Marketing localization: Is your website trying to tell you something?


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Your website is your virtual storefront. It’s your way to communicate to the world who your company is and what it does. Today, over 61 percent of global Internet users research products online before even making a purchase (Interconnected World).

With over one-third of the world’s population using the Internet, this trend has major implications on your business. When your global success depends on how customers perceive your brand online, it’s no secret that your website needs to be top notch.

Paying attention to your website’s performance metrics can help you stay attuned to your marketing localization readiness and effectiveness. Whether you’ve invested in website translation or not, these metrics have a lot to say about your global marketing efforts.

The real question is: Are you listening?

New markets could be calling your name

From the UK to Hong Kong, your website traffic could be telling you that new markets are ready for you. For example, if you’re getting a lot of visitors from China and you don’t actually have a Chinese version of your site, it could mean that opportunity is ripe to enter this market.

Don’t let this information fall on deaf ears. This information may be telling you that it is time to invest in marketing localization strategies like website translation, catering copy to meet each market’s individual needs. Doing so can increase buyer confidence, and in return, profit.

In fact, a recent survey from Common Sense Advisory found that 72.4 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.

The proof is in the results. One of our clients recently came to us for help when they realized that 21 percent of their customers were from outside of the U.S. Once they localized their content for the first market, they experienced a 71 percent increase in sales for that country. This is a prime example of a market that was ready.

If you ignore where your audiences are coming from, you could miss out on valuable, revenue-producing opportunities. Continually monitor this traffic to stay on top of any trends and cater to markets as appropriate.

Your localized website may be hiding

Maybe you’ve already translated your website, but traffic numbers are really low—so low that you wonder why you translated your copy in the first place. Don’t fret. This could mean that your global customers are having a hard time finding your website. In this case, you can get the word out with multilingual search engine optimization (SEO).

If you doubt that multilingual SEO is an important marketing localization strategy, consider this: 75 percent of Internet users don’t go past the first search results page (Hubspot). You’ve invested a lot of time and money in website translation—don’t play a game of hide and seek with your website.
You can’t rely on traditional SEO efforts when marketing products or services internationally, either. Taking the same keywords and phrases from your source language and translating them word for word into another language will likely be ineffective. If you’re doing this, it could be the reason for your less-than-impressive traffic numbers.

Different markets search on different terms and even use different search engines. To do this correctly, you’re going to need in-country, native-speaking SEO experts. Consider partnering with us as your language service provider. We already have these experts lined up in virtually every market around the world. Improve your multilingual SEO efforts and start seeing the traffic roll in.

Your copy may be missing the mark
While your website’s copy is loudly boasting your company’s offerings, your metrics could be whispering sweet nothings that mean a whole lot of something. If your reports show that traffic volumes are good, but conversion rates are low and bounce rates are very high, then the issue is likely your content.

To get a better handle on this, analyze your website’s copy, looking at your source content as well as how well it is localized. Turn to your internal in-country, native-speaking employees for feedback on how well your copy adapts to the local market. If you don’t have in-country experts, conduct some market research to see if there are any issues with your content. If you’re finding that it’s missing the mark, you may want to consider transcreation.

Not to be confused with marketing translation, transcreation is a more specialized process that takes into account many aspects of marketing localization while going a step beyond. During the process, experienced copywriters and marketing linguists work closely with you to completely re-create your copy. This is especially necessary if you’re dealing with puns and humor. Take for instance, a line on your website reads “our product is a slam dunk.” This reference will not make sense in other countries where basketball isn’t played. In this case, you’re better off using the word “success.” Transcreation makes sure that your brand messages are heard loud and clear in another culture—giving your website local flavor to wow your audiences.

Listen to metrics, broaden your reach

Looking at your website’s metrics is one of the easiest ways to see how your marketing localization efforts are performing, though it’s only one of many indicators. Make checking performance metrics common practice, watching for any fluctuations, because local preferences and opinions can change over time. Do this, and you’ll be on the path for global success.

Want to learn more about website localization strategies? Check out this best practice brief on how to get your global website working for you right from the beginning.

Outside of your website, how do you evaluate your marketing localization strategies? Let us know!

Rachel Chilson
Rachel is a marketing communications coordinator at Sajan, a world-recognized language translation services provider. Sign up for Sajan Blog posts to receive new translation best practices every week.


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