Friday, 3 October 2014

20 Reasons why Localization is Important to Website Conversion

Thanks to the global reach of the internet, website localization is one of the best things you can do to increase website conversions. By creating a culture- and language-specific version of your website for each demographic market you target, you become a truly international business. All businesses, even small online retailers, can benefit from localization. In fact, you can’t afford not to have localized websites, and here are 20 reasons why.

1. It offers global expansion and increased reach.

Although English is still the predominant language online, other languages, most notably Chinese, Spanish, French, and Arabic, are quickly closing the distance. Offering web content in additional languages and cultures helps you increase your reach and become a respected international business.

2. Localization helps you appeal to multicultural audiences.

Translation helps international visitors find and buy from you, but it doesn’t consider cultural differences and sometimes doesn’t convey your message or brand very well. Localization includes both cultural and linguistic concerns, helping you reach audiences in different cultures much better.

3. It increases web traffic.

Search engines rank websites with localized versions or pages higher than non-localized websites and return your website as a result more often. On top of that, local sites are more likely to link to you when you provide information in the local language. Increasing traffic is one of the three most important things you can do to boost revenue, and more traffic means more sales.

4. You get more traffic from regional and language-specific search engines.

These smaller search engines have much less competition because they’re small and most businesses don’t have localized websites to appear in results. This means it’s much easier for your localized websites to rank higher than your English website. The higher you rank and the more often your website appears in search results, the more traffic and sales you get.

5. Localization increases brand recognition.

When you translate your website into the language and culture of your target market, you show that you respect and value your audience. They in turn are more aware of your business than your English-only competitors because they see your website more often and more easily understand your message.

6. Localization increases website stickiness and sales.

Having a strong localization plan boosts your presence and sales in a targeted area, such as localizing in French and German to increase sales in Europe. Multiple studies have found that when users are presented with a website in their native language, they stay on the site twice as long and are four times more likely to make a purchase from it.

7. It increases overall ROI.

Increased traffic, conversions, and brand awareness also leads to increased trust, credibility, customer loyalty, and satisfaction, in turn leading to more conversions. Localization is also scalable for both your audience and your budget, delivering huge benefits for only a marginal additional cost.

8. Localization maintains low printing and content distribution costs.

Localizing your website increases reach without raising these costs a few ways. First, you can reuse much of the same content across multiple languages; second, translating your website into a new language and culture is scalable; finally, having a web presence costs the same no matter what language or culture. Having a localized website may also eliminate the need for direct mail such as catalogs and brochures in various languages.

9. It is a cost-effective virtual branch office or satellite location.

Instead of building a brick-and-mortar store or renting an office in an international location, your localized websites become those virtual stores by offering information, products, contacts, and everything else you can deliver digitally.

10. Localization lowers customer support costs.

By answering questions and providing information in a target market’s native language and culture, you give customers what they need online in the best format for them, which reduces the need for multilingual phone and chat support.

11. It allows you to target minorities in your own area.

Many countries have large subgroups with their own languages, cultures, and skyrocketing purchasing power, such as the Latino market in the USA. Creating localized websites for these groups helps you solidify your presence and boost sales in your own area.

12. Localization maintains brand image and voice across cultures.

The problem with straight translation is that it doesn’t consider cultural differences and doesn’t always maintain your branding message. Localization is better than translation because it considers communication, sales incentive, design, layout, and programming specific to each culture and area, so you don’t lose the integrity of your brand across languages.

13. You become a local business.

Localizing your website turns you into a local business, which boosts conversions because many people want to buy locally, you get more traffic from local keywords, and you have an easier time building brand awareness.

14. Localization makes your local marketing stronger.

When you have a website specific to a certain area’s language and culture, your local internet marketing efforts (including search engine optimization, directory listings, and social media) benefit from having a local resource to point visitors to.

15. It makes you more trustworthy and credible.

By using the area’s local slang, idioms, metaphors, and figures of speech, you can communicate with your target customers more easily and directly, reducing confusion and boosting your own reputation.

16. Localization appeals to more customers.

Most web users don’t buy products online in a language other than their own. By offering them that option, you attract more prospects and close more sales.

17. It means fewer abandoned carts.

Programming can be as much a barrier as language or culture. Localization includes proper programming to prevent backend problems such as forms that make it difficult to input personal and payment info. Fewer problems means more closed sales and higher average order value.

18. Localization makes payment easier.

When you enable local credit cards, shipping and tax codes, and buying practices, your localized websites attract customers that would shop elsewhere otherwise, boosting your ROI, conversions, and revenue.

19. It increases local sales.

Offering products, support, FAQs, and other information in your customers’ native languages makes them more likely to buy from you because they have all the information they need in a format they understand to make an informed purchase.

20. Localization increases revenue.

Most consumers care more about language than price. So even if they know they can find a product cheaper somewhere else, they are more likely to buy from you at full price if you have a localized website for them.



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