The value of a multilingual website becomes abundantly clear as more businesses start serving customers or audiences in global markets. In a more than ever global world, we deal with peoples from all over the world, therefore, being able to speak to them in a language they understand better is a must if you want to run a successful business nowadays.
Most businesses do not put the right investments to properly translate their websites and choose bargain-priced translation vendors—or choose not to translate their sites at all.
Unfortunately, either choice winds up costing businesses far more in the long run. The truth is, businesses lose more money when they ignore the needs of global customers than they’d spend to localize their websites with superior vendors. If you don’t translate your website, here’s what your company stands to lose at the very least:
Once you’ve exhausted the growth within your domestic market, you’ll want to branch out into new global markets. This is challenging to effectively accomplish without translating your website.
People from all over the world now expect to conduct online business in the languages they prefer. If those users can’t read your website, they won’t visit it. But they’ll surely visit the sites of your competitors. You’re essentially leaving money on the table for your competitors to grab.
Trying to serve global customers without content in their language—or providing them with low-quality translated content—is bad for your brand’s reputation. Your untranslated or amateurishly translated website may give users the impression that your company doesn’t value their business.
While this rep is likely at odds with your brand image and high standards for quality and customer service, international customers won’t see it that way. They’ll be irritated by your lack of commitment to their markets … and will probably do business elsewhere.
Even if your business does provide a localized online experience, the method you use to translate, deploy and operate it could be generating more effort and costs than you might expect. Many businesses use in-house staff or freelancers to translate their websites, thinking they’re saving money on translation costs.
The reality: in-house and freelance website translator distracts staff from core duties, delaying important tasks they should be working on instead. They also often lack the technical or linguistic expertise needed to handle the unique demands of website translation.
Outsourcing the project to an industry-leading vendor ultimately costs less than the lost in-house productivity you experience from overseeing complex and iterative translation workflows, solving technical problems and keeping the localized up-to-date every day.
Your business website is full of SEO-rich content that search engines crawl, index and use it to help potential customers discover your brand. But if global customers are searching for solutions you provide and there’s no content available in their preferred languages, they won’t find it via search.
Without a translated website, you miss out on the same invaluable SEO benefits that drive organic traffic and brand awareness within your domestic market.
If your business doesn’t deliver the world-class localized experience that global customers expect, they’ll find a competing brand in your industry that does.
Even if your products or services are of better quality or more affordable, your competitors may fare better in a global market simply because they have properly localized websites. They’ll have the online brand awareness, SEO ranking and in-language customer experience that your business lacks.
Many countries have language-related laws and regulations that businesses must abide by to do business in the market. For instance, businesses that sell products or services in the Canadian province of Quebec must provide French versions of their websites. These sites include localized product/service descriptions, order forms, and receipts. Failing to follow this “francization” rule can result in fines.
Similar rules and penalties exist in other markets, too.
Using a subpar solution to localize your website—or avoiding it entirely—doesn’t simply impact the short-term revenue gains you’d gain by using a superior solution. It also affects future gains.
Here’s why. The damage done to your engagement metrics, SEO and brand reputation takes more time and effort to fix after the fact than it does to proactively serve global customers with great localized content from the get-go.
Operating a great localized website does indeed require an initial and ongoing investment. However, if you weigh those costs against the lost opportunity of providing a subpar online experience, it’s clear that there’s far more to gain by translating your website.
Having a localized website does not have to be this cumbersome and expensive if you’re using the right tool.
Look for a translation provider that:
Naturally, you want all customers to engage with your brand’s website. But unless you make their online experiences intuitive and educational, they won’t. Using the right website localization solution will generate the engagement your company needs to succeed in both domestic and global markets.
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