Nowadays more and more decisions can be based on data and facts. Big data has been the buzz word in the business world for quite some time. The language choice isn’t an exception. A company which has a website, web store or company profile in social media knows a lot about the visitors of its online property. This information can help in localization decisions.
Here are some sources of information to help you in deciding which languages are important to your business:
1. Website analytics
Basic website analytics tools reveal where the visitors are located. The internet is available worldwide, and people from everywhere can end up to your site. The fact that they come to your site reveals that you have something they might want or need. Although a huge part of the world population might be able to find your page using English or other foreign language, still the step from a visitor to a user or a customer is too big for most people when they can’t use their native language.
2. Online marketing
It’s highly recommended that you target any kind of online marketing (search engine marketing, display ads, social media marketing etc.) to the right audience. However, if do business internationally or seek new possibilities to grow, online marketing is a relatively cheap way to do some market researches. For example, Google Adwords show can show your ads to people who use a translated version of your keyword. By studying the actual and genuine search terms, you’ll get a good hint if there’s a promising demand existing in some language that isn’t amongst your current language selection.
When people write to you in their own languages it’s a clear signal. They probably want to use that language with your product too. If you repeatedly get emails in the same language consider it as a good option for a localization project.
4. Customer information
The contact information that most companies collect tell the locations of the customers. A systematic customer analysis helps to see all the possible hot spots and geographically important areas. There might also be a huge demand in some country which isn’t realized in your sales due to the language barrier. By comparing the customer map to the visitor map you’ll see if this is the case.
Customer feedback is a valuable source of information. Sometimes people tell if they’d like to have something in their own language. Some other times the feedback is written in a language that the writer prefer to use. It’s also possible that a negative feedback about the usability is caused by a language barrier. Thus it’s important both read the lines and between the lines.
Of course a localization decision can also be a strategic move and be based on other types of reasoning, but these five ways are good sources of information. If all the sources point to the same language, it’s time to act. Unfortunately, all the information isn’t available for everyone, and sometimes the different sources are less unambiguous. Still even the smallest hint help when you have no idea.
Did you know that 42% of people never use a foreign language when they search or buy things on the Internet? Learn more reasons why localization is vital to your business.