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Unlocking Global Markets: The Power of Website Translation

Unlocking Global Markets: The Power of Website Translation
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In the age of globalisation, businesses face the challenge and opportunity of engaging a diverse and widespread customer base. One key tool in this pursuit is a multilingual website. Not only does it break language barriers, but it also communicates respect and understanding for local cultures. This article explores the potential impact of translating your website and the associated costs, ultimately addressing the question: is it worth it?

Translating Your Website: The Investment

The cost of translating a website can vary significantly, influenced by factors such as the number of languages, the complexity of the content, and the translation method used. As a general rule, professional translation services charge per word. Rates can range from £0.08 to £0.25 per word, depending on the language and level of expertise required. This means translating a small business website of around 10,000 words into one additional language could cost anywhere from £800 to £2,500.

There’s also the option of machine translation services, which are less costly, and sometimes even free. However, they can’t guarantee the same level of accuracy and contextual understanding that human translators provide. This is particularly critical when translating marketing content, where nuance and cultural understanding can make all the difference.

The Potential Revenue Boost

So, how can translating your website impact your bottom line? In a nutshell, the broader your reach, the greater your potential customer base.

Data suggests that customers are more likely to make a purchase if the information is provided in their native language. A study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language, and 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites.

Let’s take an example. Assume your product sells for £50, and your conversion rate (the percentage of website visitors who make a purchase) is 1%. If translating your website into another language draws an additional 10,000 visitors per month, that’s 100 new customers and £5,000 in additional monthly revenue — a sum that could easily cover the cost of translation.

Calculating Return on Investment

When considering the return on investment (ROI) for website translation, looking beyond the immediate figures is essential. While it may take several sales to cover initial translation costs, the long-term benefits often surpass this initial outlay.

For instance, a well-translated website can significantly enhance your brand image and customer loyalty, which can lead to repeat purchases and referrals — factors that don’t directly translate into immediate sales but contribute to sustained revenue growth over time.

In our example above, if just 10% of those 100 new customers become repeat customers, that’s an additional £500 in revenue each month, or £6,000 per year, from just one additional language. This doesn’t take into account the potential for even greater traffic increases or the impact of translating your website into multiple languages.

Is it Worth It?

So, is website translation worth the cost? While the answer will vary depending on your specific circumstances, for many businesses looking to expand globally, the answer is a resounding yes.

If you’re selling a high-ticket item, a single sale could recoup your translation investment. For lower-cost items, volume is key; it may take hundreds of sales to cover the cost. However, the increased market reach, enhanced brand image, and potential for repeat business make website translation a valuable investment for long-term growth.

Before diving in, consider your target markets, the languages they speak, and the potential return on investment. Consult with a professional translation agency to understand your options and how to maximise your global impact. Remember, the world is your marketplace — make sure it understands what you’re selling.