Converting the visitors with localized site

When people don’t convert as much as you’d like them to on your localized website, there are 5 things to consider before you give up on that market. Check them to find out where the bottle neck and make some improvements without spending a fortune.

When people say, “my site doesn’t perform well in Japan (or any foreign market)” or “people don’t sign up on our website”, often times I find that it’s the site (yes, your site), what is preventing from people to convert. Before you give up on the market, let’s do some research, review and understand where the bottle neck is.

1. Keywords
Are you targeting the right set of keywords? You’d be amazed how many search agencies out there still just translate the home language keywords and don’t bother doing a good keyword research in each market.
If you are not getting as much traffic as you expected, you may be going after wrong keywords.

2. Message
Is your site content truly localized by adopting the cultural differences? Translation companies usually don’t do this.
In some market, you may need to provide additional information, depending on the knowledge level against the services/products.
If you are getting good number of traffic, but not taking action(s) that you want them to make (clicking “order” button, etc.) to convert, there’s a good chance that they are not interested in your services/products or didn’t like what they saw on the page.

3. Conversion steps
Usually, the more steps you make people to take before the conversion points, the less they convert. You should make it as easy as possible for people to take the action (conversion point), and shouldn’t make them work so hard to do that.
Starting from the search results page, how many clicks and pages do you put people go through before they finally hit that “SEND” button? If you have the analytics tool set up correctly, you should be able to follow the path people took once they were on your site. It also shows the links people clicked. These data give you a good idea of where you lost them.

4. Being cheap on localization
Especially if you have a large site, it may not be realistic to localize the entire site at once. However, you want to localize those pages that people need to go through in order to convert.
I’ve seen some sites that make people go through un-localized pages to convert. If you land on one company’s English site and got order form in language you don’t understand after clicked “order” on English page, would you continue? Unlikely, right?

5. Consideration stage
People may not convert at first. Unless you are targeting the conversion stage keywords, it is likely that they may leave your site without converting the first time. It is important to understand your customer’s typical buying stages, product lead time, etc., and consider that when reading the website traffic/conversion data.