A recent article by the BBC highlighted that a single misspelling on your website can cost your business millions. As the article goes onto say, 99% of business on the web is still done through the written word. However, in today’s digital business ecosystem businesses also face the added complexity of doing business globally. Effectively selling to customers around the world requires the ability to speak their language. Many businesses find that using freelance translation services can help fill gaps in their existing team’s language experience without making a full-time hire. Whether your immediate priority is developing customized landing pages to convert international website traffic, using Spanish language SEO to grow a new market or vetting social media postings so they sound natural and friendly, here’s a closer look at creative ways translation services can help your digital business grow.
With machine translation ostensibly getting better every day, many companies ask the question “is it really necessary to hire a freelance translator?” Services like Google Translate and Babelfish play a key role in the translation technology ecosystem, but are those programs effective when you are building relationships and need to convert customers?
“One study of web users in the EU found that 90% preferred browsing sites in their native language, and that 44% felt they missed critical language when browsing a site not in their language of choice.”
When you’re trying to understand the gist of a foreign language document and a quick and dirty translation is enough, one of these technologies is sufficient. But in instances that require clarity and nuance, machine translations don’t offer the right level of precision. Some obvious examples include creative content such as taglines, sales copy and product descriptions where nuance is everything. Would you also want to risk it with legal document where awkward phrasing could result in a contract being unenforceable? Probably not.
If you look at your web analytics, you may notice that a significant percentage of traffic to your site is coming from another country. Conversions depend on the relevancy link between search terms and the content on the landing page that follows. If English isn’t the primary language of your traffic, could you improve sales and email newsletter sign ups by routing them to a localized landing page? Web localization technology allows you to divert traffic from a specific region to a translated language page. Use a freelance translator to help ensure that your localized content is high quality, professional, and optimized to resonate with your target audience.
“Web localization goes beyond just providing a quality user experience for your visitors and can become a viable customer acquisition strategy.”
For example if you are in a business that is very competitive and has a high cost for keywords you likely will not have the budget to compete with the 800lbs gorillas in your market. However, you may find that the cost for keywords and/or competition for organic traffic in Spanish language market for the same, keywords is minimal. By focusing on building sites and driving traffic in other language markets domestically or abroad, you can gain a leg up on your competitors and effectively build your brand with that demographic. When you add up all of the factors including the reduced cost to acquire new customers this strategy could be game changing for your business!
Does your business connect directly with consumers via email marketing, social media updates or blog posts? If so, hiring a translator with local expertise can help you deliver timely materials to specific segments of your audience. For example, if some of your customers are located in Mexico, it’s possible to do a Cinco de Mayo promotion or messaging around the holiday. Offering content that’s relevant to your customers’ day to day lives deepens your relationship with them, while building your brand’s authority and likeability. Local translation experts can help you determine the right messaging for a specific event, or identify an effective talking points around a holiday.
Overcome cultural barriers
Human translators can address cultural and colloquial challenges to translation; machines can’t. Automated translation often fails to address cultural barriers when words are translated verbatim. One popular example is the English to Spanish translation of “I am full” which can be taken in colloquial Spanish to mean “I am pregnant.”
“A good translation helps you create an effective brand image, and avoid costly cultural gaffes in foreign markets.”
Many new language learners have ended a good meal on an awkward note. Similarly, Chevy’s Nova was no-go (No Va in Spanish doesn’t build a lot of confidence in the quality of a car). Human translation bypasses these awkward moments by ensuring that local linguistic idiosyncrasies are taken into account when translating your content.
Well Translated Banner Ads = Higher CTR
Banner ads are still one of the biggest forms of internet advertising. In just a few words, it’s crucial to convey your brand’s image, a clever concept, or a powerful call to action to get viewers to take action. If your banner ads are not translated, then you’re wasting valuable advertising dollars. If you’re paying by impressions, thousands of people may be seeing your ads without understanding them. If you’re paying for clicks, you’re likely paying for unqualified leads. By hiring an experienced translator that can take the concept behind your ad and skillfully translate it into the local language, your ROI and conversion rates will improve and mirror that of your traditional campaigns.
Increasingly, businesses rely on talent around the world to quickly build and scale their businesses. As a result, it’s important to have contracts and other company documentation localized. For example, here at MyCrowd we hired Ukranian developers to build some software for us. The Ukranian government requires all contracts to be written in Ukranian. Our solution, we developed the contract in English and then hired freelance translators to translate it into Ukranian so that both parties could be satisfied. The flexibility to use freelance translators to facilitate this aspect of doing business globally ensures that our communication with partners is fluid and tour legal interests are represented. Using freelancers helps bypass the need to make local hires in every new market that you’re considering partnerships with.
The digital business world is global by its very nature. Words are the currency that help you effectively do business. Whether you’re working to build a strong brand image in a new market or develop the contracts and infrastructures to work with partners overseas, freelance translation services can help you meet your business goals quickly, efficiently, and affordably. Finding and hiring great translators is easy with with an abundance of high end services and global platforms like MyCrowd or oDesk which lists freelancers of all types available for hire. Let us know your thoughts on how you use a translator effectively in the comments below!