To translate or not translate … that is the question

Are you wondering if you should be translating your website and whether it will give you a return on your investment? Here are a few things to consider.

Searchability

Translating your website into the local language will increase the chances of your website appearing in local search results. Search engines will favour websites in the local language and display them higher up in the results. Also bear in mind that many users will have set their search criteria to their own language, so your English website may not even show up for a large proportion of your local market.

Purchasing

Studies have shown that people are six times less likely to buy from a website that is not presented in their mother tongue – and it makes sense. Would you buy from a website that is only available in, say, Spanish or Japanese? Translating your website into another language helps visitors to stay on your site and move down your sales pipeline all the way to the purchasing step, rather than dropping out half-way because they either don’t fully trust a foreign-language site, or because they simply don’t understand all the information presented to them.

The bigger picture

Before you make a decision, try to look at your ‘localisation effort’ from a holistic point of view. If your website is translated, but your support emails are not, or your external payment gateway is only in English, this may alienate users. Chances are you may not be able to fully localise every single aspect of your customer journey from the start, but you can manage your visitors’ and customers’ expectations, advising them that your customer service or your newsletter is only available in English at this moment in time.

If you would like to find out more about localisation, take a look at our localisation blog post.