Three ways to translate your website content and go global
Translating your website has never been easier; whether you need your entire website translated or just a simple sentence there are now thousands of companies waiting to do business with you. The translation industry is a multi-billion dollar business and while 70% of Internet users do not speak English, limiting your language selection means limiting your online sales. This blog post will review three ways to translate your website using human translation.
1. Inhouse translation
A number of companies I’ve worked with manage translation inhouse where both sales and marketing teams share the workload and support website and email translation. Although this is the cheapest alternative, maintaining consistency is highly difficult as several copy writers are involved and with a combination of various writing styles, this could result in a lackluster final product.
Tip: Have dedicated translators to provide translation support for each language to keep content consistent.
2. Outsourcing to a translation agency
If your marketing director allocates budget for translation, outsourcing translation is a great way to relieve the workload of your internally staff. However, depending on the number of languages you support, outsourcing can be costly and you will always need to internally proof-read and sign off before you publish the content.
Tip: Keep a glossary of key terms that be used repeatidly for maximum translation accuracy.
3. Translation API
Translation API might be a new concept but it has all the benefits of inhouse translation and outsourcing. By integrating with your CMS (Content management system), translation API can help launch products globally automatically and without the increased costs of translation agencies.
TIP: Make sure you sign-off content before it goes live to ensure 100% translation context accuracy.
Where does your web traffic come from?
In 2011, more than 170 countries visited the Hurtigruten websites taking the total web traffic to more than five million visits. Map below taken from Google Analytics
The map provides further insight as to where web traffic comes from. In fact, in 2011 only a small number of countries did not visit the Hurtigruten global web at least once. These contries include North Korea, Mauritania, Chad, South Sudan, Somalia and Papau New Guinea.
Hurtigruten now has more than 21 websites in 15 languages. The majority of traffic came from our bigger markets; Norway, Sweden, Germany, UK and the US but as travel and tourism in Scandinavia continues to grow, the number of foreigners longing to visit will increase and being able to support their preferred language will be a huge competitive advantage.
The curent state of translation and localization
In 2001, a report by META Group ranked the US, Finland, Iceland and Canada amongst the highest e-commerce potential. More than a decade later, and e-commerce has radically changed. The fastest growing market online is now Asia and e-commerce spending is expected to reach more than $8 billion in 2016, up from $1 billion in 2012. Chart taken from Internet World Stats
Further data on the potential future of localizing your websites:
- There are 2.3 billion internet users online
- 36% of the Chinese population are online
- Only 8% on Indians are online
- Arabic speakers online increased 2500% since 2001
- As of 2012, only 14% of Internet users live in the US
- More than 75% of the total population will be online by the end of the year
- 83% of internet researchers will make at least one purchase online in 2012
Chart courtesy from Mary Meeker and KPCB
This data is also evident for web traffic to Hurtigruten and visits from emerging markets continues to increase. For example, web traffic from India increased by 51% between 2010/11 and is expected to increase by more than 69% in 2012 and Chinese web traffic grew by 28% between 2010 /2011 and is expected to increase by more than 12% this year.
Going global provides a better user experience
There are challenges related to being a international brand such as legalities, organizational and operational. The web is global and e-commerce spending is only going to increase. Supporting buyers in their native languages to make them feel safe and secure will provide a better user experience and if you have an e-commerce store that is currently only availabile in English or your native language, expanding will directly increase your online sales.