Last updated on July 1st, 2021 at 01:12 pm
In a globalized economy, businesses are no longer limited by borders and time zones to reach their customers. Internet access means your customers can come from anywhere in the world – as long as you communicate with them in their own language.
If your digital content is only available in English, you could be missing out on a large section of your target audience without even realizing it. Translation services to are not a necessity for every business, but if you have a target audience that speaks another language, are you paying attention?
English is the most used language on the internet, but it is far from the only language needed for digital content to reach your customers or potential customers. Most consumers prefer consuming content and websites in their native language and will not make important purchasing decisions unless the product or service description is available in the language they understand, usually their native language.
As the globalization of business increases, utilizing translation services to create localized versions of your content presents a huge opportunity for businesses to increase their bottom line and their reach without a large, ongoing investment.
A series of market research studies conducted by Common Sense Advisory found that consumers vastly prefer products with descriptions available in their native language. If they can’t read a description in the language they prefer, they won’t buy it. These studies are important since they go into areas like the Return of Investment of customer engagement, the non-English opportunities within the United States, and also touched on the Return of investment of localization.
As a translation services company, we often tell our clients that the cost of translating their content is the cost of an opportunity to make your content travel to other language wallets.
Language localization is defined as the process of adapting a product’s translation to a specific country or region. Localization is different from translation because it goes beyond the language to include cultural contexts and helps eliminate ambiguities or content that will not be clear or practical for a particular region. When you need to localize or transcreate digital content, machine translation is not a good option, since even postedited it will not deliver the same final product as a professional translation completed by human professional translators.
For example, a product translation may be in French, but localization prepares versions of the product for people in France, people in Quebec, Canada, and people from Senegal.
A website with digital content written for the US needs website localization efforts by a United Kingdom linguist to adapt spelling, change words that are unclear or eliminate a paragraph that does not apply to the UK. For example, regulations that are for the US need to be eliminated or changed to the ones that apply to the UK. Another example, many words have different spelling, like localization for the US and localization for the UK.
Localization is more than just language translation. All language is subject to a cultural context, and something funny in one culture may be offensive in another. Without localizing the translation of your content, digital or not, you could be alienating a segment of your audience without meaning or realizing it. Having a professional translation company localize your content ensures your meaning and message stay the same while resonating with your audience.
Secondly, providing localized versions of your content, from websites to eLearning, shows respect for your customers and your employees who speak other languages. While English is the prevalent language on the web, it is far from the only one.
Localizing your content also has an impact on your bottom line. As the ongoing study from Common Sense Advisory shows, if customers cannot read your product or service descriptions, they will find another product where they can and purchase that one instead.
What kind of localization you need is heavily dependent on your existing audiences or if you are looking to target a particular audiences.
A company with a French-speaking audience around the world would need French localization for France, Quebec, Haiti, and so on. A company with Spanish-speaking audiences around the world would need Spanish translation services localized for Spain and Mexico as well as versions for Latin American countries. But everything is really dependent on the market; that is more important for the company and the available budget. Often the localization of the translation is only done for one region or country.
Here are 7 types of digital content you should consider localizing.
Website translations are an easy first step to see an immediate increase in your site traffic and bottom line.
Website localization is more than just translating the text. It’s the full process of adapting an existing site to a local language and culture, including the linguistic and cultural context so it makes sense and resonates with the target audience.
Localized translation for eCommerce sites can be particularly lucrative for businesses that ship internationally but were not previously providing language options. Even for companies based solely in the US, providing a Spanish translation of your website increases your reach with the 33+ million US residents who speak Spanish as their primary language.
Localizing your website is a 4-step process.
Video localization involves the translation and adaption of any video materials for specific audiences. This can range from new audio in other languages or simply providing YouTube translations of subtitles or captions.
For example, an area of application of video localization is for companies with international offices to localize translations of all HR material videos, including training and safety videos. Providing localized video translations is important because it will increase your employee understanding and compliance with all policies and with an emphasis on updating local differences. Moreover, providing localized translations of all HR content is the best way to keep your office in compliance with labor laws in any language. In order to provide the best experience for all employees and ensure content quality, seek out video translation services from a translation company that will guide you and helps prepare for the process.
Another type of video localization is dub translation, where a movie or TV series is adapted for another audience in a different region or culture. Providing localization of digital content can increase their popularity in other countries.
To ensure the most cohesive experience across all audiences, eLearning content should be localized. This can be especially relevant for universities and higher learning facilities that have students who attend remotely and access from overseas. Even if the courses are taught in English, providing localized versions of the content will increase retention and promote a positive student experience.
Additionally, if your company provides eLearning materials to employees, having localized translations ready to go will increase employee engagement and understanding.
As a consumer, you expect to see marketing targeted at you presented in your native language. Your audience expects the same from your company.
Having marketing materials well translated and localized opens your advertising up to a new audience you weren’t previously reaching. In a digital world, your ideal customer can exist anywhere in the world, and that is why you need to speak the language of your customers. With localized and translated marketing materials, you’re able to increase sales in countries and regions you may not have previously reached.
Would you click on an ad that wasn’t in your native language? Neither will your audience. Providing localized options for your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns will give you an automatic boost in results and conversions by opening your ad up to an audience who wouldn’t have previously considered it. An example of a headache medicine that use will use PPC in Spanish will need to use different words: migraña, dolor de cabeza, jaqueca, depending in the region. It is important to use the different synonyms or not depending on the region.
Part of using international SEO while translating for a country is issuing the right keywords for each market the same way that was done for the English copy.
International SEO is important to be considered in translation of digital copy. Preparation and research is needed to include SEO in translation services and in the localization of your digital content. It is not only using the language of your customers, is using the exact sentences and keywords that they use to search and look for information online. How do they look for your services and products? What words or group of words do they use? You need a translation agency experienced in international SEO and that will know how to use it in your translated digital content.
When you speak the language of your customers, your conversion rates go up. Localization of web and digital content has long term marketing benefits. Localizing your web content gives you the added benefit of international search engine optimization when you use internal SEO. In all its power, Google is able to recognize translated versions of sites and serve them to specific audiences. It’s a large traffic driver to have localized content because it provides the value your audience is searching for, and it communicates respect from your company to your customers.
If you want to increase your international app downloads, make sure the app is available in other languages. Creating localized versions of your app can increase their availability in different countries, leading to increased visibility on the app store and an ultimate increase in your downloads and purchases.
Localization and translation services are an art and a science. As a professional writer knows how to write, a professional translator needs to know how to translate and translate well, they need to have the creativity and skills to translate, and the knowledge to localize. Translation is a creative task that takes time and having the right team to translate and localize your digital content is only possible by selecting a professional and experienced translation services company to guide you and partner with you along the journey. It takes a village to localize the broad spectrum of digital content. Only a company like JR Language Translation Services has the resources to offer options and solve the intricacies to achieve a successful localization project. Please give us a call today to see how we can help you attain your goals in the international, multi-lingual, global market.