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If you are in the hotel business, you must have noticed that the competition is growing fiercer each year. Hoteliers usually have to cope with the low seasons and keep up with new marketing strategies to cope with growing competition from other providers of accommodations. Attracting new customers to your hotels is a never-ending endeavor. Also consider the following:
· 57% of all travel and tourism bookings are made online.
· 47% of web users don’t speak English
· About 75% of consumers only buy online in their own language
That’s why translating your hotel website into different languages is so important. It also means that you are missing booking opportunities if you don’t have your website available in more than one language. By presenting your site content in languages that your future guests can understand, you’ll have a better chance of standing out and getting those international bookings.
The Chinese market is a prime example. Chinese residents are currently the most powerful travel market in the world. In 2019 (pre-COVID) alone, they made over 150 million trips abroad. Now, when you consider that less than 10% of the Chinese population speaks English, you need to realize that it is a huge market that you could be missing out on.
Here are four reasons to translate your hotel website and some suggestions on how to make it happen in the most efficient way possible.
1. International guests will stimulate your business
As a hotelier, you have probably already established what your high and low seasons are for domestic customers. As you know, the low seasons can be long, gloomy times when you will have very few guests. Reaching the international market is a foolproof solution to minimize this problem. Each country has different working periods and vacation periods. For example, Chinese tourists usually travel overseas on their national holiday on October 1st. Now, this is typically a period of little tourism within European countries.
Translating your website means reaching a wider customer base and perhaps what you offer will encourage more and more international customers to stay at your hotel. This is an excellent solution for your profits so as not to miss out on off-season domestic tourism and avoid periods of drought.
2. You will be among the top competitors in the hospitality industry
As mentioned above, the tourism and hotel industry are growing more fiercely at an exorbitant rate, which is quite logical in an industry worth trillions of dollars. You may be tempted to think that you can get away with not translating your website. After all, 20% of the world’s population speaks English, right? Furthermore, we cannot deny that it is the most widely spoken language you find online.
However, there is one small detail that may escape you. Most people who speak English have learned it as a second language.
There’s more. 9 out of 10 online users said they prefer to browse websites in their own language if possible. Not only that, but 42% of e-commerce customers will not purchase services or products from a “monolingual” website.
Just do the math. If your website isn’t translated, you could lose a significant number of sales.
Statistics also show that potential customers from non-English speaking countries prefer to pay higher rates at hotels that have website content available in their native language.
Ultimately, having a monolingual website will only make you fall behind in the race against other hotels that have their content translated.
3. Translation can bring SEO benefits
As mentioned above, around 57% of hotel bookings are made online every year.
Taking these numbers into account, the visibility of your website is key to attracting more customers to your hotel. Now, the best way to get good exposure is to make sure your site appears in search engine results when potential customers are looking for a place to stay.
Translating your website can boost your SEO in several ways. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
First, targeting keywords in different languages ??can help you improve your ranking. Searching for keywords in the languages ??that are most popular with your target audience will help you improve appearance results for non-English searches.
Another way to positively influence your SEO is to create separate pages for content in different languages. This way Google can crawl and index your site accurately for a higher ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Having separate pages for content in each of the languages ??you target is much better than accumulating content in multiple languages ??on the same page, which, by the way, is often penalized by Google search bots.
For this strategy to work, you will need to take serious SEO best practices on your site. This includes optimizing for search after you’ve translated your content, not before.
4. Localization can increase conversions
People in the translation industry know that there is a clear difference between translation and the localization of your website. Along with translation, localization is a key strategy that takes things to the next level and considers the cultural background and preferences of your guests in order to give them the best site experience.
87% of travelers looking for a place to stay are more likely to book a room on a website that offers them a personalized experience. For international customers, this experience must include localization.
You are probably wondering what the notable difference is between translation and localization. Well, translation only takes care of your content. Localization will include anything from editing images, to changing the way text is displayed, for example Arabic is spelled backwards, or just having a language selector with the language name, not just the flag of the village.
About the author: David Grunwald is the Managing Director of GTS Translation, a leading online document translation services company.