The impact of digital marketing disruption on the localization industry

Fiona Brindle
MultiLingual March 2017
Core Focus

It’s well known, even if it’s not evident to all decision-makers everywhere, that users don’t engage with websites that are not in their own language, and the average internet user expects more than just the necessary information to be translated. Supporting content such as product reviews, forums and FAQs are expected to be offered in multiple languages as well.

It’s not enough to merely translate a website as a one-off project and leave multilingual sites dormant for months, even years, while only updating the English language version. With only one in four users moving onto the second page of a search engine results list, and more non-organic content now appearing on results pages, the battle to make it to page 1 is tougher than ever. While search engine giants such as Google and Bing like to keep quiet about components that affect page ranking, it’s generally accepted that new or updated content signals an active website. Translating content such as blog posts, press releases and news alerts is just as important as the main website, if organic search engine optimization (SEO) is important to the business....

With the introduction of devices that connect seamlessly with other devices and humans, these innovative forms of communication pose a new challenge when it comes to language. Two-way communication platforms, where devices must be able to identify user’s accents and intonations in their voice, require advanced processes and methods of localization. For example, Apple’s voice recognition software Siri understands commands, questions and jokes in 15 languages and is designed to pick up regional dialects and accents. In the next few years, this technology will continue to advance, and what was once considered new and exclusive will soon become the norm.

It might seem like a minefield out there — the more content you create, the more you need to localize. That being said, there are tools and strategies available that can help to reduce your workload while maximizing translated output. These should become the focal point for marketing teams in particular — adopting the following methods as part of the overall strategy will allow for a more integrated localization process.

It should (but doesn’t always) go without saying that it’s imperative for any brand to know its market. Website analytics tools show the geographic location of website visitors and the language of their internet browser. This data is gold dust, a direct insight into a digital audience, which can help to shape strategic decisions. Using an existing customer database to research client locations will highlight any potential language gaps, as well as confirming what you may already know or suspect....