Nearly one-half of large U.S. website decision makers have translated content on their sites into another language to optimise for international search, suggesting solid recognition for the evolving global marketplace.
By contrast, fewer than one-quarter of these same decision makers have engaged in localisation or adapting site content to a specific language, country, or culture by taking into account nuances such as local terminology and consumers' preferences.
However, European marketers are leaving their U.S. counterparts lagging behind. They are more likely to use or plan to use international search tactics such as language and location targeting.
The relatively smaller size of European marketers' home markets and the proximity of foreign markets make the international piece an important part of many search campaigns.
These findings are outlined in a new report published by JupiterResearch, ‘International Search: Benchmarking the Global Search Marketer’, and focus on the ever increasing need for marketers to do more than simply translate content.
The warning for search marketers is that they must build the localisation piece into their campaigns or risk misallocating their globalisation spending.
"True localisation, rather than just translation, is essential to international search," explained Vice President Zia Daniell Wigder, lead analyst of the report.
"Direct translations of a site are unlikely to include the most commonly used search terms, resulting in a site that can be understood by the local audience but may receive little traffic if it fails to appear in search results."
President of JupiterResearch, David Schatsky, added that localisation can add significant costs to simple translation efforts, but this next step is becoming increasingly necessary.
He concluded, “The unfortunate thing is that more U.S. marketers than those in Europe do not fully understand the need.
"The simple truth is U.S. marketers risk leaving substantial revenues on the table if they fail to look beyond basic language translation."
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