How Website Localization Helps Your Business Expand Globally
Did you know that over 80% of businesses fail within the first 18 months?
This goes to show that if you plan to run an international business, you know how fierce the competition can be. It is especially stiff when you sell products or services within a big, oversaturated niche. If you don’t strategize enough, you might end up unrecognized.
Discouraged! We’re here to help you out.
In this inclusive guide, you’ll learn about website localization, all the possible benefits that it brings to your business, and how it helps your business expand worldwide. It’s an especially useful post if you haven’t tried a global market before. Read on and find out more:
What is Website Localization?
Website Localization is actually a website translation of the entire website. It is the translation of your website content into the language of a foreign target audience in a different geographic region. However, it’s not a mere literal translation, but a process that goes beyond the actual translation of your content to specifically curate this content, its style, tone, idiomatic expressions, as well as images, currency, time & date format, fonts & colours, measurements, and precisely everything on your website, not only to be culturally and linguistically appropriate to a specific overseas target audience in a given region, but to be a product that suits their fancy as well. The ultimate aim of this process is to provide a useful and relevant experience to those audiences, to communicate with, engage and educate them, pinpoint and solve their problems, find solutions for their pain points and eventually gain their trust and loyalty to be repeat & loyal customers and supporters of your brand.
1. Global Access
Getting a cut from various international markets isn’t a new concept for businesses. Lots of major brands thrive by expanding their reach throughout their world. That’s why you must do the same and plan how to access multiple potential marketplaces.
To get the cut you deserve, your business must focus on catering to the needs of your target market wherever it is. Defining your target market is the first step to define your target audience.
But what’s the difference between your target market and your target audience? And how can you define them?
Generally speaking, your target market is the broad scope encompassing anyone who might be interested in your products or services. Your target audience, on the other hand, is the narrower selection of customers who might respond to your marketing asset by converting. The selection of your target market largely depends on the nature of your product/service and your niche. If it is of a sophisticated nature, you might try to tap into high-income markets. But if it is a practical basic need, you must look for low-income markets. Once you identify your target market, you can then narrow the scope to define your perfect marketing persona to whom you will curate your marketing message and sell your products or services. The globe and the internet are two infinite potentials that you must not let go untapped. So, try to make use of them as much as you can via your website, blog, and social media pages.
The second factor is the organic searches your website receives from specific geographic regions (market geographic segmentation). This occurs when you have a significant number of visitors from a particular country or region, or when a significant number of your search terms are related to specific locations. These two indicators are a great gauge to start thinking about website localization. They are by no means exhaustive. They signify that your potentials for going global in these regions are high. The ensuing step is to segment these searches demographically to target these audiences by curating the right message for them in their own language. This is a fruitful endeavour since it grants you easy access to foreign visitors.
You often resort to translation to cross linguistic barriers and communicate effectively with your overseas counterparts, yet to nail two birds with one stone, you must seek website localization to target international audiences more effectively. This will not only enable you to achieve global success, but global brand recognition as well without spending more than your budget.
2. Image Building
Your Business Image is the perception people have of your business when they hear the name of your company. This perception is closely related to your physical presence (company or business premises) and your virtual online presence (website, blog, and social media pages). In Marketing, Image Building is the attempt to improve your business image employing all possible means, such as organising brand awareness events, creating good public relations, launching advertising campaigns, and using media in a way that supports your business objectives, style, and overall branding to ultimately achieve your goals.
Although all these means are important, making use of digital marketing services is of no less importance. Having a website, blog, and social media pages that express and embody this positive image is of paramount importance.
Earning a positive brand image is essential as, according to Buchari, 2004, customers who have a positive image of a brand will be more likely to make purchases. Buchari goes further to calculate that brand image and price influence purchasing decisions by 75.2%. A positive image greatly boosts sales and marketing efforts. The idea behind brand image is that consumers are not only purchasing the product/service, but also the image associated with that product/service.
When it comes to promoting your business image on a global scale, the only inexpensive powerful means to reach a targeted foreign audience is through localising your website content into the languages of those targeted audiences. With professional website translation adapted to the taste of your international audience, your business gains a more positive image among your foreign prospects. Utilizing your blog and social media pages is an added asset. This serves the purpose, and your visitors would have reason to believe that you care for them and respect their culture. After all, you went the extra mile to ensure their convenience.
3. Search Engine Visibility
If you are targeting foreign countries like China, StatCounter latest data indicates that Google’s share of the Chinese search engine market is as low as 3.61%, whereas their local search engine Baidu is their market search engine leader with a rate of 74.95%. In Russia, on the other hand, Google’s market share of the Russian search engine market is 58.37%, whereas Yandex, Google’s local competitor, has 39.07% of the market share. In other parts of the world, Google reigns supreme, especially in English-speaking and Arabic-speaking worlds.
Website Localization guarantees that you achieve a higher rate of online visibility. Most importantly, it signifies that you rank better in search engine results from local versions of search engines like Google. Take note, apart from the local search engines in China and Russia, this sole company has 92% of the global search engine market share.
If your website translation abides by Google’s algorithms, more customers can find you. Consequently, your efforts of cross-border business expansion will bear fruit. The best part is yet to come! Website translation won’t appease search engines alone.
4. Enhanced Credibility
What builds your business reputation is the quality of your products and services, as well as your level of customer support. Aside from these, another major factor contributing to your business success is your credibility. Being credible implies that your prospects consider you a reliable resource and a decision-maker. They know they can count on you, trust you, and do business and align with you.
That is why you must build your reputation to be a dependable name. When you translate your content into the local languages of the various targeted foreign markets, potential customers will know more about your products/services and will get to know more about you. Your localized content will enable them to understand your business mission and the values it stands for.
In the long run, this adds a lot of credibility to your business. It also signifies that you respect their culture and are serious about winning and keeping their attention, while catering to their needs as a specific linguistic and cultural group. By creating a bridge of direct communication and engagement with your audience, they will start to identify with you and trust you. Consequently, they will be more apt to rely on your business as a trustworthy solution to their demands.
Customers feel valued when they see content specifically curated for their understanding and liking. It’s especially useful when you know what to do before ordering document translations.
5. More Effective Communication
One major hindrance to getting international market success is the language barrier. If your audience fails to understand your business purpose and offerings, they will not even know that your brand exists. Research shows that 75% of consumers prefer to buy products and services in their native language. To communicate effectively with your audience, you need to go beyond translating your website content. You would rather need to localise your content into your customers’ language since speaking their own language enable them to understand how you can help them and solve their problems.
But be careful, before engaging in website translation for a specific region, you must perform extensive research. Every region has its own culture-specific behaviours, traditions, and linguistic heritage. Using the wrong taglines or slogans may result in negative publicity. The issue, however, is not only about delivering the right message because sometimes the distribution channel may have its own requirements as well.
Therefore, doing your homework by dully researching and testing is paramount to effective communication with your audience. It is the best way to convert them into loyal customers. That is what makes website translation a vital part of your business. It ensures that your customers know exactly what they are getting and develops more trust in your brand.
6. Increased Customer Engagement
Adapting your message to a public with a different cultural background means that you explain in a language they understand what you do and how you can help them. By offering your international audience an engaging content through a well-localized website that attracts them with its regularly updated content and keeps their attention with an interesting flow of blog articles and social media posts – you will attract more international visitors to your website and generate more engagements with your content.
But how can you write an audience-engaging content?
There are many tips and tricks that can help you write engaging content. Some of these are to use compelling headers and sub-headers, graphics, lists, keywords, power words, internal links, and a story-telling approach. You must also involve your audience and have a call to action, but the most important part remains to be knowing your audience and writing specifically for them. More about writing an engaging content can be found in two articles of our selection, namely 15 Tips for Engaging Content and 10 Writing Tips for Engaging Content to help you create a content that readers would love.
Engagement is usually associated with more likes, comments, and shares. It can also be coupled with more repeat visits to your website and social media pages. These engagements can have a strong impact on your website performance and can highly boost your conversion rates.
From an SEO perspective, engagement with your website content is particularly important to Google because high engagement levels usually induce Google to raise your search engine ranking, which finally results in attracting more visitors and more traffic.
7. More International Website Traffic
It goes without saying that a website with increased customer engagement enjoys more traffic. Apart from the engaging website content driving organic local traffic, the localized website version exposes your website to a stream of new traffic of users who find your website via relevant search queries in their native language.
But why weren’t these users able to reach your website in the first place?
A surfeit of reasons explains why these searches weren’t initially able to reach your website, the main reason of those is simply that these users queries were in their native language when the new localized version was not yet added to your website. However, after localization, your newly localized versions will drive more international traffic to your website, besides the original local one.
But this is not the only reason that attaches importance to website localization. In fact, website translation improves the quality of users search results. Taking into consideration that Google’s (as well as other search engines) major goal is to provide useful information for users, leveraging localization to increase the relevance of your content to users turns it to be particularly important for SEO and most importantly for higher rankings on search engines results.
And why must more businesses resort to website localization?
According to Statista, 74.1% of internet users aren’t native English speakers. Another study by Common Sense Advisory indicates that 75% of Internet users are reluctant to make important purchasing decisions unless the product description is in their native language. If you do not localise, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table. Having content in the native language of your target audience not only improves their user experience, but satisfies Google and raises your website ranking as you will see when you read further.
8. Improved User Experience
Users Experience is of critical importance in the SEO world because it influences three core search engine metrics and Google ranking factors. These metrics are:
Bounce Rate: It is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors who leave a webpage without taking any actions, such as clicking on a link, filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter, registering in a site, or making a purchase. A high bounce rate indicates that the user did not find what he/she was looking for and quickly left your website.
Average Session Duration: It is a metric that measures the average length of sessions on your website. The longer time the user spends on your website, the better because it indicates that your website content is trustworthy and relevant to the user.
Pages Per Session: It is a metric that measures the average number of pages a user viewed on your website during a session. More pages per session means that the user is engaged and is exploring more of your site.
The aforementioned three factors combined give search engines a reliable indicator that:
- Your website content is relevant to the user’s search query.
- The material on your website is trustworthy.
- The website offers a good user experience which is evident from the increase in session duration and decrease in bounce rate.
The combination of these three indicators gives your website additional SEO points, resulting in higher search result rankings. It also signifies higher conversion rates.
9. Boosted Conversion Rates
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who take the desired action (a conversion). A high conversion rate generally depends on the visitor interest level, the attractiveness of the offer, and the ease of the process. The visitor interest level is maximized when the right visitor, the right place and the right time are matched. The attractiveness of the offer embodies the value proposition and how well it is presented to connect with the user. Finally, the visitor’s ease of completing the desired action depends on the site usability, its intuitive navigation and fast loading pages. So, in the first place, it is a matter of understanding coupled with a site’s functionality and speed.
That said, a professionally localized website that is designed with sales and marketing funnels in mind and is functionally performing to provide a good user experience leads the user to the ultimate goal of taking the desired action (conversion). It, therefore, helps the sales team to be more efficient as international readers have already understood the product information, the website educational content, and cleared all their doubts.
Moreover, a well-localized content provides local marketing teams with a better understanding of all information on the site, which enables them to relay it better to prospective customers. It is, in fact, regarded as a perfect sales pitch, which boosts the sales process, enhances employee-customer interaction, and brings about higher levels of satisfaction.
10. More Exposure to New Backlinks
In essence, backlinking is a process where a third party creates a link on their website that points to yours. Backlinks are particularly valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. Naturally, this is a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. For someone who already have an optimised English website, the importance of backlinks cannot be stressed more. For example, an excellent article with lots of engagements in your locality might not have the same level of attention elsewhere.
If you get a translation service to translate this article into the language used by a given target area, you allow more people to find, read, like, and share your article. They are likely to make backlinks to it, meaning your SEO gets boosted for both the localized article and its original counterpart.
For your new pages to rank high in local search engines, you need keywords in the target language to secure links from local sources to the newly created local versions. So, by localising your website, you can capitalize on your content.
11. More Exposure to Multilingual Keywords
Multilingual websites are a piece of cake loaded with perks and benefits. This is because they take into consideration SEO Localization when performing Website Localization.
What does this exactly mean?
It simply indicates that localisers localise your website content & adapt it to the language and culture of your audience, while optimising this content to comply with SEO rules. SEO-localization is, therefore, the most efficient and cost-effective method of concurrently translating and optimising your website to increase your international reach. By combining these two aspects together, you save time, effort, and money for other aspects of your marketing strategy such as PPC, link building or social media.
A good quality translation on its own cannot draw the right visitors to your site, but merging SEO practices in the process adds to your website a whole bunch of new keyword combinations that enable relevant search engines to show your site and direct quality targeted customers to your website.
But beware it’s not just a matter of keywords and mere translation. Although you may have found great keywords to help you rank highly in your country, it does not mean that a simple translation of those keywords will generate the same result. It all depends on users search queries and competition. That is why a certain keyword that ranks in a country may not rank in another.
Still, you can always use your existing local keywords as a guide for your multilingual research efforts, together with the usual keyword research endeavours for the new international website versions. For more information, you can check our Website Localization and SEO Localization page.
Another competitive benchmark to consider is that English SEO keywords are the most competitive, but competition is significantly less in other languages. This is not strange because there is less content in other languages on the web than English. Therefore, tackling multilingualism opens the door to rank for many less competitive keywords in other languages, drives more traffic to your website, and finally enhance your domain authority.
12. Enhanced Domain Authority
For customers to find you on the internet, your website must reveal strength in a specific subject area or industry. In ideal situations, this strength must show proven authority and prominence in your niche. That way, your website reaches more people and the world knows your business exists. This is the concept of Domain Authority.
According to Moz, Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. Domain Authority is not an official factor used by Google and other search engines, but it is actually the combination of all SEO indicators. The numerical score of each website determines the strength of that website’s present and future rank. The higher your website score is, the better your SEO efforts are. If you combine all the cited benefits of website localization, you get more points for your Domain Authority.
With higher metrics in traffic, user experience, conversion rates, and backlinks, your Domain Authority increases. This will benefit your content on all your language versions.
13. Cost-Effective Option
To penetrate global markets, you must focus on a direct means to reach your target audience. Thinking that the only way to expand cannot be achieved except by opening an international shop is not only an old technique but an impractically expensive option. First, create a multilingual website since it allows you to dabble in new markets without investing in a new team. This saves you the burden of paying sumptuous initial costs for creating a physical presence in international markets. As your sales grow on your website, you can gauge whether it is worth investing more money into it.
Another important aspect is the rapid increase in internet access and adoption worldwide, coupled with an annual increase in the number of digital buyers. According to Statista, in 2019, an estimated 1.92 billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-retail sales surpassed 3.5 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. E-commerce share of total global retail sales is expected to reach 22% in 2023. After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, these numbers are expected to soar in the near future.
14. Scale Business Revenue & ROI
Investing in website localization means investing in an easy to attain positive global presence, making use of two vast inexhaustible potentials, the world and the internet, and most importantly reaching out to larger audiences, new clients and customers, and increasing sales. Expanding your customer base is the most cost-effective way to scale business revenue. Instead of increasing revenue by expanding your product offerings, raising prices, or reducing profit margins, you can achieve more effective results by creating a multilingual website to reach a wider audience and more geographic regions. In fact, website localization enables you to build a bigger customer base in exchange for a relatively minimal investment. While the price of localization is easily measurable, it generates a long-term ROI that is essentially immeasurable.
Our Take Away:
Work With Localization Specialists
Who can know a given culture better than its locale? Hiring professionals who understand your customer’s language, culture, and behaviour are of paramount importance. They are the best people who know how to effectively sell your products and services to customers. To ensure the most accurate, localized experience for users, tap into local experts.
But let us get it straightforward: don’t use Google Translate!
Using free online translation tools cannot translate idioms or metaphors. Their algorithms in many instances miss the context of the intended message.
More valuable advice can be found in Neil Patel’s article “Localize Your Marketing Campaign”.
Try Website Localization Today!
These are the aspects you must consider if you want to invest in website localization, especially if you have operations in different countries or regions or see an opportunity to better target users in a particular geographic region. Website Localization is an aspect that you must incorporate as a vital part of your business. Use this option to make your international expansion more efficient and successful.
Do you need website localization services? If so, contact us today!