Why the increase?
Companies are discovering how it easy it is to sell internationally in online marketplaces, and via their own websites. With more people around the world shopping online, there are so many new potential customers, even if they are in another country. Savings in tax may make up for international postage and import duties, possibly making it cheaper to purchase something from abroad.
The UK’s top trading partners in terms of exported goods are the US, Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Belgium & Luxembourg, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. By localising your website into French, German, Spanish and Italian, you will have access to 8 of the top 10 countries.
If you are relying on your English website and on English-language online marketplaces, your potential customers will buy from your competitors instead. The easier you make it for someone to buy something, the more likely it is that they will shop with you, so localised eShops and other online listings are the way forward if you want international customers.
To test a market, you could try localising a landing page and linking it to localised google advertising to gauge interest. Starting to trade internationally doesn’t have to be expensive. There are also plenty of grants available from the DIT to help you get started.
Click, click, click. My Christmas shopping is nearly complete, and 80% was purchased online. The gifts that haven’t been dropped into my online shopping basket have at least been researched and price-checked online. Judging by the latest eCommerce research, I am not alone.
Consumers around the world are shopping online in increasing numbers. It’s quick and often cheaper; getting the lowest advertised price only takes a quick Google search. And with free shipping options, it’s cheaper than paying for city centre parking! Buying gifts for friends and family in another country is also a lot easier – no queuing at the post office! – and saves the cost of international postage.
With your international eCommerce site, the concerns are very much the same as for English-language only websites, however there are a few additional points to consider for your foreign-language pages. Simply translating the English content is not sufficient.
Make it very clear how much deliveries to the target country will cost. Also include pricing for delivery to the UK as well – many foreign shoppers on UK sites are buying for their friends and family in the UK. And finally, include a table of pricing information for all other countries/regions, as someone using a translated site may need delivery to a different country altogether.
Again, it helps to make it very clear how long it will take for delivery to the UK and to the target country. Information for delivery to other countries should also be included less prominently.
Please include returns information specific to the target country.
Paying with a credit card on an international site can raise concerns for a shopper. What currency will the charge be in? Will a fee be incurred? How secure is the site? Including the option to pay with PayPal is a good idea. This way, shoppers don’t have to input their credit card details on the site as the payment is handled completely with PayPal. Yes, the merchant has to pay a fee, however if it means making a sale that wouldn’t be made otherwise, it may be worth it.
If you can receive and reply to customer queries in their own language, that will work in your favour. If you need advice on this, please contact us directly.
If your company offers personalised items, bear in mind that foreign customers may want items with non-Latin characters printed on them. Are you prepared to print Japanese or Arabic characters on a leather diary? It not, bear this in mind when localising the site. Often, personalisation is key for a brand, and not being able to offer personalised items in the target language is a major setback.
Have you translated reviews consumers have left on your site, or are you displaying all reviews – regardless of language – to every visitor? If you have sufficient reviews from the target country, either option will work. Reviews are key for visitor conversion and can’t be ignored.
The web has removed geographical barriers from international trade. If you can overcome language and cultural barriers, the world truly is your oyster.
The UK export trade is worth millions, and with a well-localised website, you are better positioned to tap into these growing international markets. Positioned between the translation and web industries, Web-Translations offers a unique, low-risk, low-cost approach to international eBusiness.
Here are our Top 6 tips for growing your business internationally:
1) Make friends with Google. Google has a host of online tools to help you analyse market data and understand trends around the world.
The Market Finder tool can recommend the best market for your business, providing insights to help you reach the audience in a particular country.
Google Trends shows what topics are trending in a particular country, as well as providing data on individual search terms. More fantastic graphs and charts help you to decide if a particular market really is ready for your products!
The Consumer Barometer tool can show you how people around the world use the internet. Select a country, and find out a load of useful statistics!
2) Digital First. Start with an e-commerce site, and you can be trading internationally very quickly. It’s a lower risk strategy, with the cost of entry much lower than a traditional bricks and mortar business. If business takes off, then you can look to a multi-channel strategy.
3) Involve – and empower – the right people. A dedicated exports team within your business is essential; a separate team will prioritise the export market, making better decisions more quickly. Involving team members from top management will also help by ensuring that the export market is a factor in pricing, marketing and product development.
4) Research your brand, strapline and product names. Knowing what people in your target country think about these is valuable information. Should you localise your strapline? Should you translate the product names? Does your brand name remind them of anything positive or negative? At Web-Translations, we can help you access this information. Contact us about our International Brand Research service.
5) Be bold. First mover advantage matters to business success, so try a number of different markets, and move quickly.
6) Market it! A great e-commerce site is only the first step; digital marketing is essential for getting visitors. Include social media campaigns in your initial plans, as well as PPC advertising. Google’s Keyword Planner tool has plenty of info on international searches, and if you need more help, Web-Translations can create adverts and lists of keywords for you. We can also localise your tweets and facebook posts.
The Department for International Trade (DIT), known as UK Trade & Investment until it was rebranded last September, has 9 English regional DIT branches, as well as Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish branches.
The DIT Yorkshire and the Humber will deliver a programme of £6.7 million of funding for its Enterprise for Growth programme.
Funding for the programme comes from the EU to strengthen the region’s businesses. Targeting both first time exporters as well as businesses already exporting, companies can access matched financial support to develop exports and create jobs.
To qualify for the funding, companies in the Yorkshire and the Humber region must work with the DIT, who will help them to develop their international trade plans. Funding provided will support a company’s export strategy, which may include translation of marketing collateral for international visits, website localisation to improve positioning in target markets, translation of product packaging, and more.
If you are interested in the programme, please get in touch and we can facilitate contact with your local International Trade Advisor, who will help you get started.
If you are involved in export, chances are you have consulted UK Trade & Investment or made use of their resources. The UKTI is a non-ministerial government department which helps businesses, including many Web-Translations clients, export profitably.
UKTI works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. We encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business. – UKTI
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):
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…)
Managing a successful international web strategy would be much simpler if one hosting company
could host multiple local domains on local servers through a single control panel. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
If you have purchased unique domains for the different languages of your website, you can:
Each country has its own variety of cultures and traditions, and this is no different when it comes to business. What may be considered normal in one country could be classed as rude or offensive somewhere else and your behaviour could make or break a deal. Do your homework before attending any international meetings so you can make the best possible impression.
Japan is very conservative and this is reflected in their approach to meetings. To make the best impression dress smartly, preferably in a dark colour. Ladies should try to tone down their makeup and avoid high heels such as stilettos. After you have made a great first impression, remember to offer out your business cards and do so with both hands. For that extra special touch, translate the reverse of your business card in to Japanese.
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:
|12% France||14% Australia|
|21% Brazil||13% Germany|
|10% US||18% Italy|
|19% Spain||18% Russia|
|10% UK||20% China|
There are 4 main primary strategies for entering the global eCommerce marketplace:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Following its 2007 launch, our International Blast! service has proved popular with companies looking to test a foreign market. This low-cost packaged service has helped a wide range of companies to launch internationally. We are very proud of the results we have achieved for these clients, including Baker Perkins, a bakery equipment specialist who localised their English site into Spanish following a successful International Blast, and also Quiet PC, who localised their ecommerce site into German after the success of an International Blast.
Glenn Garrett from Quiet PC commented that “the results of localising 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!”
It is with a touch of sadness that we announce the retirement of this service to make way for a new range of localisation services, which we trust will be even more successful.
One of our final International Blast projects, 10 languages for Byretech Limited, has now launched. With subdomains for Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Turkish, Byretech’s landing pages will welcome foreign visitors and lead them to the English site, where visitors can learn more about the bathroom water damage prevention products available, and proceed to make a purchase.
Watch this space for an announcement about our new localisation service levels – launching soon!
If you want a multilingual website for your business, contact us about the new localisation packages we offer.
According to a new Ernst & Young study, exports from Yorkshire will reach £18.3bn within the next 4 years and we can expect to see 2.2% annualised growth by 2017 – far beyond the UK average of 0.3%. This is the first UK Goods Export Monitor study conducted by Ernst & Young, and tracks international goods export data by region, sector and trade routes over the next five years.
The research also highlights that Yorkshire’s pharmaceutical sector, although relatively small, is set for big gains – the UK as a whole specialises in manufacturing drugs for export overseas, particularly to emerging markets, so the potential for growth there is huge.
David Buckley, senior partner at E&Y in Yorkshire, said: “There is a once in a generation opportunity for UK goods exporters in Yorkshire to help reshape the recovery, tapping into the sharp end of truly global supply chains, like pharmaceuticals, and made in Britain heritage brands.”
If you think your business is ready to start exporting, take a look at Tuesday’s blog post about the Institute of Export introductory 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.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd.) is known for conceptualising, developing and operating an exclusive group of hotels and resorts. With an expansive portfolio and more projects in the pipeline, GHM prides itself in providing guests with a distinctive lifestyle experience that is unrivalled. To maximise their presence in the Japanese and Chinese markets, GHM selected Web-Translations to localise their corporate site and the sites of 8 of their luxury hotels. A full localisation of the website into these two languages was undertaken to attract traffic from those key markets. GHM is currently opening a new location in Switzerland, and the website for that hotel will be available in German, Italian and Russian. Read more…
“We’ve been working with Web Translations since early 2012 when we launched our Japanese website. We’ve since localised our website into Chinese as well. The Project Managers are prompt, communicative, responsive and accommodating to our needs. Finding a suitable linguist to suit the GHM-style is often a challenge, due to the travel-editorial-style nature of the website copy, however the Web-Translations team were able to cater to our needs by overcome this by sourcing an excellent panel of linguists for the languages featured on our website.”
Liza Latif-Grossinsky, Digital Marketing Manager – GHM
Established 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.
Web-Translations is proud to announce that our collaboration with Julian Hall, entrepreneur and digital media expert, has gone global!
Julian’s book “Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur – 100 Ways To Up Your Game” is an Amazon “Best Seller on Kindle” and contains 100 inspirational, original sayings for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The translation was funded through rebuildingsociety.com, a peer-to-peer lending platform which allows individuals to invest in business loans.
Web-Translations helped to create Spanish, French, Italian and German editions of the book, providing translations and typesetting to create print-ready files. Kindle versions are now available from Amazon, and paperbacks will be available later this week.
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.
This month, Google has announced it has plans to axe its free external Keyword Tool. A yellow box at the top of the Keyword Tool page warns, “In the coming months, the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. To get keyword ideas, sign in to your AdWords account and try Keyword Planner.” Essentially, an AdWords account will need to be created before accessing keyword statistics, presumably so that Google will be better able to track people’s research, since it can no longer be done anonymously.
While it is entirely possible to create an AdWords account and not actually create any ads, solely to access keyword insight, it just adds another step and another password to remember! The external Keyword Tool and Keyword Planner don’t work in exactly the same way, but both provide data about keyword searches on Google.
In addition to supplying data for pay-per-click campaigns, keyword statistics are invaluable for optimising existing websites. The change won’t really impact us here at Web-Translations – we will simply log into our account – but it does make the information less accessible. Interesting, as Google’s mission statement reads “Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”<!–:–
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.
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!
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!
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.
CEO of Web-Translations to deliver international eMarketing workshop for luxury tourism industry in conjunction with the institute of Export, Soft Skills and the Ministry of Enterprise for Mauritius.
Date: 13th or 14th August 2012 (with future events TBC)
Venue: Le Méridien, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius (yes, seriously)
Daniel Rajkumar is a multi-award winning internet entrepreneur that has created various web businesses, including web-translations.com which supports companies seeking to increase international trade by attracting more international visitors to world class websites. He analyses industry trends and researches the developments in the web before they become popular. He understands the constraints of small businesses as well as well as the challenges faced by large organisations and is able to consult on various levels, practically and strategically.
Daniel Rajkumar has presented for UK Trade Invest, the Institute of Export and is writing a book on ‘the web as a function of 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.
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.
The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will be visiting UK this year, some businesses are seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action.
The Olympic Gold Website Package was launched this month by Web-Translations to Get Businesses Fit for London 2012.
By giving customers extra peace of mind when offering translated information, you’ll win their trust, and ultimately their custom.
Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.
The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?
Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.
As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?
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.
For hotel and tourism businesses, the 2012 Olympics represent a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will need places to stay, and things to do when they’re not busy at the sporting events.
In last place…
However, with 87% of hospitality businesses saying they have not taken any steps to prepare their business, and a further 63% claiming they do not intend to take any steps nearer the time, are we really ready for the onslaught? Why are businesses not seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action? Why sit back and wait to see what happens, when this could be the opportunity of a lifetime?
As Visit London’s chief executive, Sally Chatterjee, says: “London is the world’s most visited destination by foreign travellers, and one of the most accessible cities in the world.”
It’s estimated that 350,000 foreign visitors will come to London each day during 2012, with around 5.5 million “day visitors” in total between the end of July and mid-August.
If these predicted visitor numbers prove to be accurate, then the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector is woefully unprepared for the influx of foreign tourists who will arrive this year.
Emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil have been identified as key targets, and have therefore been the focus of the international Olympic marketing campaign.
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.
So what do Brazilians buy online? The most popular categories reflect the needs of Brazil’s new middle class:
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.
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.
We’re combining our 3 lead web services to help your website launch in international markets with a bang.
All good things come in threes – that’s certainly true when it comes to launching your website in a new language and country. Follow these 3 key steps to start seeing results from your website:
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.
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.
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…)
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:
– 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.
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.
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…
Diageo announced a 5% growth in annual profits today, an increase that Chief Executive Paul Walsh largely attributes to its activities in emerging markets.
While sales fell in Greece, Spanish and Ireland (all economies that have struggled in the last few years), Diageo’s acquisition of the leading Turkish spirits company Mey Icki, and its performance in North America and Asia-Pacific have offset the downturn in European trade.
This makes them the latest in a line of successful global companies who are spreading the risk of underperformance in developed markets such as Western Europe by expanding into countries further afield, or the path less trodden by competitors. (more…)
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…)
There is a lot more to translation than meets the eye. Yes, the essence of the process is translating a piece of text from one language into another, but there is a lot more to consider than many people are aware.
There are lots of factors that need to be taken into account both before starting work, and during the translation process itself. Clarifying these points, and identifying any issues at the start helps to ensure a smooth translation process, and avoids delays while any difficulties are overcome.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, clients should be asked several key questions, including (but not limited to):
What is the purpose/end use of the translation?
File formats – what format do they need the translation back in?
Processing text post-translation – will it be added to a Content Management System, or typeset into a design ready for print? If so, are those responsible experienced in doing so?
Reference material – could include previous translations and any background information to guide the translators. Clients who take the time to provide such information reap the benefits by getting an accurate translation that reflects their company style and is immediately fit for purpose. Without background information, the translators are often working in the dark, and it can take longer to produce text that is ready to use or publish.
Is there an in-country manager who will be reviewing the text, or who can help with any terminology queries?
Is the author of the document available to answer any queries about its contents?
As its imports from and exports to other nations continue to increase at a dramatic rate, and the Chinese government’s continued efforts to encourage citizens to buy home-grown products are proving successful, can The People’s Republic of China really still be considered as an emerging market?
China’s economy has been growing by an average 10% every year for the last 3 decades, the fastest growing major economy in the world. It is the second largest economy after the USA, and could overtake the United States as early as 2020, according to experts at Standard Chartered Bank.
China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world, and became the world’s top manufacturer in 2011, surpassing the United States.
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…)
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…)
Looking at facts and figures relating to tourism in the United Kingdom can give us an insight into why people visit the country, what they look forward to the most, and why they would return. This is very important in the world of translation, in order to offer services to industries that would benefit the most from translating their websites, brochures and menus, to name but a few.
With the Olympics coming up next year, which will attract a huge number of multilingual tourists from all over the world, this is the perfect time to look at the statistics, and determine which areas of British culture are likely to attract visiting tourists. Companies within these fields could potentially reap huge rewards from offering details of their services in the right languages so that foreign tourists can understand what is on offer, and make the most of their trip to the UK. Not to mention that upon receiving a warm welcome, and being addressed in their own language, those tourists are more likely to think highly of our culture and country in general, and potentially more likely to recommend a visit, or even to return themselves. (more…)
Piracy is a worldwide concern, yet interestingly; there is no true universal meaning of “copyrighted material.” Each country has its own separate laws to protect or release media and software to the public. Many countries have strict laws against piracy that provide artists and developers with the legal ability to prosecute those who pirate their material. However not all governments have incentive to protect copyrighted materials, which can cause problems for the country itself and for those with stricter regulations. Thus, while you don’t need a criminal justice degree to understand them, exploring some of the measures being taken to prevent international piracy requires a brief explanation of the difficulties in dealing with unequal copyright laws.
Daniel Rajkumar of Web-Translations and Altug Inci of The Related Group discuss their partnership, the latest innovations in technology, and the international trade opportunities available in Turkey.
The Related Group is a digital marketing company based in Turkey aimed at businesses who need to apply technology in the most up-to-date and innovative ways.
The company is composed of several brands:
euro.message, the flagship brand, primarily offers a comprehensive email and mobile marketing system; Made by Cats, a digital agency specialising in website projects for blue-chip and corporate clients; Brandmail provides database marketing services; The Related also represents Omniture analytics and optimisation services in Turkey.
Web-Translations has partnered with The Related Group to offer an extended portfolio of services to all our clients.
For more information on multilingual email marketing campaigns and managing international digital marketing, please email sales[at]web-translations.co.uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.
International trade has many benefits, some of which are more obvious than others. Detailed below are key benefits highlighted by clients who have made international trade a major part of their on-going business strategy.
Read on as Charles Purdy, Director of Smart Currency Exchange Ltd gives his insight on the main advantages of international trade.
ABDN is working in partnership with UK Trade and Investment to host a seminar on International Trade in Leeds next week.
Date: Wednesday 18th May 2011
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Leeds, 2 Wellington Place, Leeds, LS1 4BZ (more…)
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…)
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…)
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!
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.
Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/
We hope to see you there!
“I was given a recommendation to use Web-Translations, and the service I’ve received has been very good.
The team was a great help in delivering urgent translations for an event we were organising, and I have since recommended them to a colleague. I would definitely use Web-Translations again.”
Michelle Kalinski – World Bank Institute
Join Web-Translations and a host of other international business experts at the betterbusiness Going Global Workshop, next Wednesday (9th March) at Lacon House, London.
This event will focus on how to take your business global. With growing populations across the globe and the rise of the developing nations, can your business afford to miss out on these lucrative markets? (more…)
Love it or hate it, the internet is increasingly becoming an essential tool in everyday life. This rings especially true in the field of translation. (more…)
I studied International Business and Spanish at university. Why Spanish? Because I liked it, I wasn’t half bad at it and I thought it might come in handy somewhere down the line. Lucky for me, my chances of that happening are slightly raised because Spanish is the official language of 21 countries with around 400 million speakers worldwide, making it the third most widely spoken language across the globe after English and Chinese.
According to a study published last year, Spanish is the third language of international communication on the Internet.
Following my initial paragraph, that doesn’t sound out of place or surprising. However in reality, this third place position actually means that only 4% of Internet users communicate in Spanish, which corresponds to just 136 million users out of a total of 1750 million.
Obviously this figure now seems a lot lower than it should be when bearing in mind the high numbers of Spanish speakers internationally. So why the discrepancy? Many Latin American countries have low levels of access to technological developments and the study concluded by saying that if this were similar to that of English speakers then the presence of Spanish on the Internet would be around 16%. Improvements are being made though as Spanish did actually see a 1% rise.
English held the top spot in the study with 45% of Internet users’ communication and German came in at number 2 with 6%. French and Italian also figured in the top 5.
What’s really interesting to note is that English suffered a huge 29% fall, which has been attributed to the rise in the use of Chinese, Arabic and Russian on the Internet as these economies and markets develop.
So the importance of different languages on the Internet today is obvious – English can no longer be assumed to be the only language that matters, and catering for these differences will be a key issue in the success of businesses in the coming years as more and more non-English speaking users come online, and I for one, les doy la bienvenida.
It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (more…)
The Wensleydale Creamery in Yorkshire is one step closer to realising their goal of achieving Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for their cheese, according to an article in the Yorkshire Post. This would provide the Yorkshire cheese with the same protection as products such as Parma Ham and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, ensuring that no other cheese makers could use the name ‘Real Yorkshire Wensleydale’.
The original recipe, now over 800 years old, is still used in the production of the cheese. As the managing director of the Wensleydale Creamery, David Hartley, commented: ‘Applying for PGI status will protect the integrity and provenance of our cheese and elevate it above and differentiate it from manufacturers outside the region.’ (more…)
Google has confirmed that it will machine translate patents into more than 29 languages, using the Google Translate interface.
On 30th November, an agreement was reached between Google and the European Patent Office (EPO), in order to facilitate the understanding of patents throughout the world.
There has recently been a further sign of recovery in Europe’s biggest economy – German exports were up more than 3% in June, and the country has experienced unprecendented growth of 2.2% from April to June this year.
A weakening of the Euro in recent months coupled with a strong demand for German goods in Asia has helped to boost exports. (more…)
SEO is just as important for your foreign language sites as for your English one. Simply translating content and putting it online unfortunately does not mean that any of your potential customers will find the pages you have created for their benefit.
As Nataly Kelly of the Common Sense Advisory says:
“It just doesn’t work to assume that a target audience who has been linguistically underserved in the past will miraculously show up at your site in the months following the launch of your new content. […] you need to publicize your new content and drive your target audience to the new site. Just as with your source language website, expect the traffic to build over time.” (more…)
This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.
International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.
Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (more…)
Yorkshire companies are “well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia”, according to Danish business expert and former diplomat, Benny Sørensen.
At a recent event to inform businesses in the region about opportunities in Scandinavia, the organisers (Import-Export consultants SØRENSEN, and Denmark’s inward investment organisation Copenhagen Capacity, teamed with the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce International Department) experienced unprecedented demand from Yorkshire businesses wishing to attend, and have urged companies who are interested in trading with Scandinavian countries to act quickly to make the most of the opportunities available. (more…)
We’re going to take you step-by-step through a localisation project to explain how it’s done. The example we’ve chosen is the multilingual site we did for Loc8tor.
Loc8tor.com is an ecommerce site where customers can buy Loc8tor devices to help them keep track of keys, mobile phones, pets and all sorts of other belongings. This is an ideal showcase for the different elements involved in the professional localisation of a website.
With any website, the first step is to get the content into a format that translators can easily work with.
There are two main ways of translating content from a CMS – the translators can work directly into the system and input translations as they go along, or an export can be obtained from the system – usually either XML or Excel format.
Translation is not always done in a linear fashion – starting at the beginning and finishing at the end – a translator needs to be able to skip parts and come back to them later, raise queries if something is unclear etc. When it comes to proofreading the translation, a file will usually be easier to work on and edit than the content within the CMS. With this in mind, an exported file is often the best method.
So, the Project Manager will deliver the file to the translators, or give them access to the CMS as necessary. Once the translation is complete, the proofreaders do their part. Any images or other parts of the website not already part of the CMS/export file would be localised at this stage too – a professional localisation includes everything, not just the obvious text components of the website.
If an export file has been used, then this needs to be imported back into the CMS. This is usually done by the client’s web team, but sometimes we are given an access login to the system and can upload it ourselves.
The published sites we localised for Loc8tor can be found at www.loc8tor.eu, www.loc8tor.fr and www.loc8tor.es.
With some projects, this is where our involvement ends, but there are other stages that are recommended in order for the localised website to be a success:
Usability testing – this is especially important for eCommerce websites or any others where transactions take place. The localised site is tested from the user’s point of view to make sure all functions work correctly, links lead to the pages they should, etc.
Multilingual SEO & eMarketing – just because you’ve invested in localising your site doesn’t mean that customers in that particular country know it is there! Submitting your site to local search engines, building some inbound links and promoting the new website online will all help get more traffic, and these initial measures are included as standard in our Strategic Approach to Localisation packages.
Managing updates – it’s important that you consider how updates to the website will be managed. Many CMSs can be configured to send updates for translation, which minimises the delay in keeping the multilingual site current.
Keyword Research – Knowing the most popular search terms for your product or service is critical. We help to capture maximum exposure by identifying not just your keywords, but also complementary keywords and competitive keywords to help you optimise your website, and maximize the effectiveness of your multilingual Pay Per Click campaigns.
Pay-Per-Click – ideal for giving your web traffic a boost, for promotions, sales and to announce new content. In most industries it will be expensive to stay at the top of results using PPC alone, but it should form part of your overall web strategy if you have sufficient budget.
A good localisation strategy will consider these additional elements of the process as well as simply translating the main body of text on a website.
If you have any questions about website localisation, or any comments about this article, please let us know.
“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
Our MD, Daniel Rajkumar, will be speaking at this year’s Internet World!
His seminar – entitled: Global eMarketing: How to make your website an international selling tool will take place at 15:45 on Wednesday 28th April.
Daniel’s session will take delegates through the why, what & how of website localisation, and introduce the benefits of being multilingual, giving a step-by-step guide to the localisation process, illustrated by a client case study, then highlighting some important dos & don’ts before summarising how to make the most of your global potential.
To get a free pass into Internet World and catch Daniel’s talk, as well as saving yourself £20, register here: http://www.internetworld.co.uk/page.cfm/Action=PreReg/PreRegID=1/t=m
We look forward to seeing you there!
“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
Oh dear! If ever there was an example of how not to translate a website it must be the London Eye website. It would seem that the Merlin Group clearly don’t care about their international visitors…
The ‘Tele Scouter’, a recent invention from NEC due to launch in 2010, is a pair of glasses attached to a headset and mouthpiece, with a small projector that can transmit messages onto the retina of the user. It is intended for use in a customer service environment, allowing employees access to information regarding the client they are talking to.
Once the product is launched, NEC are intending to introduce a further function for the glasses, allowing instantaneous translation. During a multilingual conversation, both voices will be picked up, the dialogue translated, and sent back to the headset and projector. The messages will be shown in the user’s peripheral vision, allowing them to maintain eye contact with the person with whom they are having a conversation.
Twitter is the latest company to use crowdsourcing to localise their website and interface – about time they localised it too, as in the arena of social networking, Twitter has been lagging behind other sites such as Facebook when it comes to reaching a multilingual audience…
So what is crowdsourcing exactly?
A recent article in New Scientist reports on the imminent release of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from U.S. national control. ICANN is responsible for maintaining the various technical standards that make the Internet possible on a low level.
Under an Affirmation agreement with the U.S. department of commerce ICANN will not be coordinated by any specific government, allowing representatives from many countries to take part. The likely offshoot is that Internet standards will become more inclusive of Internet users outside America. For instance, the article reports that we might reasonably expect domain names to be available in Chinese and Arabic characters in little more than a year. They also report that current browsers cannot access domain names written in these scripts, which is quite right, but a reasonably small change I cannot see any major browser manufacturer delaying in releasing to their customers.
Latest EU regulations demand that all packaging and instruction leaflets for pharmaceutical products and medical devices are translated into the official language of the country they are being exported to.
American companies in this sector who intend to export their products to Europe must comply with these regulations, and indeed should embrace multilingual packaging in order to compete with their European counterparts.
I’ve been helping a client manage their PPC spend recently by training one of their team members. I don’t normally do this; it was just a favour to one of our best clients which happens to be a local company.
It took me back; I remembered the very early days when you’d pay 0.05$ per keyword word and could expect to be in the top 5 results. For most industries, those days are long gone. (more…)
International eMarketing 12th November, 13.00 – 17.00
The Source, Meadowhall, Sheffield (£35)
Learn about ebusiness strategies to promote your business in non-English markets using the Internet.
According to a recent EU report, 2 of the main obstacles faced by UK businesses who are exporting for the first time are language and cultural barriers, and how best to promote their websites using SEO and online advertising.
The first step in trading internationally is to localise your website. This way, you can gain enquiries and orders from overseas customers with only a small investment – with even just one or two pages translated into foreign languages you can use your website to “test the water” in a number of countries at once, and see which ones gain you the most web traffic.
By monitoring the visitors to your localised webpages, you can choose the countries which warrant extra investment and focus on marketing your product or service there.
As e-tailers prepare for another record Christmas period they should consider the changing trends in consumer confidence across Europe for new opportunities. Consumers are buying more frequently in every country in Europe, but as the pace of growth slows in the UK and competition stiffens, smart businesses will look to serve multilingual markets where consumerism grows faster and is less competitive.
The .eu domain is exclusively for residents of the European union. It offers a single European identity on the Internet for 500 million Europeans in 27 different countries.
Why choose a.eu domain?
To show you are European – using a .eu domain states that you are located in Europe
Broaden your market – .eu domains widen your potential customer base. We at Web-Translations have found that just by localising a few key pages of our client’s websites, they gain significant traffic and enquiries. Imagine that extended across the whole of Europe!
Attract customers – a .eu website tells your customers that you are open for business within Europe – that’s 27 different countries. It also combines the traffic of all your separate country websites into one – all those visitors will come to a single website.
Streamline your website – creates one location or hub for all the information about your company, products and services that is relevant to EU customers. It can make managing your multilingual website much easier.
Increase the visibility of your website – .eu domains attract attention, and therefore traffic!
Create a good impression – be taken seriously as a global company
Leaves scope for future development – even if you only have one or two European languages on your website now, if you choose to add any more at a later date, these can be based on your .eu domain.
Many global companies have already taken advantage of this opportunity – Hyundai, Pioneer, Versace, Ricoh, Lexus and Estate Agents Century21, to name but a few.
“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
“The Greek translations of our PokerSchool site you provided look great online. Thanks for your hard work on this project.”
Lorraine Pace, Group Content Editor – Betsson
Daniel Rajkumar will be presenting a seminar on 8th July, as part of a programme organised by Regional Language Network Yorkshire & Humber
Businesses proactive in their use of foreign languages achieve on average 45% more export sales.
Web Translation was proud to be involved in the first ever European SME week in Brussels last week.
Here’s a video including Cassandra Oliver talking about multilingualism in Europe:
Cassandra was one of 5 people from SMEs across Europe invited to participate in a series of events as part of the first European SME week. This included a round-table discussion on how important languages are to businesses in the EU, opportunities and obstacles created by a multilingual Europe, and what can be done to improve the way that small businesses handle such issues,web or blog translation.
The panel discussion in the video above was the culmination of the event, which also featured a gallery of successful EU entrepreneurs, and an art installation entitled “How it feels to be an entrepreneur“, created by Dieter Michael Grohmann- blog translation specialist.
This month in Yorkshire’s Insider magazine, Daniel Rajkumar, managing director of Web-Translations answered readers’ questions about web translation and emails, and setting up internationally usable websites.
Q: I have set up a new arm of my company in France as a base for drawing in business from across Europe. As I am looking at a lot of different countries do I need translation of the whole of my website or blog into all the possible European languages? Won’t English do?
A: “If you are serious about drawing business in from Europe you will have to have the website or blog professionally translated for the main language of each country you are targeting. People use the web for research and they search in their native language, so if your website is not multilingual, it will simply not be found.
Trade figures have recently shown an improvement in business exports – partly due to the weakened value of our currency. According to research, companies which trade internationally are more likely to stay in business longer and are usually more profitable than those which choose to concentrate only on domestic sales.
Exporting is a great way to expand your business – those who trade internationally grow faster and fail less often than companies that don’t, and the current weak curerncy makes our prices much more competitive, so there’s no time like the present.
Machinery, engineering products and consultancy, vehicles, aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals, plastic and rubber, metals, foodstuffs, beverages, textiles & clothing are all in demand throughout the Eurozone, and a little effort in approaching a potential client in their own language can go a long way. Even something as small as localising key pages of your website for a foreign market show that you are interested in foreign customers, and are a forward-thinking company.
The main exports to China are electrical/mechanical equipment, precision instruments (medical, optical, photo, technical), plastics, iron & steel, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and Automotive , Biotechnology & pharmaceuticals, Construction, Engineering, Financial services & ICT are all industries which have experienced growth there. As for India, there is a similar focus on engineering, sciences and technology, but in fact opportunities exist there for most sectors.
Emerging markets have been identified in Poland, Vietnam, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Singapore, and Argentina. Opportunities exist in various sectors in these countries, notably design, consultancy and engineering – the sectors that are most commonly successful for overseas trade.
Brazil and Russia will also continue to be key areas for companies trading internationally.
Are our expectations of the 44th US president too high?
As the first African-American ever to hold presidential office, Barack Obama certainly already has made history, but will he be able to make the difference that many are dreaming of? Or are the expectations of his citizens and in fact the world at large simply too much for him and his administration to achieve?
A study of more than 27,000 web users in 16 countries has shown that the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online.
The survey also showed, however, that UK housewives spend even more of their free time online – a surprising 47%.
A total of 27,522 people aged 18 to 55 years old were interviewed online by TNS Global Interactive in the following countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. 2,500 were surveyed in the UK. The questions focused on online behaviour and, interestingly, also raised the issue of trust in traditional versus online media.
The Euro is at its strongest since its launch 9 years ago, at 1.116 Euros to the pound/0.745 EUR to the US Dollar.
While on the surface, this sounds like bad news, and it is in terms of our import buying power, as well as the cost of living which (reduced petrol prices aside), looks set to continue climbing well into 2009; for exporters it’s good news.
The tide has turned: where once the UK and USA could count on importing goods from overseas cheaply, and it was our own goods and services that were perceived as expensive by other nations, the shoe is, for the time being at least, firmly on the other foot.
“Web-Translations are always very friendly and responsive.
They’re a great help, and I would recommend them – our project manager (Cassandra) was able to advise us on which sections of the website to include in the localisation, and worked directly with our web designers, which made it so much easier for us.”
James Tupper, Marketing & IT Systems – BGB Engineering
“Totesport chose Wéb-Tränslatiôns for their ability to meet our requirements for fast turnaround times on website and email translation as we look to move into the European market.”
Josh Darby, Casino Operations Manager – Totesport
“Mobile Fun was looking for a long term relationship with a credible, capable and committed translation partner. Web-Translations has met this requirement by providing a consistently high quality of service and superb account management. We are confident that WT will meet our growing needs as we develop our offering further in existing and new territories.”
Simon Joseph, Head of Sales & Marketing – Mobile Fun
Web-Translations are pleased to announce that they are now working with Guernsey based company Polar Instruments, producers of testing equipment for printed circuit boards.
With an existing customer base in Asia, Polar Instruments wanted to improve their existing Asian websites in line with their English site, in order to keep Asian Pacific customers up to date with product developments from a constantly changing product base. With a customer base, and customer support available in 7 local languages, their website is a key marketing and sales tool, and Web-Translations are extremely happy to be working with Polar Instruments on the translation and search engine submission of their website to international search engines.
As well as website localization Web-Translations are working with Polar Instruments to localize software applications used by the company and its clients across the Asia Pacific region. Downloads of programs used by both Polar Instruments and its clients will soon be available in Asian languages.
Web-Translations’ clients not only request professional translation and localization services, but consultancy to determine their future presence in foreign markets. Committing resources to multiple markets is a decision one must not make without considering all risks. Web-Translations has developed a Strategic Approach to localization that allows customers to test foreign markets with micro sites.
Only after gathering intelligent information will the client need to make a decision . This approach reduces the risk factor and allows management to calculate a realistic return on investment.
So far, this service is proving to deliver a win-win scenario to Web-Translations and customers alike.
This step-by-step approach gives Web-Translations a competitive edge. “While many other agencies are mostly doing translation for information, 80% of the material we translate is for publication. We are rapidly developing a strong reputation for excellent quality,” says Daniel Rajkumar, MD of Web-Translations Limited.