Choosing the right domain

Choosing the right domain

Have you seen fewer .co.uk sites recently?

 
Many companies with an international presence have moved to a single site with subfolders for each country.

web consultancy
At Web-Translations, we started with a .co.uk domain in 2003, and as we grew, we added a .com domain, then a .jp domain, and over the next 10 years we purchased domains for many different markets including .es, .it and .pt. It began to get expensive and complicated! In 2014, we moved our primary site to a .com domain, with subfolders for different languages.

Previously, we would have advised against this. Top-level domains, such as .de and .jp, are automatically picked up by search engines, and are therefore good for in-country SEO. However, with newer geotargeting techniques, a single site with subfolders (also known as subdirectories) can be as effective as a ccTLD.

There are exceptions to this, such as the .fr domain; French internautes still prefer seeing a .fr domain. Perhaps this will change over the next few years, but at the moment, if France is your key market, a .fr domain is the best option. (In the past, it could be tricky to get a .fr domain without residency in France, however many domain registrars now offer a “trustee” service which allows non-residents to purchase a .fr domain.)

In terms of SEO, subfolders (e.g. shop.com/es) may be preferable to subdomains (e.g. es.shop.com). Subfolders pass on some authority from the root site, whereas subdomains may be seen as a separate entity by Google in terms of ranking. However, John Mueller from Google said in 2016 that Google is smart enough to know what you are trying to do with subfolders and subdomains; there isn’t much of a difference between the two in terms of SEO (watch the Youtube video).

A single international site with subfolders made it easier for us to manage localised content, and was much more cost-effective. We would certainly recommend this approach!

Google’s new Expanded Text Ads: what we understand so far

With the new-format Google ads running alongside standard text ads for nearly a month, we’ve noticed some quirks, understood a bit more, and most importantly – seen the benefits.

Google announced the change back in May, and launched the new Extended Text Ads (ETAs) at the end of July.

Advertisers have until 26 October to create old-style standard text ads (STAs); after this only ETAs can be created. Google hasn’t given an end-date for running STAs, but it’s in your best interests to make new ads. We recommend you start by running both sorts of ads simultaneously; if your ETAs don’t perform as well as your old ads, tweak them until you are comfortable removing the old ads.

The Google guide to expanded text ads is helpful, as is the Google blog post from the day of the launch.

More Content
The old-style character limit rule of 25/35/35 no longer applies. ETAs have 2 headlines and a description, and the fields will allow 30 characters in each headline + 80 characters in the description. However, the new format is based on the pixel width of a letter instead of the number of characters, so it is highly possible that your ad might be truncated, even if it is approved by Google. Google has recommended the combined number of characters in the headline should be kept to 33 to ensure the headlines are are not truncated, but this seems like a wasted opportunity if you might be able to use 60 characters… The ad preview is not entirely reliable, either. It seems the only way to know your ad displays 100% correctly is to actually see the ad running, which isn’t very helpful.

Overall, you can make longer ads, which give you more of an opportunity to convince someone to click on your ad.

The lack of a set character limit is making translating the ads more tricky; each ad needs to be checked in the editor/preview, and tweaked as necessary.

Longer Display URL
Previously the display URL as a field with 35 characters, but the new version combines the domain from the Final URL field with 2 fields of 15 characters each, separated by / characters, which will allow the display URL to take someone deeper into your site, but possibly not to a specific product, which you may have been able to do before.

Mobile-friendly
Google says the new format is to help advertisers ‘succeed in this mobile-first world’. With an iPhone 6, I noticed that the entire first screen is taken up with sponsored ads, requiring me to scroll down to see the organic search results.

Improved CTR
At Web-Translations, we have seen higher CTRs for our primary keywords with the new ETAs. Perhaps our competitors haven’t all started using the ETAs, but whatever the reason, the ads are performing better for us. The data below is based on English-language ads from 2016.  ETA data is only from the month of August; we expect these figures will drop in the coming months as more companies move to ETAs.

 

keyword Standard Text Ad
CTR
Extended Text Ad
CTR
professional translation 2.41% 3.43%
translation services uk 2.19% 3.23%
professional website translation 3.26% 5.36%

Word of the day – bounce!

tiggerWe all talk about bounce rates, but it seems that many people don’t fully understand what a bounce is. Simply put, a bounce is a one-page visit.

It doesn’t matter which page it is, how long the visitor spends on the page they visit, or if they click on a link on that page which leads them to a different site. It doesn’t matter if they come to you via a search engine or type in your URL. What matters is that they only visit one page before the specified session-timeout occurs.

If you’d like to learn more, Wikipedia has detailed formulas for calculating bounce rates, and Google has tips for improving them.

Using a blog to attract international customers

blog-1242038Now that you have a shiny new e-commerce website in a different language, how do you drive international traffic to it? One simple answer is: a translated blog.

Blogs on eCommerce sites help to optimise a website in several ways:
• Increasing the number of pages and content
• Increasing the text to code ratio
• Creating internal links back to the main website

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Does a second language open the door to business success?

Following news that the popularity of language learning is declining year on year (The Telegraph), it’s clear that less young people are considering modern foreign languages to be an important consideration for their future careers. Yet ongoing research consistently suggests that this doesn’t match up to the needs and expectations of UK Business.

Back in 2013, the British Council published a report in which they pinpointed ten languages that would be crucial for the UK’s long-term prosperity, security and influence, using various indicators such as export trade, emerging markets and diplomatic concerns. The results were as follows (in order of importance):

1 Spanish
2 Arabic
3 French
4 Mandarin Chinese
5 German
6 Portuguese
7 Italian
8= Russian
8= Turkish
10 Japanese

The report found that 75% of the adults polled were unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted, and the British Academy declared the UK to be trapped in a ‘vicious cycle of monolingualism’ whereby Brits would become excluded from international negotiations and business opportunities. (more…)

eCommerce Platforms Part 2 – Which one is for you?

Last week we looked in to the types of eCommerce platforms available to you; Hosted, Open Source and Hosted Shopping Cart. This week, we will look at the features of specific platforms to help you find your perfect match.

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform that is favoured by small retailers and start-ups because of its ease of use. All the technical information that a self-hosted solution would require you to set up is already taken care of, so you really can hit the ground running. There is also 24/7 help on offer so you will never feel stuck. (more…)

eCommerce Platforms Part 1 – Which type is best for your business?

The variety of eCommerce software available means there is something out there to suit each and every business. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options, and the subtleties in difference between some of the products.

To get started we are going to discuss the 3 types of platform on offer; Hosted, Open Source and Hosted Shopping Cart. By highlighting the main features, benefits and limitations of platforms in these categories, you should be able to deduce which category is going to suit your business the best. The right platform will give you all the tools you need to grow your business, whilst taking care of the behind the scenes technical tasks that can often hold us back.
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Amazon – Your Other Online Shop

Many of our eCommerce clients sell on Amazon alongside their own eShops. But why would they do this? Isn’t that twice the work?

Amazon is a sales channel that you should be taking advantage of. Yes, it will require some time and effort to get going, but it certainly won’t double your workload.

To begin with you will need to create an account and upload your products. This can be done manually one-by-one, or via a csv file. Amazon provide the template for you, all you need to do is fill in the required information. (more…)

eCommerce Best Practice – A Shopper’s View (1)

Driving traffic to an eCommerce site requires time, effort and money. A carefully planned out eMarketing campaign will ensure new visits to your site, and encourage previous customers to repeat buy. Before making a substantial investment in a marketing campaign however, you need to set out your stall and ensure your goods are well presented, otherwise you risk wasting your money.

The slightest annoyance or obstacle encountered on your website can put a potential customer off buying, or taking the action that you desire. Have a browse at this eCommerce best practice guide to ensure your visitors are converted into customers, and are not deterred by any aspect of your site. (more…)

Victorian Plumbing launches new microsites

VP for blogWe are pleased to announce the launch of new microsites for Victorian Plumbing targeting top European markets such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Victorian Plumbing started in 1999, specialising in original and antique bathroom fixtures and fittings. In 2003, they expanded their range to include many well-known brands, and now offer products ranging from the ultra-modern to more traditional ranges. With a showroom in Formby, Merseyside, customers can also purchase through their catalogue and from their online eCommerce shop.

Victorian Plumbing used our microsite creation service to create landing pages in 10 languages, as well as additional pages providing information about the company and shipping details. The microsites welcome visitors from other European markets, acting as portals to the English eCommerce site.

The pages were localised by professional translators in order to create content that sounds natural to readers, and all translations were proofread by a second native linguist. Our skilled Project Management team not only created bespoke microsites, but also researched ideal keywords for onpage optimisation, with the additional provision of keywords to Victorian Plumbing for Analytics campaigns. Once the research had been performed, the landing pages were optimised for 2 keywords by including these in the body content, meta description, page title and H1 tag content.

Following this week’s news about Google’s penalisation of certain types of offpage SEO, ensuring your onpage SEO is top-notch has become absolutely vital. Having up-to-date, well-written content on your site, as well as optimising your pages as much as possible, are good strategies for getting your pages indexed in Google, which is why our Localisation Level packages include onpage optimisation, as well as white hat offpage optimisation. Contact us for more information.

Victorian Plumbing microsites are also available in: Belgian French, Flemish, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.

Smart strategies for online growth

With online retail predicted to grow steadily in the near future, UK eTailers should take advantage of the opportunity to go global.

Forecast online retail growth rates for 2013-2017, as determined by a Nielson/PayPal study this year:

fr 12%   France fr14%   Australia
fr21%   Brazil de13%   Germany
us10%   US it18%   Italy
es19%  Spain ru18%   Russia
gb10%   UK cn20%   China

There are 4 main primary strategies for entering the global eCommerce marketplace:

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Now is the time to export

With a 0.3% growth rate for the first quarter of 2013, and 0.7% for the second quarter1, we can’t claim that business is booming in the UK. In contrast, the Chinese economy is predicted to grow by 7.4% this year, with estimates for Indonesia, India, Pakistan and regions of Africa ranging from 4.4% to 6.2%2.

Now is the time for UK businesses to take advantage of growth in other countries by exporting. And really, with only 62 million people in the UK, we are only a drop in the proverbial ocean! There are more than 7 billion people on Earth, and plenty of them would love to buy innovative British products.

Why wouldn’t you want to export? At Web-Translations, our sales consultants have heard every excuse possible, starting with “We are just too small to export”. Our client portfolio includes many small businesses who export, and who have greatly benefitted from international trade, and with a well localised and optimised website, there is no reason why small companies can’t successfully export. There is no need to open a foreign office or fly around the world. Instead, find distributors and agents who can help you crack their market. Take advantage of video conferencing products, Skype and email to communicate with them. Promoting your website, which will bring in direct buyers, is also vital.

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British Exporters: be bold and explore the more unusual export markets

The latest economic research highlights untapped markets that UK businesses should exploit, according to economists at RBS who conducted the study investigating nearly 50 countries as potential markets for UK exporters. Export constitutes almost a third of the UK economy, but most companies that do trade overseas still focus on “traditional” markets in Europe and America.

In its research, RBS rated each market by a combination of criteria, including size, growth, and compatibility of its import needs with the products that are produced and exported in the UK. Those countries assessed as part of the study made up less than 25% of all UK goods exported in 2012. The research identifies export opportunities that British businesses are not taking full advantage of. With growth in the US and Europe slowing or even at a standstill, it makes sense to diversify into other markets where competitors might not yet be active.

“Our research highlights a set of markets which may not be traditional export destinations, but could prove to be very attractive for UK businesses. China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Taiwan are all up there, offering genuine scale and attractive markets for British exporters, with Mexico, Brazil and Taiwan standing out as missed opportunities for UK plc.”said RBS Senior Economist David Fenton.

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Announcing our new Website Localisation services

Here at Web-Translations we’ve always prided ourselves on packaging our language services to make them as easy as possible for clients in all industries to understand and buy. Our International Blast and Strategic Approach to Localisation services have launched hundreds of companies in international markets, but we realised that the basic SEO we included in these packages no longer met the needs of today’s online businesses. A few years ago, the basic SEO tactics we used to promote our clients’ newly localised websites in the countries they were targeting were enough to get them started, and generate search traffic, but the search marketing industry has moved on in leaps and bounds since then, and we decided it was time for an overhaul.

The result is a group of localisation service levels that have been designed to suit different business types at different stages of international trade:

Localisation_levels

We haven’t forgotten eCommerce clients either – however rather than stipulating a fixed package of services for eTailers, we put together a bespoke package for each client, depending on their aims and objectives.

For more about our Website Localisation services, please take a look at our website, or contact us for more information.

Introduction to Exporting – Institute of Export course

Work experience student Freddy Batchelor-Collins shares his impressions of the Institute of Export “Introduction to Exporting” course.

I recently participated in the Introduction to Exporting course at the Institute of Export in Peterborough. This one-day course was delivered by Jeff Lewis, an experienced exporter and International Trade expert.

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How to set up your multilingual website

cctldWe talk a lot on this blog about the best way to go about localising your content for foreign markets, what makes a good translation, etc. In this post I’ll cover one of the most fundamental aspects of website localisation: which website structure to use.

There are several different options to consider when you set up your multilingual site, and the type of company or brand you are, your international expansion plans, along with the CMS you use (if any) will all influence what will be the best way forward for you and your business.

Are you targeting particular countries? If yes, then a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) such as company.es / company.fr will fit well with your international strategy. Here’s a summary of the main benefits of a ccTLD:

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there may be issues in obtaining a ccTLD (such as residence requirements), and you won’t be making the most of the SEO authority you have established through your existing domain.

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Proudly working with memoQ software

memoqAfter many years of working exclusively with SDL’s Trados software, in January we purchased memoQ, a new type of translation software. The purchase was primarily to aid the provision of a new site for Party Delights, a UK e-tailer selling party products. With nearly a million words to translate to French, we needed software that could handle such a large word count. memoQ quickly handled large Excel files that Trados often took over a day to analyse, making it much more suitable for the project. It also correctly handled the .resx files we needed to translate.

memoQ was also selected for this particular project because of how it aids our QA processes. With 13 translators each working on multiple files, we needed to be able to review multiple files at once in order to ensure consistency. With memoQ, we could open all of the files for a particular product type, checking for consistency and running various functions across large amounts of text in disparate files. The user interface improves the QA process, with many features which help Project Managers to ensure consistent and accurate translations.

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i’m lovin it…


Last week we talked about promoting multilingual websites, with the general idea being that Content is King. Creating great website content is the best way to get indexed, and also to get visitors and conversions.

With your English website, it is fairly straightforward, but where should you start with your multilingual sites? Developing a global marketing strategy should be first on your tasklist.

McDonald’s is the Big Cheese (with bacon) of international marketing – ranking no. 7 on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands for 2012. McDonald’s successful strategy can serve as a blueprint for SMEs, so let’s have a look at what they do well:

Keep overarching branding consistent
No matter where you are, when you see those golden arches, you know there will be a McDonald’s.

Adapt products
From selling Kronenburg Beer in France, to the McArabia flatbread sandwich in the Middle East and the McMuffin with vegemite spread in Australia, McDonald’s creates region-specific menu items.

Unify marketing campaigns
Launched in 2003, the company’s first global marketing campaign, with its ‘i’m lovin it’ strapline, was a resounding success. The strapline was localised for some countries, but kept in English for others. The localisations are not all direct translations, but do all include the concept of loving something. Product packaging and television advertising included a selection of localised different straplines, highlighting the global aspect of the company.

Localise
McDonald’s registered the name ‘Macca’s’ for use in Australia. In France, the website uses ‘McDo’ frequently (pronounced Mac-Dough, which is how the French refer to McDonald’s).

Whilst keeping the overall branding consistent and unifying marketing campaigns, products and marketing have been localised, making McDonald’s familiar wherever you are, but local enough to appeal to the target market.

Using Co-citation and Co-occurrence to improve your website’s SERPs

In a recent article about the external Google Keyword Tool, I wasn’t overly positive about Google, so I would like to use this article as an attempt to redeem myself in the eyes of the Great Google… Google does aim to provide the most useful, accurate and valuable information in its search results, and they make constant improvements to their algorithms to ensure this is the case.

Recently, SEO experts have been focusing on using anchor text on links to make their sites rank more highly. The idea being that Google will bump a site up in the rankings for a particular keyword if it finds an association between the keyword and the site – and a link on a keyword seemed a surefire way to achieve this.

In turn, Google has changed the rules again in order to provide the best information, and not just what the SEO experts want them to provide. They are looking for statistical correlations that they can use to judge the relevance and importance of a site. The experts are now saying that co-citation is the best way to improve your website’s rankings. This means that if website A mentions sites B and C, and site B has a high page rank, it will help site C. Conversely, if site B is a poorly ranked site or link farm, then it will negatively affect site C.

 

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The Jewellery Channel’s sparkling new landing pages

The Jewellery Channel first came onto our television screens in April 2006, and in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone, TJC broadcasts to more than 30 million homes, making them a well-known household name. Since 2006, TJC’s online shop has also grown from strength to strength. After establishing itself as an affordable quality online retailer based in the UK, TJC continues to broaden its horizons by reaching out to its global audience, creating landing pages for French, German, Italian and Spanish customers.

Web-Translations’ International Blast service helps The Jewellery Channel to welcome visitors from other European markets, with the localised pages acting as portals to the English ecommerce site. We find that conversions increase when there are products on the localised microsites linking to the English site, so we made sure to include some of TJC’s top tanzanite products.

Kid's Cavern – now in 5 languages

kidscavernEstablished in 1989, Kid’s Cavern is the UK’s largest independent retailer of children’s clothing and shoes. In addition to their flagship Liverpool store, Kid’s Cavern offers their extensive range of designer children’s wear online. To reach out to customers in other markets, the company has launched microsites in Danish, German, Japanese, Russian and French. Kid’s Cavern also intends to use our traffic reports as market research to gain further insight into these markets, with a view to localising the rest of their site into the languages which perform well.

Kid’s Cavern used our International Blast service, which offers the creation of a bespoke microsite for £295 +VAT per language. After consultation with the team at Kid’s Cavern, our Project Managers advised on target markets and carried out keyword research to select the best terms for optimising the site. Kid’s Cavern can also use this keyword insight in PPC campaigns to boost traffic. After the launch, our team copywrote, translated and published press releases announcing the launch of the foreign language pages in order to generate inbound links.

W-T’s Daniel Rajkumar attends G20 YEA Summit as UK delegate

Last week I had the honour of being part of the UK Delegation selected to attend the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit in Moscow. The Summit brought together over 400 entrepreneurs representing 20 of the world’s most powerful economies, to discuss and try to solve many of the challenges facing Small Businesses in the current economic situation. The UK delegation led by Alex Mitchell of Young Brits and Helen Gale of YBI, were represented by 12 young entrepreneurs – the largest UK delegation to attend any YEA Summit to date.

The Summit took the form of a combination of panel discussions, breakout sessions and guest speakers. Ernst and Young presented their findings on their ‘Entrepreneurship Barometer’ and Accenture presented on ‘Innovation as a major factor of growth and employment’, there was also a very interesting panel discussion on doing business in Russia. It was discussed how Russia’s strong telecommunications infrastructure, balance of labour cost vs. skills and above average education levels continue to make it a prime target for international investment and trade.

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Snow+Rock looking for peak performance

With 22 retail stores across the UK and Ireland, and also a thriving e-commerce business, Snow+Rock are testing different markets abroad with new microsites in French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian and Danish.

The UK’s top ski clothing & equipment retailer, Snow+Rock stock high quality performance products from the world’s best snowsports & outdoor brands. Their range includes ski gear, snowboard equipment, walking boots, climbing equipment, and much more.

Snow+Rock chose our International Blast service, and now have well-optimised bespoke microsites targeting seven different European countries. The International Blast service is available in 18 different languages. We recommend choosing a range of languages to get the most accurate picture about international interest in your product or service, and as such we offer discounts for multiple languages: 5% for 5 – 9 languages | 10% for 10 – 15 languages | 20% for all 18.

We are certain the visitor traffic information reports we provide will help Snow+Rock to take an informed decision as to which mountains to tackle next – whether these are the French Pyrenées, the Italian Alps or the Spanish Sierra Nevada.

Pushka Knobs goes international…

E-merchant Pushka Knobs offers unique door and cupboard furniture through their .com e-commerce site. After four years of successful online retailing in the UK, Pushka chose to work with Web-Translations to promote their online boutique in the Netherlands. We created a microsite for the Dutch-language marketplace which acts as portal allowing overseas customers to purchase items directly from the UK shop.

Pushka Knobs opted for our International Blast service, which offers a bespoke microsite, including on page and off page search engine optimisation, all for only £295+VAT. After launching less than a week ago, the Dutch site already appears on the first page of Google.nl results for the keyword ‘kristallen knoppen’ (crystal knobs) and on the second page for ‘glazen knoppen’ (glass knobs). With such amazing results after less than a week, we can’t wait to see how the Dutch Pushka Knobs site performs over the next few months!

BananaFingers climb their way into overseas markets

With the help of Web-Translations’ skilled web project managers and SEO team, BananaFingers have just launched new microsites in Swedish, Japanese, Italian, French and German.

Acting as portals to their English e-commerce site, the localised pages will target visitors in foreign markets looking to purchase climbing equipment.

BananaFingers opted for Web-Translations’ International Blast service as an opportunity to test different markets, and thanks to our helpful follow-up reports, they will be able to track numbers and locales of visitors. This service will help to determine the most profitable international markets for BananaFingers so that when they decide to expand into new markets, they do this with an understanding of the demand for their products.

If only Tesco had used our market testing services, they might not have had to pull their operations from the US market after deciding that America wasn’t ready for them!




2012: A Year of New International Horizons

 To commemorate the incredible year of 2012, Web-Translations are offering 10% off website localisation packages until the end of January.

A stunning year of international celebration and sport, including the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, and the Diamond Jubilee, have transformed Britain’s global reputation and opened new opportunities for international dialogues, business and co-operation.
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10 gift ideas for Christmas

 

Still not finished your Christmas shopping? We’re here to help! Skip the icy high street with its mad crowds, and shop online this year – great selection from around the world, at your fingertips! Here are our top 10 suggestions for filling those Christmas stockings:

 

 

Black Pearl Bracelet from Zenzhu
With a silver rose clasp detail, the sumptuous ebony pearls in this classic black pearl bracelet are sure to make someone on your list happy! Available for £80 from Zenzhu’s freshwater pearls.
Champagne Tea at The Dorchester
Champagne and French pastries? Yes, please! Treat her to Champagne Tea at The Dorchester in London. From £57.38, The Dorchester’s Champagne Tea packages include a chilled glass of Dorchester Rose champagne served in the stunning surrounds of The Promenade. This also includes a choice of delicious finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and French pastries, accompanied by your choice of tea or coffee.
Childrens’ Batman Dark Knight costume from Party Delights
Does your little superhero want to be Captain America or Batman? Santa will be very popular when he delivers a Batman Dark Knight costume, £19.99 at Party Delights.
Exotic South African holiday from South African Airways
Today’s weather in Leeds: icy and 3°C. Today’s weather in Cape Town: sunny and 32°C. Give the gift of sunshine! South African Airways offers daily non-stop night flights to Johannesburg and other cities in South Africa. With special tariffs for groups in Economy as well as in Business Class, treat your family to a South Africa holiday. Or, leave the kids with Grandma and enjoy a comfortable night in Business Class’ 61 cm wide completely flat skybed with excellent cuisine and wine, as well high-tech on-board entertainment.
Vintage Cognac from Brandy Classics
Earn that thank you note with a Cognac Hermitage 1975 Chez Richon Grande Champagne, on special offer for £143.70 throughout the Christmas & New Year season from Brandy Classics. With flavours of pineapple syrup, walnuts and spices, this cognac is a holiday treat.
Barts Kamikaze hat from Snow+Rock
It’s cold enough outside to wear your duvet as a coat, but an even better idea is the Barts Kamikaze hat from Snow+Rock, at £34.99. It’s available in lots of different colours and patterns, so there’s sure to be one that he will like!
Turquoise Necklace from The Jewellery Channel
The 2012 Christmas Premiere Turquoise Necklace from The Jewellery Channel is beautiful, and incredible value for only £32.99. With 3 strands of pearls, and 500ct of turquoise, it will be her favourite present.
Luxury hotel stay in Oman from General Hotel Management Ltd
Dolphin watching. Need we say more? At the stunning Chedi Muscat, a luxury hotel in Oman, enjoy an “Explore in Style” package that includes two nights’ accommodation, a city tour of Muscat and a dolphin watching trip in the Gulf of Oman. Treat her to a Deluxe Club room and it even includes airport transfers in a limousine! Packages start at OMR 470. General Hotel Management, Ltd (GHM) offers “Explore in Style” packages across the range of luxury boutique hotels.
Silent Computer from Quiet PC
Treat someone special to the A43 IcePipe Silent Computer, a 100% silent PC with revolutionary IcePipe cooling technology from Quiet PC (£855 inc VAT). This high-specification machine doesn’t compromise on performance and comes with a two-year fully inclusive warranty.
Nike Golf Glove from Golf Online
For the golfer on your list, how about a new glove? The Nike Mens Tech Xtreme IV Golf Glove 2012 combines mastered comfort fit with incredible grip. Available in a range of colours for £9.95 from Golf Online.

 

What to do if you want one of these goodies for yourself? If you like something we’ve listed and you have been good this year, here are some hints: leave the webpage up on your screen, tweet it, like it on facebook and cross your fingers that someone will buy it for you!

 

Chinese web localisation could transform your business.

Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.

With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.

With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.

With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?

Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.

China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.

Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.

To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.

First Time Exporters: Full Support for your Website Translation

As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business.  While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.

Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey.  We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.

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Rapid growth in Turkish eCommerce

Taking a bite from the Turkish delight will reap sweet rewards for online retailers

Turkish e-commerce transactions reached an impressive $12.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 57% on the previous year according to the Interbank Card Center. Combine this upsurge with the 12% per year e-commerce growth Forrester Research Inc (FORR) predicts for European growth over the next 5 years, and it becomes obvious that it’s time to pay attention to Turkey.

Impressive statistics, but what’s going on?

Half the population of Turkey is under 30 years old. This young society has been quick to adopt technological innovations and they now spend more time online per week than the worldwide average. This tendency translates into a high responsiveness to social media – 89% of Turkish Internet users are on Facebook and they are the 11th most active country on Twitter.

95% of the Turkish population are expected to have a mobile phone in 2013, with global corporations such as Telecom Italia having already entered Turkey to take advantage of this.

Furthermore Turkey has a credit driven economy, with a 62% credit card penetration among consumers. All of this has led to a positive environment for the development of Turkish e-commerce.

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Brazil’s eCommerce market expands by 26% in 2011

E-commerce is booming in Brazil. Supported by a growing middle class, Brazil’s e-commerce total revenue for 2011 was over $11 billion; that’s an increase of 26% compared to 2010 ($8.4 bn). In total, 32 million consumers in Brazil bought at least once via the web in 2011, and the eCommerce market is estimated to be worth around $12.7 billion this year.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ricardogeromel/2012/03/23/brazils-e-commerce-is-booming-record-breaking-figures-in-2011-growth-of-26-earnings-of-11-bi/

So what do Brazilians buy online? The most popular categories reflect the needs of Brazil’s new middle class:

Online shopping is also popular with people in the lower income bracket, however – as Western shoppers already know, the internet is where the best bargains and deals can often be found. Daily deals websites are very popular in Brazil, and social commerce could very soon become another interesting trend.

Despite this steady growth, many Brazilians still avoid shopping on the internet out of concern about the security of online transactions. The same goes for Internet banking. 26% of Brazilians don’t use online banking, according to a recent survey, and 58% gave the reason that it felt unsafe. The next few years should see a shift in this perception, as banks and etailers work together to improve security and ease of use, and consumers become more familiar with ecommerce and online banking.

Meanwhile, Brazil has developed solutions to overcome these obstacles. One of them is the boleto bancario, a small slip like a proforma invoice that customers can print out and pay at a bank. This is a very common option, which helps to solve the problem that most Brazilians don’t have a credit card. In fact, 55% of the population still receive their salaries in cash, especially those in manual jobs such as housekeeping and construction workers.

All in all, this adds up to a market with huge potential for those companies willing to adapt and make the necessary concessions to make Brazilian consumers feel at ease.

To find out how to launch your website in Brazil and other overseas markets, contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 8150460.

Visit Web-Translations at Internet Retailing Expo next week

Web-Translations will once again be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) at the Birmingham NEC next week, on 21st & 22nd March.

Now in its second year, IRX brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help multichannel online retailers grow and succeed.

IRX is designed to show etailers the next steps in building their business now that the web has matured, and includes a jam-packed workshop and multiple-track conference programme. With around 5,000 visitors expected over the two-day event, it will no doubt be a great source of new opportunities for exhibitors and delegates alike.
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Localise your website and overtake the competition

It’s a statistic we often repeat on this blog, but the fact is that online customers are four times more likely to buy from a website in their own language, so companies who have multilingual websites soon reap the rewards of the time and resource investment they make in website localisation.

Here’s how localisation of even just a few pages can power your export sales to new heights.

While the internet is a boon to international trade, many companies in English-speaking countries are failing to be forward-thinking by communicating internationally.

Localising websites entails adapting products and materials for a particular market and includes – but is not limited to – translating text into the markets’ relevant languages.

A fully localised website shows shows appreciation and respect towards a foreign culture and conveys that you are interested in your potential customers and their respective cultures. It likewise takes into account conventions and preferences specific to each country such as currencies, measurements and cultural differences.

The benefits of localisation are enormous and include penetrating overseas markets you most want to succeed in, increasing market share – and muscling out the competition. It also ensures you can be found in the most popular search engines in each specified market, country or language.

With English accounting for less than 30% of website content, closely followed by Chinese with 22.6% with ‘other languages’ making up 17.8% – the opportunities for growing your business via localisation are unprecedented.

Reaching out to customers in multiple languages brings both short and long term ‘wins’.  In addition to the immediate boost to sales, a multilingual website is excellent for testing new markets and opening new doors to international trade.

Summary of key tactics to achieve success

Localise your website – just a few pages will demonstrate serious intentions and improve your search engine ranking in the country you are targeting.

Always use a professional translation service – avoid being tempted to use a free machine translation which is not geared for translating marketing copy which has been carefully crafted to stimulate interest and sell to readers.

Focus on core products and services – launching a selection of your bestselling products or services increases your chances of success in a new market.

Conduct multilingual keyword research – pinning down what customers are actually searching for and adapting your website and online advertising accordingly is critical to ensure your site is the one they browse and then buy from.

Measure results – As you would with your UK site. Visitor statistics are invaluable in evaluating your return on investment and deciding where to concentrate further resources.

Are you planning to take advantage of international opportunities by localising your website? Then let’s talk – email sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.

French eCommerce sales to hit 45 bill. EUR in 2012

Within Europe, 70% of online sales are generated by “the big online three”; €48 billion from the UK; Germany €39.2 billion and France €25 billion.

The French online market has grown rapidly in the last couple of years. In 2010, eCommerce alone accounted for €31 billion of the €36.2 billion France sold abroad. In the first half of 2011, turnover for all French ecommerce websites combined reached €17.5 billion (£14.9 billion, $23.6 billion; that’s a 20% year-on-year increase, according to a study by the Invest in France agency.

France now has 90,000 retail websites, including 20,000 created during 2010. In the first quarter of 2011, the iCE 40 index (which is made up of the top 40 ecommerce sites in France) showed a year-on-year growth of 11 % and according to FEVAD, France’s ecommerce and remote sales federation, in 2012 ecommerce is set to accumulate sales of €45 billion (£$61 billion, £38.4 billion), putting it on a par with telecommunications and aerospace sales. Ecommerce currently employs nearly 60,000 people in France.

According to the research conducted by Invest in France, the most popular ecommerce sites in France during the first quarter of 2011 were: eBay (9.1 million visitors per month), Amazon (9.1 million visitors), PriceMinister (7.8 million visitors) and la Fnac (6.9 million visitors).

Many French online shops intend to expand internationally in 2012, so this is a booming market, as is mobile commerce. SEO, Email Marketing and Logistics are all important considerations for French eCommerce companies. The recent availability of .fr domains across the EU also opens up opportunities in the French market.

If you’re interested in launching your company website in France, get in touch: sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk/ +44 (0) 113 8150460.

Web-Translations says ¡Hola! to a new Madrid office

Ignacio de Pablo

With the recent changes in Spain comes new opportunities and a new office for Web-Translations in Madrid. Spain may be going through some economic pain, but the fact remains it is the best placed European country for helping businesses to make the most of the fast emerging markets of Latin America, or any of the 27 countries for which Spanish is an official language.

Ignacio de Pablo, an experienced localisation consultant, will head up the Madrid office and spreading the word about Web-Translations among local contacts and partners who recognised the need to export as a strategy to grow. (more…)

Which web content should be localised?

Once you make the important decision to localise your website for a foreign market, and select a provider to deliver the project, your work is not quite yet done. It’s equally important to identify which sections of the website should be included in the localisation project, not least from a budgetary perspective.

We usually advise clients who are embarking on their first localisation to omit the following sections:

– News

– Meet the team, or equivalent

– All blog posts

The reason being that this type of contact can quickly become out of date, unless a strategy is in place to manage multilingual updates.

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How to beat your competitors to the global market – our top tips

In today’s competitive business environment, it pays to be the first company to market with a new product or service. Here are our tips on how to beat your competitors and take full advantage of global opportunities in your sector.

1. Be the early bird – get there first!
Localise your homepage for multiple markets – then you have the pick of where to focus your attention & resource rather than being forced out of the markets your competitors already operate in.

2. Forge your own path
China, Russia, and other fast-growing economies will compete with you in markets you hadn’t even begun to consider. Don’t follow the herd, but blaze your own trail. This takes confidence and a strong business plan but it is the only way to keep competitive advantage.

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When Should Your E-Commerce Startup Go Global?

Selling online has enormous advantages over a traditional business model.The main one is the ability to be instantly global, in the sense that your website can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, very few e-businesses take a global approach from the outset or even seriously consider harnessing this potential once they have reached scale in their home market. (more…)

French domains (.fr) to become available to EU businesses

As of the 6th December, AFNIC – (manager of the registry of .fr domain names) will lift restrictions on the availability of the .fr domain (among others) to European businesses.

If you don’t already have a French website for putting this domain to use, there has never been a better time…

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Tips for international ecommerce success this Christmas

Yes, it’s a bit early to mention Christmas, I know, but savvy online retailers are already in the midst of preparing for the festive period.

Success stories such as Amazon and ASOS have shown that international sales can have a huge impact on an ecommerce business, so it’s hardly surprising that more retailers are jumping on this bandwagon and localising their websites to open up shop to international customers.

Before jumping in with both feet, however, there are a few things you can do to ensure your international online sales go smoothly ahead of the festive season: (more…)

Domain names are going global

Until last year, domain names could only be created using Latin characters a-z and numbers 1-9. This excluded accented characters and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Korean. In 2010, the use of non-Latin scripts in domain names was enabled, limited at first to the use of the country’s name in the official language.

Just how important is it to have domain names in various languages? We have previously discussed the importance of translating a website (obviously something we believe in!) in order to reach a wider audience, and surely domain names are an extension of that. Do Arabic speakers trust sites with domain names ending in .com or .co.uk? According to recent reports by the BBC, whilst some argue that domain names are becoming less important, given the ever-increasing popularity of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, others believe a good domain name is a sign of the importance and standing of a website. If potential visitors are discouraged from visiting a site that is only available in another language, surely the same applies to domain names? (more…)

Counting the cost of bad spelling and grammar

Your about to by somthing from an online store. The product looks great, the price is good, but somthing is definately wrong…

Before you post a comment to correct my spelling, the mistakes above are intentional. But the BBC reports that Charles Duncombe, a successful British e-commerce entrepreneur, reckons errors like these this could be cutting business’s sales revenue in half.

Admittedly, this was not a large scale study with academically rigorous data but the results are emphatic. Duncombe measured revenue on his tightsplease.co.uk site and found that after a prominent spelling mistake was corrected, it doubled.

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Case Study: Crystal Bridal Accessories

New German site launched!

Kristal Brautaccessories

We met Amy Karim at the Internet Retailing Expo in March, where we spoke to her about expanding her online bridal accessories business internationally. She’d already decided to target Germany as a new market, and so our International Blast service was the ideal solution to get her started. (more…)

How important is it to translate a website?

In a recent poll, 90% of internet users in Europe would visit a site in their own language when given the choice. Meanwhile, 53% would still use a site if it was in English rather than their native language. However, despite this relatively high figure, these users would not necessarily be happy about the lack of information available in their own language, with 44% of respondents stating that they felt they did not necessarily receive all the facts when the website was only available in another language. (more…)

Advantages of local hosting for multilingual sites

A few customers have recently asked me if they should host their multilingual sites locally for the market they are targeting, while others with locally hosted sites have asked me about the implications of moving to the cloud.

Reading between the lines, the premise of such questions tends to centre around SEO and so my post is somewhat more marketing-oriented than IT. All comments are welcome.

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International websites need at least 16 languages to be competitive online

A recent report by the Common Sense Advisory states that global companies need to have multilingual websites in order to compete on an international scale.

According to the report, an English-only site can be read by 23.2% of the global online population. Making it readable in simplified Chinese adds 22.3% and Spanish 9.0%. (more…)

Wéb-Tränslatiôns partners with euro.message in Turkey

Web-Translations is pleased to announce its partnership with Istanbul-based e-marketing company euro.message.

euro.message is one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies, and the largest e-marketing service provider in Turkey. (more…)

Web-Translations speaking at Internet World – 11th May

Register free online (a saving of £30) for Internet World (10-12 May, Earl’s Court – London) and come and hear about the success we’ve brought to South African Airways by localising their website.

Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting our case study of the South African Airways website localisation project at 15:00 on Wednesday 11th May in the Content Management Theatre.

We’ll also be on stand E3055, showcasing recent client success stories and demonstrating how localising your website can dramtically improve your bottom line.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Join us at the Internet Retailing Expo – 23rd-24th March

Web-Translations will be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo at the Birmingham NEC from 23rd-24th March.

The expo brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help all kinds of companies involved in online retail to grow and succeed.

Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting as part of the Jumpstart programme:

Increasing export sales to foreign markets

While the UK leads the way in ecommerce, relatively few etailers profit from exploiting foreign markets. In his presentation, Daniel Rajkumar will explain how a multi-market, multi domestic approach to ecommerce helps increase visitor confidence to drive up conversion rates. In addition to best practice, Daniel will divulge secrets and practical tools for your multilingual eMarketing strategy, including the use of Social Media, SEO, PR and local affiliate networks to drive traffic and revenues.

Whether you’re a global company operating in many markets or a domestic business looking to export for the first time, Daniel’s presentation is pitched to cover the basics as well as some advanced practices, useful to strategic decision makers and practical implementers alike, you are sure to come away with ideas and inspiration that will open your eyes to the lucrative potential of non-English markets.

View the presentation schedule online

Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/

We hope to see you there!

Warehouse Express website localisation brings phenomenal results

“The results of localizing our website have been phenomenal. Our brand is now well-established in Germany and we’ve received lots of positive feedback from our German customers.”

Russell Morris, European Director – Warehouse Express

Quiet PC gains European web visitors for only 2p

“The results of localizing the key pages into 11 languages have been excellent; the traffic to the French, German and Dutch has been especially good and equates to a cost of 2p per visitor
– that’s fantastic value compared to pay-per-click advertising in a competitive industry like ours!
Web-Translations definitely go the extra mile – we’ll be working with them again to expand the multilingual sites.”

Glenn Garrett, Partner – Quiet PC

Timberland – Web-Translations exceeds expectations

“We received the translations a day earlier than expected, which was a great help.

Web-Translations are always very responsive and professional.”

Oiwah Chong, International Marketing Manager – Timberland

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