In the past couple of weeks, we have been covering a lot of topics involving translation and localization, as well as internationalization and globalization. Now it’s time to put all the things we have covered to good use. Is there a better way to cover the benefits of localization than discussing the one thing that is viewed as the first, and the most important thing for any company – its website? If you want to find out how localizing your website can change your business for the better, keep on reading!
Looking at the millions of websites out there, it is clear to see that English has been the dominant language on the World Wide Web since the very dawn of the internet. However, things have been changing drastically, as more and more people gain access to the internet around the world.
Looking at the current situation, these are the top ten languages used on the internet:
The statistics breakdown
Your language isn’t there? Don’t worry; these ten languages cover 5.1 billion people. The remaining languages still have another 2.5 billion speakers worldwide. While English is still the dominant language with over one billion users worldwide, the rate of growth since the year 2000 shows that the number of users increased by only 650%. We say only because most of the other languages have experienced much larger increases in the past two decades.
For example, the estimated number of internet users who speak Chinese grew by 2400%, the number of Russian-speaking users grew by 3400%, while Arabic saw the biggest jump, with an increase of 8600%. With statistics showing that 75% of consumers prefer buying products in their native language, it becomes quite clear that the numbers quickly turn against you, if you have an English-only website.
How can localizing your website be a total game-changer for your business?
Let us break down the benefits of having a localized website into individual points:
#1. Number of visits
This first point is quite clear from the data presented above. The more languages you support, the larger the audience, therefore the larger the number of visits to your website. More visits equal to more traffic, more target markets, and more conversions. It is really a numbers game, and you don’t want to be left behind here.
#2. Closing the deal
As evident from the introduction to this article, people are more likely to buy something if the content on the website is in their native language. So, you will not only get more visits, but you will also be more likely to actually sell something to these visitors, as they now feel more at home.
#3. Localizing your brand
Localization transcends the simple word-for-word translation of content. What you need to do is localize your whole website, brand, and identity. If you do so, your visitors are more likely to actually stick around. This will also reduce the bounce rate and make people appreciate you and your brand more.
Of course, if you have proper content in other languages, your visibility on Google will increase. SEO plays a big role in how successful your website will be, and having the content localized into as many languages as possible is a perfect boost.
#5. Ahead of the competition
Like most companies, you probably have competition as well. Are your competitors’ websites already localized into other languages, or are you ahead of the times? Check their websites out, and if you’re missing out by not being multilingual, maybe it’s an idea for you to catch up! A seemingly trivial thing like this can make all the difference.
Having a website, but not localizing it for your global customers is a bit like having a great car but always driving in first gear. Some will like it, and you will get from point A to B, but your cool friends will always be ahead of you.