The Right and Wrong Reasons for Translating Your Business Website
To translate or not to translate, that is THE question on many business owners’ lips. Sure, English is still the universal language of the internet, but it’s losing its status rapidly. According to one study, around 80% of all online content was in English in 1996. Nowadays, it fell to 45%.
Although translating your business website will allow you to reach a global audience, there are some factors that you need to take into consideration before moving forward.
Here are some of the most important ones:
How Much Will It Cost You to Translate Your Website
What does translating your website implies regarding expenses? I’m not only talking about how much the translation in itself would cost but also about other associated costs. That can be marketing campaigns for the newly translated version and SEO expenses to make sure your page will rank well. You might also want to consider whether you will need to provide foreign language customer support.
At the end of the day, all these costs need to be thoroughly weighted. Make a balance and see whether spending money on translating your website will truly increase your sales enough so that it is a wise choice to make.
Make Sure You Work with a Professional Service
Choose wisely and opt for a specialized service that can recruit the best bilingual and multilingual candidates for your needs. By working with the right people, you can gain access and valuable insights about the norms and culture of your target region.
Pick the Right Language
Most business owners mistakenly believe that the English language is the perfect choice when translating a website. As pointed above, this is an erroneous fact perpetuated by the following myth:
Using English will help you reach a global audience
While that might be true under certain conditions, it just cannot be taken as a universal truth. For example, studies show that 70% of the world does NOT speak English yet 57% of websites offer only English content.
Just to challenge many people’s automatic choice of English, here’s an interesting perspective: marketing guru Neil Patel suggests that posts in Mandarin or Spanish usually get more traffic than those in English.
The main lesson you need to learn is that you need to look at what your desired audience might need regarding language. You might think that, because English is a universal language, it’s always a good choice, but studies have shown that non-native speakers usually chose websites in their first language.
So, if you want to turn your business’s website into a profit driver, the first thing you have to provide is flexibility. And, in this case, flexibility means that your audience can access content in the easiest way possible.
So, To Translate or Not to Translate?
It all comes down to assessing who your desired target is and what translation might mean regarding benefits, downsides, and expenses. You want to address an audience that has the potential to convert into customers and not only bring in traffic.
While translating can sound like opening the door to new clients, it is not always so. If translating is the answer for you, then you need to make sure you find the most suitable language that can cover a wide variety of needs.