and thrive in the 21st century.
1. Translating a Website for Maximizing Customer Engagement and Revenue
Survey results from hundreds of senior marketers have thrown the importance of the language used in marketing communications into the spotlight amid Covid-19.
64% percent agreed that “language has never been more important in helping a brand connect with its customers than it is today” Consequently, 71% expect to spend more time scrutinizing the language in their content in future marketing plans and budgets.
As we see, language is the motor that drives marketing, and a bilingual website increases the “horsepower” of that marketing.
2. Translating a Website to Present Your Business to Multilingual World
While the concerns and challenges of businesspeople over the world have become more entwined in the past years, one thing stands out that has not changed: the world is multilingual. You cannot conquer foreign markets without speaking to your audience in their language, and the top global brands understand this very well.
As per the recently released 2021 Web Globalization Report from Byte Level Research, the top 25 global websites support 62 languages on average. It is obvious that one of the main reasons for their international success is in their presenting themselves to the world.
The reasons why a savvy business would choose to communicate with diverse populations in their language, in many cases their primary language, go beyond simple matters of effective communication.
Market studies have shown that when potential customers see that a website is in their primary language it causes them to feel a bond with the business operating the website.
It is also true that translating a website is a must not only for on-line retailers but also for B2B companies that offer industry-specific products and services. For example, technology, manufacturing, engineering businesses marketing their product to foreign countries.
3. Translating a Website for eCommerce
The lingua franca of business these days is the website. It has taken the place of the bricks-and-mortar store and is the new storefront for any type of business in the global marketplace. We have seen the website evolving in the past 20 years from a basic communication tool to a virtual retail establishment where relationships between customer and business are forged and preserved.
Of the many elements that come into play in the relationship between website and customer, none is more important than the aspect of language. This is where quality verification, price checking, availability, and the actual sale take place.
4. Attract the speakers of the Main Languages of North America
How important is it for a business to have a bilingual website in any environment where potential customers speak more than one language? Quite simply, it is of paramount importance.
While countless languages are spoken in these days of globalization and large-scale immigration, two languages besides English predominate in Canada and the United States, respectively. They are French in Canada and Spanish in the United States.
While most of the people in those two countries who speak those languages also speak English, it calls to mind the fact that they feel more comfortable, more welcome, and more connected when they see that a website offers to communicate with them in their first language.
To appreciate the importance of communicating in these two primary non-English languages, one needs only to observe how many large successful retailers have websites that are also in these languages.
Consider, for example, that French is the mother tongue of 22% of all Canadians (English is the mother tongue of 56% of Canadians). In the United States Spanish is the native language of 15% (50 million) of all residents.
For successfully serving customers whose language is not English, a business with an eCommerce component cannot do without proper website localization.
5. Translating a Website for Large Potential Customer Base
In each case, this is a substantial potential customer base that one ignores at one’s peril. While much of Canada’s French-speaking population is concentrated in the eastern half of this vast country, the Spanish-speaking population of the United States spans its entire geography, from east to west and north to south.
These figures are bound to increase. Government policies encouraging immigration by French speakers in Canada and Spanish speakers in the United States guarantee it.
For example, Canadian immigration rules were recently changed to give French-speaking immigrants a leg up when applying for fast-track immigration.
“Supporting the development of Francophone minority communities outside of Quebec is part of this government’s plan for economic growth and long-term prosperity throughout the country. It is also the right thing to do to help support Francophone communities right across Canada. We will continue to attract Francophone immigrants to make sure that Francophone minority communities flourish.”
Canada’s Minister of Immigration
Marco E. L. Mendicino
Isn’t this the reason for translating a website to meet the needs of the growing Canadian francophone population and US Spanish-speaking community?
6. Reach Out with Bilingualism
Translating a website is even more important for any business, whether service is oriented or retail, that hopes to expand into new geographical markets. Such would be the case for a clothing manufacturer on the West Coast of either Canada or the United States who intends to sell their apparel on the East Coast of these continent-wide countries.
How much more is this the case in the wake of a year or more of retail lockdowns that have driven customers by the thousands to search for new sources of goods and services. Statistics show that online buying has significantly increased in North America since March 2020 when lockdowns first began.
7. Translating a Website to Steer More Business
Having a bilingual website can significantly increase the success of one’s search engine results. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the new marketing. The higher your business ranks in the listings on major search engines, the more business will be steered your way from the internet.
An estimated 30% of website traffic comes from search results. Bilingual individuals will often search in both languages and having a bilingual website can appreciably increase your chances of gaining customers from search engine results.
As mentioned above, having a website that is in the customers’ first language builds a connection with the customer. It also builds a sense of trust. Trust is the basis of every long-lasting customer business relationship and it is not something money can buy.
Website localization will automatically put you ahead of your competitors with regards to a large potential portion of your customer base. It also shows that you are thinking about the future as well as are being considerate of the cultural specifics of the community you hope to serve.
Website Localization Services
Once you decide on translating a website to a second language, it is best to get professional help from someone who provides professional website translation services.
Why is it necessary to hire a specialist in website localization for translating a website? There are several reasons.
- Website translation does not just involve translating the pages, but also the links, captions, headings, and instructions on the website. This includes the navigation menu, buttons, calls-to-action, and forms.
- Localization goes beyond text only, and things like numerical values, dates, etc. might also need to be localized for the target audience.
- Translating a website will often change its layout and with certain language, there are issues of text expansion, text reduction, etc. Making adjustments to address these issues is all part of website localization as done by a specialist.
- When translating a website, it will also be appropriate to localize the accompanying images, so that they will be culturally relevant in the new language.
- Once you commit to translating a website, you will also need to include both languages in your updates and website maintenance. Professional website translation service providers can help you with hassle-free updates.
- You might also want to consider adopting a URL strategy. A stand-alone, dedicated URL in each language for marketing and search engine optimization purposes can re-direct properly. For example, the Social Security Administration uses the URL https://www.segurosocial.gov to market and drive traffic to their Spanish language site. Your website localization provider can help you select the appropriate URL.
Don’t Miss Out on the Opportunities for Business Growth
There is ample compelling proof that translating a website will serve your business on many levels and open new opportunities for your business growth.
When you get ready to take this step, be sure to get help from a translation service provider experienced in website localization.
Art One Translations is an award-winning expert in website localization who has helped many businesses to localize their websites. We would be happy to help you too.
Contact us to discuss your website localization project.
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