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eMarketer expects there to be 3.12 billion internet users worldwide in 2015, representing year-over-year growth of 6.7% and 43.0% of the population. By 2019, 51.5% of consumers globally—or 3.89 billion people—will access the internet from any location via any device at least monthly. Widespread internet usage means corporations targeting consumers in various markets must localize their sites. Recent research finds that nearly two-thirds of companies globally are doing just that.
Among business professionals polled worldwide in February 2015 by Lionbridge, 62.3% said their companies had a website localization strategy, with customer experience and brand recognition the biggest drivers for doing so.
Simply translating text and swapping out a few images isn’t enough for localizing websites. Quality and accuracy was the most critical aspect of website localization for respondents, cited by 40%. And customer experience came up once again, ranking as the second most important aspect. Far fewer respondents were concerned about revenues, price and time.
Respondents were localizing a multitude of website content. Product and service solution pages were the most popular by a long shot, cited by 93%. Campaign or landing pages; marketing assets such as ebooks, solution briefs and white papers; and announcements, news and PR were each cited by more than half of respondents. Other localized content included video and audio/multimedia, events and trade shows and blogs.
Localizing content isn’t a one-and-done process; just like with a company’s main website, updates must be frequent. Respondents’ companies were most likely to need content localized weekly, cited by 40%, and an additional 13% biweekly. More than one-quarter needed content localized monthly, while just 16% required less frequent bimonthly or quarterly updates.
Who’s managing all of this? Lionbridge found that respondents were most likely to rely on one location and/or department to handle website localization requests, cited by six in 10, and that group was most likely to be marketing, at 53.5% of respondents.
With internet usage widespread, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for websites. Businesses that want to reach customers globally must localize their sites, focusing on quality and frequent updates.
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