Here at Dialogue we love statistics, so here are a few to start off, just so you can grasp an understanding of why your competitors may be taking the trouble to translate and localise their website:
- 9 out of 10 website users, if given a choice, will visit a website in their own language
- 72% of internet users spend almost all of their time online on websites in their own language
- 70% of the world don’t speak English, yet 57% of websites contain only English
- Over half of Google searches are in languages other than English
So, what if your competitors translate?
Let’s start with SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. Your competitors will start to gain a presence for international search terms, and will also begin appearing on Google’s ‘overseas’ website extensions such as google.de. Along with this they will appear on different overseas search engines including the leader in China – Baidu and Yandex in Russia. So as they start to open themselves up to a range of new customers globally, your website is likely to get left behind.
Your competitors will expand their company brand by showing that they have global reach. Localising a website demonstrates cultural awareness, boosts global credibility and branding. Finally, in terms of marketing as a whole, your competitors will notice a sharp rise in all of their key performance indicators. They will increase their overall website traffic, web conversion rates, their volume of loyal customers and open themselves up to markets you haven’t even thought about yet.
Within a range of industries, companies are in fact legally obliged to give certain information about products/ services in the local language. So this is an obvious one. If your competitors translate and you don’t, you potentially won’t be allowed to sell your products. Therefore, you won’t even be able to compete. This is one that companies often forget. Were you aware that websites may be taken down in Canada, simply because they didn’t meet the linguistic regulations in the region of bilingualism?
Last but not least, your competitors will gain first-mover advantage. Probably the most significant of all the benefits to your competitor. They will develop their brand overseas before you’ve even considered it – most likely through a technique called transcreation, which involves their company brand being localised or adapted to be attractive to the local market. This will allow them to establish themselves as a reputable brand before you. Something that can sometimes be impossible to beat. Why would their overseas customers substitute for your product if they’re already happy with your competitor?
So, clearly there is a range of benefits to your competitor if they translate and you don’t. You are giving them a free rein in foreign markets. But, of course, if you were to translate before them then you would be the one reaping all the benefits listed!
So give it some thought and have a chat with us at Dialogue! It could be the instrumental cog in your international strategy.