Web trends affecting translation industry 2016

3 key web trends that will affect the translation industry in 2016

Yesterday, leading Cornwall-based online marketing specialists Niddocks hosted the Niddocks GYM seminar (short for Google, YouTube & Mobile) to get Cornish businesses fighting fit for the year ahead.

Managing director Rob Edlin presented the latest trends that we can expect in online search this year, and he was joined by Danny Burlacu from YouTube, who spoke about the growing adoption of YouTube, both as a search engine and a marketing and advertising platform.

The seminar covered a lot of information (my brain certainly felt like it had a workout), including structured data, smart goals for AdWords and advanced remarketing. To me, the three trends that stood out the most, and which I think will impact the translation industry, are:

1) Safety first: the move from HTTP to HTTPS domains

When information is sent from a webpage on a http domain – for example when you fill in a contact form and submit it – that information is sent unencrypted. It could potentially be seen by someone that it’s not intended for, i.e. the information could be scraped for improper use like spam or phishing.

HTTPS, on the other hand, is a secure domain which only sends information in an encrypted way so that it cannot be deciphered by anyone other than the intended recipient. You might have seen HTTPS in your browser address bar on pages where you have to enter confidential information like credit card details.

Google want to make the whole internet safer and are pushing for more and more websites to move to https domains. In a recent statement, Google announced that they are now starting to index more https pages and that they will index https pages first before indexing equivalent http pages.

We’re excited about taking another step forward in making the web more secure. By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks. – Google

Many websites of freelance translators and translation companies – including our own – are still hosted on http. With the recent Google announcement in mind and to avoid getting penalised in Google rankings in the future, now is a good time to start planning for a move to https. Gather information about the costs and processes involved in changing your website from an http to an https domain. According to Edlin, it’s important to work closely with your web developer to make sure the switch goes without any hick-ups and that all searches for your current http site are properly redirected to your https site.

2) Beacons: connecting the physical world with the online world

A beacon is a small piece of hardware that can send messages or prompts directly to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth technology. They are low-cost pieces of kit that are easy to install and offer completely new ways of interacting with people in the physical world. According to Business Insider, “beacons are poised to transform how retailers, event organisers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people”.

For example, shops can use beacons to not only measure the footfall in their shops, but also get a much better picture of who these visitors are (demographics) and how they interact with their products (conversion data). And that’s just one of many use cases. In the USA alone, beacon technology drove $4bn of retail sales in 2015, a figure that’s expected to increase drastically this year.

While so far, beacons relied on an app being installed on a user’s smartphone, 2016 will see major web browsers supporting beacon technology, which will open up a whole new world of possibilities. According to Edlin, a spark is needed to ignite a new location-based marketing method that will allow end users to use online search in a more meaningful way that truly connects the physical with the online world, and beacons are likely to be exactly that spark.

For anyone interested in using beacons in their business, Niddocks will soon be launching Olleno, a brand new specialist resource for the physical web, Eddystone beacons, nearby and proximity marketing – watch this space!

3) Video content: growing at incredible speed

Here is a neat statistic: According to Cisco, by 2017, video will account for 69% of ALL online traffic. The consumption of online video is growing year on year. People are watching videos at home, at work, while they are commuting, while they are eating, and even on the toilet! In the UK alone, 16 million users watch online videos every day. With an annual growth rate of 10%, video is not just a way of providing engaging content marketing for potential and existing customers, video platforms also offer a huge advertising potential to increase sales and drive brand awareness.

As more and more companies start to integrate video into their marketing strategies, the need for translation services specialising in localising video will continue to grow. Expanding your offering to include subtitling and voice over services could be a worthwhile move to create a competitive edge, as could be the partnering with a reliable video production company.

Hotel website translation: How to grow international traffic and increase conversion rates

As a modern hotel marketing manager, you have a lot of plates to spin. From creative online campaigns to SEO, from refining the keywords of your AdWord campaign to hiring the right photographer that will deliver that perfect snapshot of your new spa, your work is never done. All your efforts are geared toward raising awareness, driving traffic to your website and getting those rooms filled. Is a hotel website translation just one of those things that keeps being pushed down your to-do list?

In Cornwall, domestic tourism accounts for 90% of all tourism, so it’s easy to ignore the 10% that is made up by overseas visitors. Or maybe not? Over recent years, the number of Cornish hotels that are specifically targeting German and French visitors has steadily increased. Why? Because French are the largest foreign visitor group to the Southwest, followed closely by Germans, who are in turn the biggest spenders. So although they may not be as numerous as your British customers, they are certainly the high-value customers you want to be staying at your hotel. Translating your hotel website is an important first step in reaching out to those valuable overseas visitors. Here’s why:

Visibility

It’s quite simple: Local search engines favour websites in the local language. Most people search the web in their mother tongue, so the chances that your English hotel website will show up in German or French search results is pretty slim. Translating your hotel website drastically increases your international visibility.

Relevance

Once they’ve found your site, it’s important to show your visitors content that’s interesting and relevant to them. Your conference facilities or your wedding packages might not be all that exciting for overseas holiday makers, but in-depth information about the local history, how to get around, where to find that picture postcard fishing village or where to sample the finest local ale will strike a chord. Go that extra mile and provide original and informative content that will keep them hooked and browsing your site.

Trust

When it comes to making that final purchase decision, language can really make the difference. A translated website helps to build trust in your hotel, it shows that you care about your overseas visitors. Did you know for example that people are six times less likely to buy from a website that is not presented in their mother tongue? You really don’t want visitors to drop out of your sales funnel because they don’t fully trust your website or because they simply don’t understand the information in front of them.

Translating your website is not only polite, it makes good business sense from an SEO perspective. Find out more about our website translation services or simply give us a call – we’d love to chat to you about your hotel website.

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.

Create a localised, mobile experience – a presentation by Smartling

Smartling, the cloud-based enterprise translation management company, published this beautiful presentation which makes the case for creating a localised, mobile experience for you customers. Enjoy!

Hotel website translation and international SEO go hand in hand

The hotel industry is a crowded market place with many competitors essentially selling the same service (accommodation). What differentiates your hotel from any other in your area is to some extent down to the ancillary services you offer (gastronomy, health and fitness, daycare facilities etc), but to a much bigger extent it is down to your brand strategy, i.e. what type of hotel you market yourself as. Are you a family-oriented hotel or hotel aimed at couples? Are you a luxury boutique hotel or a budget hotel? Your brand strategy isn’t advertised on your website with big banners saying ‘We are a family hotel’ for example but it is communicated through the layout of your website, the images you use and, most importantly, through the words you use: how you address your potential clients, the type of words you use to describe your hotel and what kind of overall tone you set with the text on your website.

Overseas customers who don’t have the benefit of understanding your English text will miss a huge part of what your hotel is all about, if your website isn’t translated into their language. A recent survey by the EU Barometer showed that websites that are not translated (or are poorly translated), alienate European internet users and put them off purchasing: only 18% of European internet users would consider buying from a website that is not in their mother tongue.

Your website needs to be well-written in the language of the customers you are trying to entice. Your website needs to make sense in their language and in their culture – otherwise you are just another hotel that will be judged against its competitors purely on price and location.

Of course, there’s no point in having a lovely website in French or German, if your potential clients can’t find it. That’s why it is so important to tie in the website translation with search engine optimisation, from the start. Researching and deciding on keywords before the translation gets started will ensure that your foreign language sites will be content-optimised.

We can offer you the complete website translation package, including market and keyword research, website translation and content creation. We can help you build Google Adword campaigns and we can even run social media accounts for you.

So if you’re keen on getting more customers on your website and into your hotel, give us a call.