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Localisation not translation is key for export companies

Multilingual Web Marketing agency WebCertainMultilingual Web Marketing Agency WebCertain warns that export companies could be failing to reach their potential in international markets because they rely simply on translating their websites, rather than localising them for the individual markets and cultures.

Now, more than ever, organisations are looking to enter new markets and widen their customer base in an attempt to fight the recession and encourage growth. Global internet usage is constantly increasing and the internet is fast becoming a one stop shop for many users. They discover, research and ultimately buy products/services through the web, and therefore it is essential that any company promoting itself online communicates effectively with each target market.

By failing to accurately localise their websites, from both a linguistic and cultural point of view, export companies are at risk of excluding numerous possible customers. This can often result in a misunderstanding of what the product/service offering is or a lack of confidence in the quality and reliability of the organisation itself.

Andy Atkins-Krüger, Managing Director of WebCertain highlights several issues export companies must consider when carrying out international online marketing:

• Thorough keyword research is essential to ensure your website will show up in the most relevant search engine results and achieve high conversion rates. The language used in web searches often differs from language used in speech or dictionary translations so it is vital that you understand the language used by you audience and target those terms.

• Not everything needs translating – whilst some countries, such as Iceland, will always use terms from their own language, others like Germany will often use the English terms – especially when it comes to technical and internet related topics.

• Customers need to feel 100% confident when actually making an online purchase, so things which seem simple such as prices, currencies and checkout terms and conditions must not only be correctly translated but also presented in a format which is recognisable and appropriate to them – and this can differ significantly from country to country

Andy says, “It is these kind of oversights and omissions which can be the downfall of companies trying to trade in overseas markets yet they are easy to avoid. Combining SEO expertise with native knowledge of the language will result in websites which are appropriate for humans and search engines alike, and which will play a major role in the international success of an organisation.”

WebCertain’s International Search Summit will offer a greater insight into the challenges of international SEO, with global search experts from around the world offering advice on the best way to tackle them. The Summit, held at the British Library, London on 19th November, would offer valuable insights for exporters as they try to engage with the international online community.

Tickets can be bought at the early bird price of £140 until 31sr July at

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