Translation is an investment, not a cost!

16th October 2015

According to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages, UK businesses stand to lose £48billion a year in international sales because of language and cultural ignorance. Two of the more common reasons as to why small and medium size businesses are missing out on these sales are the mistaken belief that 1) everyone speaks English and 2) the cost of translation is too high and complicated.

However, both of these misconceptions are completely unfounded. Speaking to the Guardian, Nick Brown, CEO of Nikwax, says “English is fine if you want to buy things, but it’s not the right language to use for people who want to sell things”.

Given the figures, (English language sites make up just 55% of the webs content, and only 28.6% of the internet’s users are native English speakers) it seems odd that many businesses are ignoring the potential global markets, and are failing to engage with non-English speakers.
Furthermore, Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary of the ATC says:

“Only being able to communicate in English creates a number of problems for businesses selling into other countries. First, it creates a competitive disadvantage because customers prefer to use their own language when doing business. However, several other significant issues arise, including the ability to develop strong business contacts, accuracy in any required legal documents and avoiding potential confusion, which can lead to mis-selling of products or services.

“The most alarming fact is that a significant number of smaller businesses simply do not know that they are losing out financially. Research from Cardiff University’s Business School shows that many of those people saying that they had no language or cultural difficulties when exporting also had no capability to communicate in another language, apart from English. This is in contrast to companies that did have a multilingual approach to business — they were much more likely to comprehend the challenges they had in communicating effectively and factor this into their long-term marketing plans.”

The second misconception would appear to be the perceived cost and complexity of translation. However, a business can dip their toe-in-the-water and gauge international reaction with an in-expensive foreign language landing page.

A foreign language landing page can be a very inexpensive way for companies to start reaching out to global customers and a stepping stone to a more targeted foreign marketing campaign. A foreign language landing page doesn’t have to lead to a full translation of your entire website, but it will provide valuable insights in to what works for your industry, as well as saving you time and money, before deciding which foreign languages and countries to focus on.

The main purpose of a landing page is to highlight your call to action for a product, service or offer. The link to that landing page can then be used in your social media posts, adverts or email newsletters to measure the interest related to that particular area of your business.

A foreign language landing page works in very much the same way, although rather than concentrate on a single product or service, you create a page, in English, that provides a summary of your company, and an overview of all of the products and services you offer. This original English page can then be translated in to as many (foreign) languages as required, and click rates, site visits and statistics can then be measured to see what interest there is from those foreign markets selected. The translated (foreign landing page) landing page can then be linked in an email or targeted as a social media campaign to potential overseas customers, allowing the recipients to read about your company, in their own language!
Given that the European Commission found that 82% of consumers were less likely to buy goods online if the site was not in their native language, creating a foreign language landing page would seem an obvious avenue to explore. The Harvard Business Review also points out that :

  • 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.
  • 72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
  • 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

The translated, foreign language, landing page serves a multitude of purposes, as it firstly provides customers with information in their own language, creating a more familiar and relaxed environment from which to make their purchasing decisions. Equally important, is that it allows you to explore the value and potential of each of the foreign language markets without having to allocate large resources or budgets in order to see what’s effective.

“So now that I know I need a foreign language landing page, what next!?!”

The creation of the foreign language landing page is a reasonably straightforward process. The first step is to decide what information you would like the page to focus on. Perhaps it could be a special offer, product or maybe you would like to provide information to foreign visitors coming to your country. Once you have the text finalised, you can then concentrate on the foreign language keywords that you would like to use in the English version, as well as the countries and languages you would like to target, and create the web page – ready for translation.

The, professionally qualified, linguists at Foreign Tongues Translation will then translate the HTML for you, providing you with the translated webpages, that you simply upload to your site.

Now is the perfect time to invest in global markets, so if you’re thinking of having a foreign language landing page translated – in to any, or all, of the commercial languages available – contact us now for your free quote – you’ll be surprised at how little it costs to start!

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