Should I translate my website? It might be something you’re considering – especially if you’re looking to enter new markets in 2020. We’ve identified 3 types of businesses that should translate their website.
And, it would be a wise decision if you want to make sure your website is ‘speaking’ to potential new audiences. Whilst the internet is bringing people together and opening up all sorts of opportunities for those offering online services, there still remains somewhat of a language barrier.
English dominates the world wide web. But, surprisingly if your website is in English, you’ll be reaching just 25% of the Internet. Meaning you’re missing out on 75% of people, and those 75% of people – they’re potential customers.
That’s millions of people you won’t be able to target simply because your website is not readable to them. If you’re selling products or services then you might be surprised to learn that 55% of people will only purchase something in their own language.
While the English-speaking world has long been using the Internet – other languages such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and French are increasingly growing and offer big market opportunities.
Essentially, if you’re doing business online (which for the majority of people is pretty much a yes!) then adding more than one language to your website should be pretty high on your list of priorities.
There are however, a number of businesses where website translation makes perfect sense. So, we’ll take a look at three businesses that would greatly benefit from a translated website.
Should I translate my website as an e-commerce business owner?
Should I translate my website as an e-commerce business owner? If you’ve got the infrastructure in place to sell internationally, then there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from translating your website so you can sell in new markets.
Or, if you’re already offering international shipping, then website translation is pretty much guaranteed to increase your revenue streams and reduce your reliance on one market.
Cross-border ecommerce is on the rise. People are increasingly purchasing goods from overseas – with 57% of individual shoppers having made a purchase from an overseas retailer in the last 6 months of 2019. In fact, cross-border ecommerce is estimated to surpass the €881 billion ($994 billion USD) mark this year (2020).
But, almost 60 percent of participants said that being able to get information about the product in their own language was more important to them than price.
That surprising stat demonstrates how consumers care more about understanding the product in their own native language, than how much it actually costs to purchase it.
It’s incredibly important for your users to understand the full buying process and many consumers will shy away from clicking ‘buy now’ if they can’t understand it in their own language.
I’m selling digital services. Is it important to offer multiple languages?
Whilst deciding to take your business global when you have physical products to sell is not always something to take lightly (shipping, taxes and storage facilities are just a few of the problems ecommerce entrepreneurs might face). Those selling digital services, which are plenty, can greatly benefit from website translation.
Apps, plugins, or even websites selling tickets are just a few of the online industries where a physical product doesn’t exist, and where it means there’s the possibility to sell it in any part of the world if your website is offered in more than one language.
Another industry within the digital space that’s seeing increased growth is the e-learning sector – projected to be worth $37 billion dollars in 2020.
Non-English speaking countries Asia, Romania, Poland, Brazil and Colombia are all big consumers of e-learning courses and offer major growth opportunities.
For those selling apps and plugins, a help centre is generally a necessity to help your customers understand your products. And, whilst it’s not always viable to provide a live support team in the languages you’ve translated your website into (especially if you’re a startup) – you can translate your help centre to give your customers a certain level of support.
This can have a number of benefits such as giving customers in new markets the support they need. And, offering your help documents in more than one language is a guaranteed way to help as many of your customers as possible, quickly and efficiently, without the need for timely personal responses.
I operate my business in a country with more than one language. Should I translate my website?
Then there are countries where you might already be doing business in that speak more than one language.
Take Belgium as an example, where Dutch, French and German are spoken, Canada which has French and English speakers, and, perhaps a more surprising one – America, where the US is the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking country.
There are 41 million people in the US whose native language is Spanish and who are browsing online in Spanish. This means you could be missing out on a huge number of potential customers if you fail to localize to such a big market. It just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be an official second language for it to make sense to translate your website.
Adding a language to your website which is already spoken in the country you do business in will immediately help boost your SEO.
It’s also worth talking about cases where it just makes sense to translate your website because the data is apparent in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics can give you a great insight into your website visitors – particularly when it comes to deciding whether to add another language to your site. The likelihood is that you’re getting at least some traffic from other countries.
This can easily be found through the ‘Audience’ and ‘Geo’ section of your Google Analytics dashboard.
If you already have a number of website visitors from countries where the original language of your website is not spoken, then you might want to consider this as a great way to increase sales.
Translating your website
Should I translate my website? We’ve gone through a few businesses where it would be worthwhile to translate their websites – but the next question you’re probably asking yourself is – how?
Whilst there was a time when translating your website might have been a time consuming plus an expensive process (it still can be if you go down the traditional route) – translation solutions such as Weglot offer an incredibly fast and simple way to both translate and display the content of your website.
One of the key struggles with website translation is the time it takes to translate the thousands of words you might have on your website (check out your word count here).
However, with Weglot as your translation choice you’ll get a fast first layer of automatic translation which you can then manually edit, approve or order professional translators to review those translations.
The second dilema you might come across when translating your website is how to display those translations. There are a couple of options:
- Both languages displayed on the same page
- Duplicate pages
- Duplicate websites
The first option is bad for SEO. This is because you’ll have duplicate content on the same page and Google won’t know what language to rank your site for – meaning you might face some Google penalties. Not great when you’re trying to get your business out there!
The second and third options again face the same problem in terms of duplicate content – not to mention the extra work and cost involved in managing separate websites or pages.
The good news is that with Weglot your website content is automatically displayed without the need for duplicate pages or websites. We take care of this side of things for you and display the content under language specific subdomains or subdirectories – favored by search engines. Weglot also follows Google best practices when it comes to multilingual SEO – ensuring your newly translated website is visible in the countries you want to do business in.
And, when it comes to installing Weglot – in just a few clicks and without the need for code, you can have a multilingual website up and running in minutes. No matter what website technology you’re using – CMS or non-CMS – you can find your integration here.