Over 1 billion internet users don’t speak English. 60% of surveyed international internet users said they never or rarely buy products or services from websites that are in English. 45% of surveyed respondents say they only buy from websites in their own language.
There are countless reasons to translate your website. Perhaps you are already in the process of website translation, or just beginning to determine your target markets.
The problem, of course, is that website translation is utterly confusing. There are no benchmarks or industry standards, lots of freelance translators with fake degrees, and numerous agencies with services and technology that simply don’t work.
The following 4 steps clarify exactly what you need to know before you translate your website.
Creating a detailed localization strategy is costly and time-consuming, and often is not a feasible investment for small-to-medium businesses. However, it is still possible to expand your global reach strategically without a designated localization department.
A wise first step is to consult Google Analytics to see which countries your visitors are coming from. This will uncover markets that are already interested in your services, and may be a significant source of new business once you offer their native language.
Alternatively, you may wish to target a broad range of languages. Tempting though it may be to offer all 6,500 languages in existence, you can reach almost 90% of online economic opportunity with the following 12 languages.
Lastly, it is crucial to gain a thorough understanding of how your company might be received in your target markets. Conduct thorough market research before you translate, so that you can be sure it will be worth your while. You should aim to answer the following questions: