The 2015 State of Web Content Localization

Earlier this year, Lionbridge conducted a survey to glean insights on the state of web content localization.

More than 200 participants from 31 countries responded to our survey, and their responses yielded some interesting trends in regards to a web content localization approach, including opportunities that many participants aren’t yet taking advantage of that could enhance their business. We’re calling it the “state of website localization,” and we’ve highlighted key findings below.

> View the 2015 State of Website Localization Report

It’s all about customer experience

Respondents shared key focus areas of their web content localization process. To start, a majority already conduct web content localization, which is great to see, as it’s a key aspect of connecting with customers in specific global markets. Nearly all respondents (93 percent) translate product/services solutions pages; 69 percent translate campaign or landing pages, and marketing assets came in third.

Given these numbers, it’s no surprise that respondents overwhelmingly (83 percent) identified customer experience as the driver for developing a website localization strategy; localized content helps customers feel appreciated and improves their experience tremendously.

Many companies don’t have a localization strategy…

The survey revealed a major opportunity that not all businesses are currently taking advantage of: the need to develop a web content localization strategy with centralized quality assurance. Remarkably, nearly 40 percent of respondents say they do not currently have a web content localization strategy, and 13 percent of respondents handle localization requests on an ad hoc basis.

Considering 40 percent say they need content localized on a weekly basis, and an additional quarter of respondents need content localized monthly, this lack of a strategy is particularly puzzling.

Understandably, when asked about the most important aspects of website localization, a majority (56 percent) of respondents identified quality and accuracy as the top answer, followed by customer experience (34 percent); a related question found that respondents see translation quality as the top challenge of web localization.

…but they should develop one

Companies who do not currently have a localization strategy should seriously consider developing one. By addressing the regular cadence of localization needs in a centralized manner, companies can ensure that translation quality and brand consistency are maintained across a number of channels, languages, and projects.

Addressing localization needs on an ad hoc basis may make sense for small companies that irregularly localize content, but as the survey results show, a majority of respondents are localizing content for multiple markets in a regular cadence. Considering about half of respondents are considering expanding into additional markets, companies should focus on building a localization strategy to ensure the process is streamlined, consistent, and, most importantly, effective.

Overall, the survey provided helpful insights into customers’ challenges and opportunities with localization. Considering nearly half of all respondents have a regular cadence of content to localize, are considering expanding into new markets, and prioritize quality over all other aspects of localization, instituting a formalized strategy can help ease oversight and facilitation of multiple projects.

Additionally, moving away from an ad hoc localization approach could help cut costs, depending on the language service provider’s pricing models. Streamlining website localization services can ensure all content is addressed in an efficient and effective manner, to help brands stay engaged with customers and offer the best customer experience possible across all markets.

Download the website localization report