Do you have a multilingual website? How well are you connecting with your foreign language customers? Have you asked them? Or do the uninspiring conversions and high bounce rates do the talking for you? If you want to create an optimal user experience and speak to your customers in their own language, I’ve got news for you. Translating your website isn’t enough.
How come? Well, let’s see. Do you like being spoken to in staggered sentences with strange vocabulary? Do you feel inspired to purchase from a company whose message you can barely understand? Whose website design is broken, or currency displayed in Japanese Yen? Or do you click over to the competition who know your pain points, deep desires and really speak your language?
Multilingual and Localized
If you have a multilingual website, or are thinking about making your website multilingual, take a tip from me. Using a plugin to convert your text from one language to another isn’t good enough. And sending out a secondhand message that is mediocre, wrong, or unintelligible won’t increase conversions. You know what it will do, though? Force your potential buyers into the welcoming arms of your competition.
So, before you go full steam ahead with translating your website, stop for a moment first. There are a lot of benefits to multilingual websites, but only those that are done correctly, taking into account so much more than words. Well localized websites will also have localized and appropriate:
- Weights and Measures
- Dates and Times
- Site Speed
- Text that reads like it was written by a human
Now you know what kind of websites we’re talking about, let’s go ahead and look at why localizing your website is so important. Here are at least 9 benefits of multilingual websites (when localized the right way):
1. Improve Communication
This may come as no surprise, but multilingual websites improve communication! English may still dominate the web, but that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to buy from English speaking websites. A survey by the Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of non-English speaking online shoppers preferred to buy products in their native language.
A further 60% rarely ever visit websites in English. If you start to think about the size of the world and the fact that more than half of all internet users are based in Asia/Pacific, it starts to become clear. Localizing your website into other languages will improve global communication.
2. Reach a Wider Audience
Less than one fifth of all internet traffic comes from the USA. Which means that if you have a popular product or service at home, 80% of the world isn’t seeing it! But people share similar wants and needs across the world. French people bathe, Russians need productivity apps, Chinese customers like to stay fit. The list of similarities goes on. Tastes are merging across the globe. Speaking multiple languages gives you access to a wider audience who may be equally as interested in what you have to sell.
3. Better Client Satisfaction
Localized websites lead to increased client satisfaction. Assuming that you’ve taken the time to localize them well. That your user experience is optimum, your shopping cart is working and your message is appealing. If customers believe that you really care about them and that you’ve gone to the trouble of tailoring your product or service to their needs, that will naturally breed greater client satisfaction. Which means better reviews, repeat business, more clients and a general win-win situation for all.
4. Search Engine Boost
Wait, did someone say search engine boost? Like better SEO? Yep! Localizing your website into different languages improves your SERP ranking locally across the world. How so? Because when you translate and localize your website into different languages for different regions, you’re meeting customer needs.
You’re optimizing your website for key search terms in Germany, Colombia, the UK, or wherever it is you plan on doing business. You’re translating your website into French for French customers. You’re really listening to what your users want and taking note of the way they search for things. This means a rise in ranking and a boost from Google to boot!
5. Rank Higher Due to Lower Competition
While this statement may be true depending on your niche, one thing is for certain: you need to do it soon. As the rest of the world catches on to the fact that website localization is essential, it won’t be a competitive advantage for long. What will happen if you don’t localize though? You’ll be at a competitive disadvantage. Not only will you lose out to local businesses well known and loved. But you’ll be battling against other foreign companies localizing better.
6. Massively increase your audience
Localizing your website will not only give you access to a wider demographic of audience. It will give you the chance to massively increase your audience. You’ll be seen by a mega pool of potential buyers for your product. With over 3.5 billion Internet users registered in 2016, that’s one heck of a large market!
7. Translated websites do not get penalized for duplicate content
If you’re worried about being penalized by search engines for duplicate content, don’t be. Translated websites don’t get penalized for duplicate content! You will need to set up hreflang tags to let Google know that the page it’s scanning is the German, French or Arabic equivalent. Setting up hreflang tags for your multilingual website is fairly simple and avoids the issue of duplicate content. It also helps Google index your site pages.
8. Increase your sales and conversions
You’re not going to invest all that time and money into localizing your website if it isn’t going to bring about higher conversions and increased ROI. It will. As long as you do it properly. Just because there are more than three billion internet users in the world, doesn’t mean they will all be candidates for your product. So, choose carefully when you decide which languages you will localize into.
It would take over 7,000 languages to reach everyone in the world. Narrow down you focus with prior research and decide where product demand is likely to be higher. Check out your site visitors and profile your customers first. This will lead to maximum localization ROI.
9. Satisfy the Majority
While you could argue that you can’t please everyone, you can please the majority by making your website multilingual. Almost 90% of internet users in the EU agreed that website should be in their native language. That means than nine out of ten European customers will greatly appreciate your localization efforts.
With so many benefits to localizing your website, it’s kind of a no-brainer. If you do business internationally, or want to break into new markets, you need a multilingual website that walks and talks like a native. So, now your mind is made up on why you need to do it, you need an experienced localization provider to show you how. That’s where we come in.