Why should you translate your website?
You probably landed on this blog because you are trying to sell a product or a service abroad and you are asking yourself if translating your website is really necessary?
I’d like to make a strong case for translation. I think it is necessary and here are 3 reasons why:
1) People mostly browse and buy in their native language
These days, most Europeans who are under 40 speak at least some English — both for employment and for academic reasons. However, despite this interest and aptitude for English, all of the marketing data clearly indicates that Europeans would rather speak their own language during leisure time — and this includes shopping.
- 90 % of Europeans visit a website in their own language when given a choice
- 42 % of Europeans said they’d never buy a product or a service if the information is not available in their native language.
The truth is that people will not try to understand your website content if they can find another website selling the same product or services as you are, but with information translated in their own language.
Another well-known fact in digital marketing is that spending money on the internet requires a high level of trust.
- According to a Cybersource survey, 73% of the respondents feel that shopping online is riskier than shopping offline.
Online shoppers will not enter any card details into your payment gateway if they are not 100% sure you are a reliable company. Paying in another currency and having to read complicated T & C’s in another language creates anxieties and uncertainty that put people off.
If you want to have a successful business in another country, you have to adapt to the culture and speak the language of your target market.
All cultures have their own specificities, and it is unlikely that people will respond well to your marketing efforts if you don’t try to enter their world and speak to them in their own terms. David Ogilvy, one of the greatest copywriters and advertisers of all time, said it much better than I ever will:
2) Google Translate is not able to write engaging copy
Google Translate may seem like a cheap and quick solution for translating your website from one language to another, but it does not work with creative or otherwise complex translations — also known as transcreation. If you rely on Google to translate all your engaging and original website copy, the results will make no sense; your content will be written so poorly that your brand will lose credibility and your bounce rate will drastically increase as visitors press the back button as soon as they read the first line of dodgy copy.
To illustrate the limits of Google Translate, I’ve pasted a great piece of French content from the website France.fr that advertises Paris to potential tourists.
As you can see, the translation is less than appealing…
3) Localised Content Drives Better KPIs
Translating your website into one or two more languages means that more pages will be indexed by Google and that you will start ranking for search queries in other languages.
The famous SEO consultant, Neil Patel did just this: he translated his website into several languages in 2015 and increased his traffic by 47%!
The well-known digital marketing company, Digital Turbine, conducted a study showing that translated campaigns have shown a significantly higher click-through-rate than the untranslated originals.
The top five performing campaigns from Digital Turbine ad network were identified and leveraged for localisation testing within 3 key markets: Spain, France and Germany. The English creative content had an average CTR of 2.35% and a conversion rate of 7.47%. The translated versions reported a click-through rate of 3.34% and a conversion rate of 9.08%.
Net Media Planet, a digital advertising company operating worldwide, reported that their clients witnessed a 20% increase in conversions when landing pages and Adwords campaigns were translated into the local language.
This figure staggers to 70% when the entire website is fully localised — with all website content translated in the local language and products offered in the local currency.
These good results show that any time or money spent on translating your website and your campaigns is extremely likely to achieve a strong return on investment.
There you have it: three reasons why you should invest in good translation for your website.
If I’ve convinced you — and even if I haven’t — please feel free to get in touch. I’m always happy to work with new brands and to discuss translation with anyone who’s interested!