Why, you may ask?
There is the obvious: Serving a broader, richer market. A larger chunk of potential customers, plus a greater regional reach equals increased sales.
Yet this success isn't only reliant on translating your website's content. Google can do that, and for free. It might change pronouns here and there ... and turn carefully crafted copy on best-selling products into an awkward concoction of nonsense ... and leave visitors with more questions than answers.
But hey, at least it's in their language now, right?
Or you can take a different approach. One that recognizes the importance of not only translating, but localizing content in a different language. You are doing more than translating words on your website; You are opening your business to a new market.
Language is a comfort-zone, and a deeply-rooted part of someone's identity. Wouldn't you want to put your best face forward, and greet the people like a local? To feel invited, rather than invasive?
Why, we've got just the guide for you! Let's explore some less-known perks of having a multilingual website, such as a heightened brand perception, and climbing the international ranks (SEO ranks, that is).
Different language, same rules apply: it's still all about the customer.
Language builds trust. By saying things "in their language" your audience's relationship with your brand will transform from "foreign" to "familiar". A relationship that translates (pun-not-intended) into literal sales:
Out of 8,700 participants of a study (across 29 countries), 76% stated their preference for buying products with information in their native language.
40% said they "wouldn't even consider buying" from websites in a different language; and an outstanding 75% declared they are "more likely to buy again from a brand if customer care is in their native language", even when they had a confident grasp of the English language.
People will appreciate marketing and content in their home-language. It's personal, and inviting. It will be welcomed by engagement with the content and, more importantly, (repeated) purchases of your product.
Is worth mentioning that this approach will also do wonders to position your business in a new market. But we'll get to that later.
Climb the (SEO) ranks.
For organic growth nothing does the trick like SEO. Consider that 72% of web-users spend most (if not all) their time on the web on websites with content in their native language, and a well translated website will support overall online presence.
More than merely translated, you want content to be localized. This means looking out for spelling details (is it color, or colour? well, it depends!); region specific mannerisms and phrasings (Spanish from Spain ≠ Spanish from Ecuador); and even country specific jargon.
An online search can go from the very broad to the nitty-gritty specific. Your goal is to organically blend in keywords that best-match your industry, whilst artfully applying cultural and language differences to your benefit.
Optimizing for SEO also looks like translating the meta-data of your site, so it will properly rank in regional search engines. Adding unique URLs with language specific subdomains will also make it easier for the SE to find your page and rank it.
These are simple-to-implement changes that have a significant impact in your business' organic ranking, especially as you breach your way into new territories.
⚠️ Not all SEO words are made equal. ⚠️
A ranking keyword in English might not be an exact translation to its Portuguese or French counterpart. Do your research and, if possible, work with a marketing specialist to devise the best target-language SEO strategy.
Increased accessibility. AKA increased sales.
The premise of a multilingual site increasing sales only stands true if the contents of said site are valuable. The same way it works with the content in its original language.
Making your content accessible means widening your marketing channels in a target-language. Translating video subtitles and creating social media accounts for audiences in different regions is a great way to build a connection.
It's important, too. 68% of online customers like to interact with brands in their own language. You know the sales are there, first take the time to build a relationship and become someone people want to buy from.
A visible language switcher, localized-copy, and well-translated versions of high-value assets are all examples of accessibility. Consider also "tropicalizing" your brand beyond the product. Invite visitors to immerse themselves in your exclusively crafted-content, and let potential customers truly understand the product.
Be more successful than your competitors. In every language.
The internet isn't exclusive to English speakers, in fact, only 25% of the internet speaks English. There are goldmines of untapped customers awaiting beyond the language barrier... you just gotta meet them halfway.
As the proverb says,
"A well translated website is one you can't tell has been translated."
A study showed that more effort is given to the English version of websites than to their non-English counterparts, and that page responsiveness and usability was higher in the English versions. For bilingual visitors, this creates a negative impression towards the brand, as there is a clear lack of consideration for their "home-language".
Beating your competitors is not necessarily about getting there first, but getting there better. With the time and dedication it takes to make of your website a great place to visit in any language.
And the best part? It happens naturally. As long as you keep the customer at the heart of it (which you are already doing anyways, right?).
Keeping the customer at heart encompasses everything we've covered in terms of localizing content and connecting with users in their native language. It might mean adjustments to marketing strategy, pricing, and even business model—you will follow the necessary steps to show your brand's commitment to doing business within a new group of people, in their language, and on their terms.
The large corporate conglomerates aren' the only ones who get to enjoy international tenure. A website translated into multiple languages is possible for every business.
Translate high-value content first, and localize your copy, marketing, and SEO efforts to math that of your new target market. Connect with people in their own words.
You don't need grandiose budgets, either. Begin translating top-ranking pages and build up from there. If you are bilingual in your target-language, take the time to translate and revise your site's content. It's also possible (in fact, recommended!) to hire a professional translator to do it for you, a service you can often get for a couple hundred-bucks. Additionally, make sure to assess your meta-data and subdomains to mint search engine rankings and guarantee a successful multilingual debut.
Remember that multilingual site goes beyond increasing sales and showing-off your expansions maps (though hooray for that!). It also shows compromise, builds customer loyalty, and transforms a brand into a higher version of itself.
Oh! One more thing, while I still have you here...
if you’re looking to build a multilingual website that allows for all the important items we've just talked about—look no further! Umso is the website builder for you.
Our multilingual features make it a breeze to translate and section content for different languages. Plus, you can add language specific subdomains, and edit page meta-data to optimize for search-engines in other regions.
Did I mention our websites are beautiful and simple to work with? Because yes, they are. Of course they are.