Why You Really Need to Get Your Website Translated

If you are considering having your website translated and wondering what kind of return you might see on such an investment, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Search engines

If you translate your site into the language of your target market, you increase the likelihood of your website ranking highly in local search results.  Search engines tend to prioritize sites in the local language and will rank them more highly.  Also, many users will set search criteria to their language, so if your site is not translated, it may not show up at all to those users.


Research from the indicates that people are as much as six times more likely to purchase from a website that they can read in their native language.  In fact, they are often prepared to spend more on a product that offers information in their mother tongue!  A report on global consumer buying preferences looked at more than 2,400 consumers from non-English speaking countries and found that over half (52.4%) of those surveyed buy only from websites where the product pages are presented in their own language.

Think about it, would you buy a product from a site that is only in Norwegian, or Farsi? Translating your site into the native language of your target market makes it easy for visitors to navigate your site and stay in the sales funnel all the way to buying, instead of leaving to search for your competitor either because they don’t trust you or because they aren’t able to understand all of the information on your site.

It’s More than Just Web Pages Though …..

Before you take the leap, take a holistic view of localising your company.  If you translate your website, but not your support emails or other aspects of your business, you may find yourself alienating that segment of your market.  You may not be able to comprehensively localise every aspect of your business right from the beginning, but you can and should manage expectations by letting your visitors and customers know that your customer service or other interactions you have with them are currently only available in English and let them know you are working on changing that.

Read our blog post on localising your business for more information, or give us a call on 0115 871 4994

Photo Credit: Sarah Joy on Flickr

Website Localisation – it’s More Than Just Translation!

If you have never exported your goods or services and are thinking about doing so, you may have encountered the idea of localisation. While it sounds like the opposite of globalisation, it’s related to translation. Instead of simply translating your content from one language to another, localisation goes several steps further, and involves every aspect of your business, from the technical and financial, to the marketing and customer service.

Brand translation

When you’re talking about marketing, a straight across translation is typically not sufficient to create real engagement with your offshore customers. Think about all of the work that goes into carefully creating your English copy, with attention grabbing titles, catchy slogans, and engaging stories. The same attention to all the little details needs to go into your translation, so that your titles are just as attention grabbing, your slogans as catchy, and your stories as engaging to your overseas customer as they are to your domestic customers. It is very important to us that we work closely with your marketing team so that our translators can get a thorough grasp of your brand, and your key message, so they can translate your materials in a way that resonates with your offshore customers just like it does with your local customers

Develop a smooth customer experience

Aside from your website, packaging, and other obvious areas where your customers interact with your brand, how have you adapted your other other aspects of your brand? Have you adapted your images to ones that are culturally relevant to your target audience? What about the currency? Are visitors able to interact with your social media presence in their native language? What about customer support emails? Do you have customer service available in their language? Creating that smooth customer experience is vital to making certain that your customers stick with you.

Evaluating the cost vs the return on investment

The primary drive to expand your business into new markets is so that you can access a greater audience, increase your sales and revenue, expand your brand, and eventually, increase your profits. Many companies underestimate how much it will cost them to expand their business into overseas markets and translation is only one aspect to consider. Your marketing team will need to work on offline materials for your overseas customers. Your IT and web development teams will be working on creating new online materials, including marketing content, landing pages, and shopping cart software. Your legal team will need to research local laws affecting your products and services. Developing a comprehensive localisation strategy that covers all of the aspects of your business and more will give you a better idea of how much the expansion will cost and how long it will take to implement the strategy. This will also allow you to prioritise tasks and stagger them so as to avoid cash flow issues. It also gives you an idea of what kind of sales flow and customer count you need to recoup your investment and to make your expansion profitable over time.

Lastly, keep in mind that localisation is not something you do once and forget about; it’s a continuous effort to provide outstanding customer service to all of your customers, wherever they may live, and to keep your content up to date and interesting. Granted, the initial localisation effort is the biggest and the greatest cost is in the beginning, but you should be allocating a portion of your annual budget to maintain your efforts.

If you need more information regarding translation, transcreation, native tongue copywriting, or localisation in general, please drop us a line.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderw0rks on Flickr

You CAN Have Effective Online Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

How to boost your online business without spending a fortune

If you follow the news on TV, the internet or the paper, you’ve no doubt run into the common wisdom that times are tough.  You have probably felt it yourself when you check your bank balance or paid your bills.  If you run a small business or make your living through a home based venture, perhaps business has been a little slow lately.  You may even have considered quitting and looking for a traditional job in that same paper or local news website.  Before you do, take a little time to give the following tips a chance to bring new customers your way through online marketing.

Optimise your site for both search engines and people

When business slows down and people don’t seem to be finding you, there are two potential culprits.  The first possibility is that people aren’t finding you because you aren’t showing up high enough when they search for your keywords.  The second possibility is that they don’t feel like your content is relevant to them and are not persuaded to do business with you.  Both of these problems can be resolved by an agency that specializes in SEO, and more affordably than most people expect.

Establish a solid online presence

It does not take a great deal of money to find success online, but it does take a little more than a great idea and ambition.  You need to establish an online business presence that potential customers can connect with and recognize.  This is a strategy that should be in easy reach of even small home businesses.  Take a little time to develop an image that showcases the important aspects of your business, and be sure this image is reflected in everything you do, from your website and blog posts, to your business card and stationery.

Engage with your customers online

Blog posts, brand pages and social media platforms are just a few of the many ways you can reach out to your customers online.  The beauty of marketing your business online is that you can get great results spending as much or as little as you want because many platforms are free to use.  While online marketing may not necessarily require a monetary investment, you need to be willing to invest a little time.  Done well, engaging with your audience in this two-way medium allows you to not only gain exposure, but also helps you find out what your customers really want.  You don’t necessarily need a professionally brilliant strategy to win at online marketing, just a little thought, a bit of initiative and a dash of creativity, and and you can develop a strategy that is inexpensive, realistic, measurable, and effective.

Photo Credit: “My Twitter Followers Mosaic” (CC BY 2.0) by MattJhsn

Are “No-follow” Links valuable for SEO?

Effective SEO involves building links from other websites to your own. There are lots of ways to build links, many of them wrong. But there are only two types of links, known as follow and no-follow.

What exactly do these terms mean? Both types of links appear similar to users, the difference is in how they show up to web crawlers. No-follow links are coded with instructions for web crawlers not to follow the link.

The debate over no-follow links

There are some who believe that no-follow links are useless in terms of SEO and that it is pointless to put any effort into into getting no-follow links from 3rd party sites. This isn’t entirely accurate, though, and here’s why.

It’s unclear whether search engines pay any attention to no-follow links, but there is evidence that Google does place at least some weight on no-follow links, provided the link meets certain criteria, such as being from a highly-ranked and relevant site. There is, however, some experts differ in their opinions on this.

Even if they don’t influence search engines, even a no-follow link, if it’s in the right place, will still go a long way toward raising awareness of your site, product or service. If a no-follow link brings extra business, then it’s not exactly pointless. A positive review of your site is going to bring visitors, whether it makes any difference with search engines or not.

Once your site is noticed and written about by one person, the chances increase that others will notice you, because of that one popular blog that included a no-follow link to your site. The more people who notice you, the more links you’ll get, and some of them will be follow links.

So if you’ve been working hard to earn some links to your site and you find that some of them are no-follows, there’s no need to stress yourself out about it. There is evidence that search engines still notice, and even if they don’t, people will.

Photo Credit: “Google Logo in Building43” (CC BY 2.0) by Robert Scoble


5 easy ways to improve your Digital Marketing Strategy

For a company to stay alive in today’s market, every company needs some kind of advantage.  Don’t let your competitors get to your potential customers and clients before you do!  Follow these easy steps to upgrade your business and attract more customers than ever before.

1. Employ social media

Love it or hate it, many of your potential customers use at least one social media platform frequently, most of them several times a day.  If you want to increase your customer base, it is vital that you have at least one active social media account.  More than one is better, just be sure you don’t get stretched too thin.  Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are some of the most popular.

2. Entice new customers with freebies

There are countless website that collect free offers and deliver them to readers, just proving that everyone loves to get something for free.  Be it a free sample of a new product, coupons, or limited time discounts, free or lower priced products can attract customers like a magnet.

3. Establish a community presence

Participating in community events, demonstrations and local meetings can be a great way to get your business name out to a local audience.  Offering prizes at local shows can be an incredibly effective way to get the attention of your target market on a local level, and you may even be able to get free or heavily discounted advertising in connection with the event.  Associating your business with local events can go far to build your local customer base.

4. Don’t forget printed media

With all the emphasis on social media, it can be easy to forget that people do still listen to radio and read newspapers, magazines and brochures and that traditional media is still a good way to get your message heard.  Be sure to include your website prominently in any advertising.  Don’t go to an extreme with graphics and information.  Keep it simple and drive customers to your home on the web.

5. Find an expert

There are many experts in the areas of online and social media marketing competing for your business and many of them can help you maximize your marketing efforts, reach your target market more efficiently and increase your customer base.  While it is entirely possible for you to do it on your own, it takes hours of work and research to learn all the tips and tricks to get the most out of your efforts, it makes much more sense to hire a company that already has the skills to offer you the best marketing strategy for your business.

Be sure to find a company that has experience in your particular business.  You may need to talk to several companies before you find one that will work with you to get you where you want to be.

Photo Credit: “Growing Social Media” (CC BY 2.0) by mkhmarketing

Getting the best from Facebook Advertising

For some online businesses Facebook advertising would seem to be the perfect solution. After all, for very little money, businesses can reach millions of Facebook users, engaging with them in real-time and forging lasting relationships. A stream of repeat business, and the creation of online ambassadors for your brand, can be the result when this type of advertising is effectively used.

Of course, the use of Facebook advertising is not without its pitfalls. One big problem is “click farms.” Facebook has a copious amount of click farms; profiles that were developed for the mere reason of selling likes. While you can purchase 1,000 likes for a mere £5, realistic marketers know that the money put forth for this to happen is pretty fruitless.

With your page on Facebook you should be aiming to build an engaged audience. The problem is that many unsuspecting Facebook marketers will use advertising to bring likes from the click farms. The click farms will like everything they come across but that’s all. They aren’t real people so no interaction will ever take place. Basically, it means Facebook advertisers are paying money for robot likes that are meaningless.

How to build a real Facebook audience

Have Clearly Defined Goals

The first thing you must do is take a look at the basics of your marketing and decide whom your audience is. This should be done for all campaigns – regardless of what type of campaign it is. After all, advertising indiscriminately wastes both resources and time. Be sure you have a clearly-defined campaign with goals that are also clearly defined. Don’t just build an audience just to have an audience.

Target Your Audience

The good thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can target certain types of people. You can target by:

• Interests
• Hobbies
• Employment
• Location
• Age
• Gender

Targeting people may also be done by life events. For instance, if you have a wedding business, you can reach those people who have recently got engaged. If your business deals with baby products, you can reach people who are pregnant or have just recently had a baby. The location method of targeting people is good if you’re trying to expand your reach in your own town or are testing the water for new markets. If you are based in Nottingham, you can choose to also target customers in Derby, Leicester an the rest of the East Midlands for example.

Once you’ve broken down your audience by their respected groups, you can start targeting them. You may have a broad customer base, but a series of parallel advertisements that are different from one group to the next, allows you to “speak” to your targeted markets and focus on what they’re looking for. This allows you to closely watch the responses and use that information at a later date – in more advertisements.

After that, you’ll need to get into the social media’s manager advanced settings to set the target audience up. While the initial cost is going to be a little higher, you’ll end up, overall, saving yourself a lot of money.

Choose The Location If Nothing Else

If there’s nothing else you do with Facebook advertising, choose a location that you want the advertisements to run in. For instance, your location should be set to certain towns. If your business operates around the world, choose a list of countries you’d like to have your advertisements be shown in. Keep in mind that there are some exceptions. Click farms generally operate out of Bangladesh, India, Mexico and Pakistan – avoid these when you can.

After you’ve gotten your advertisement up and running, you’ll need to professionally manage it. Be sure you keep an eye on the people who like your page, making changes when needed. It’s important to understand that Facebook is a very useful marketing platform for businesses. But, if done incorrectly, it can be quite costly too. Be sure that, for the sake of your business and your sanity, that it’s done right the first time out.

Photo: Image courtesy of Marco Paköeningrat on Flickr

Give your website the X Factor with these Top 10 Tips!

In days past, customers would meet you first at your work premises, the physical location where you ply tyour trade; this is no longer the case. Your customers meet you first at your website. They thoroughly check you out and then make a decision to visit your office, shop, or restaurant. If you have a website that wows they might just make an immediate purchase.

Now that the Internet is so easily accessible everywhere, even from tablets and smart phones, while at play or work, it is likely that most people will take a look at your website when they do a Google search for your kind of service or product.

When they come to your site they will immediately begin to form an opinion about you. They will look to see whether you are credible, whether your business has value, can they trust you, are you approachable, do you appear to be invested in your own brand, and finally they will make the decision to have a business relationship with you or not.

In their minds, when they take a look at your site, if it does not appear that you care enough to invest in your online business presence, why should they?

When you’re constructing your website, it is important for you to keep in mind that your online presence is also where you start to build trust with your customers. You must consider how your site looks. Does it have the right feel? Does it convey the same message as your product? Does your website go far enough to solve your customer’s problems?

Even more important, will your site persuade them that you are the business they want to work with or buy from? Will they be convinced enough to tell their friends about your business?

By following these top 10 tips, you can ensure your online presence translates into credibility and sales, along with long-term customers and relationships:

1. A Good Web Design is a Good Investment

This may well be the best investment you make. A study of over 5000 people, conducted by Stanford Web Credibility Research, revealed that the way a website looked was absolutely the most important factor when it came to establishing credibility.

2. Always Remember the Customer

This may be hard to believe, but your website is not about your business. Your website needs to be geared to what your business can do for your customer. It is extremely important that your website is easy to use and has the right feel; this is even more important than how it looks. Both elements of course will be taken into consideration by a good web designer. He will create a site that not only gives a tremendous first impression but, likewise, makes it easy for the user to navigate.

3. You Must Be Reliable

In order to build trust with your customers you must always say what you mean and mean what you say. Never over-promise or exaggerate your product or service; doing so can lead to under-delivering and letting your customers down. When this occurs they will not come back. It is better to avoid all marketing and promotional type speaking whenever possible; you just need to tell the truth. You’ll find that people are more likely to trust you and appreciate you when they hear your refreshing honesty.

4. Always Be Professional

In order to set yourself apart, you must always act and look like you know what you’re doing. Just like you can tell when someone has fear in their voice, it is just as easy to pick up on enthusiasm and passion. When answering questions, always be helpful and positive. If you have further information, give it freely; in this way you can position yourself as an expert in your industry; people can tell when you know your stuff. When people see your confidence, it will inspire trust, and trust drives sales.

5. Your Domain Name Matters

Before your customer even gets to your website, they are already judging your credibility. This is why acquiring your own domain name is of paramount importance. This will help you to rank better in search results, which in turn, will make people more willing to click the link to your site. The more people to click to your site, the higher your rankings in the search results; the higher the ranking, the more clicks you’ll get, and it just keeps growing. You also need to make sure your email fits your brand.

6. Customers Love Reviews, Use Them!

If you are receiving positive feedback from peers and industry commentators, or from customers, by all means use them. You will want to post links of what people are saying about you. The use of reviews from independent and credible people is important to customers. You may want to have a dedicated section within your website to showcase your testimonials and references, or you may choose to put a short quote, which is verifiable, on each page.

7. Bring Your Off-Line Business Online

If your business is only a brick-and-mortar business, creating galleries can give a real feel to your customers of what to expect from your business. In order to show off your restaurant, shop, or business in its best light, it is a good idea to invest in a professional photographer to get those perfect shots. Remember: the idea is for potential customers to want to come through your business doors. That is what a good design is all about.

8. Your Website Should Indicate That You are People Oriented

If you want people to call you on the phone and talk with your associates, you need to show them off. Use flattering pictures and fun biographies so customers can see your company is made up of real people. You should include an email address; you want to make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you. These pictures and biographies can be great motivational tools, as it helps to bring out the personality of your business, and will give your associates a real sense of belonging. It also becomes a useful tool to locate expertise within your business. By showing your customers your credentials, outlining your experience, showing your track records, and qualifications you will build confidence in your organisation. Social networking has become a large part of online business. If you are able to get your team Facebooking and Tweeting, that is even better. You will find if your associates love working with you, so will your customers.

9. Keep Your Website Fresh

There are a multitude of abandoned blogs and websites throughout the Internet, and they do not rank well at all. You must make updating your Facebook, Twitter, Website, and Blog a priority. Creating and finding new content should always be on your “to do” list. Make your content relevant, current, interesting, fun and engaging whenever possible.

10. Make Sure You Website Works

If you want to stop sales, nothing will do it faster than a slow download or a link that is broken. You will be creating an entirely wrong impression if your site is full of bad imagery and a multitude of spelling mistakes. This, of course, brings us back to number one in our list: you must invest in a good design!

If, after looking at the above tips, you are still unconvinced as to how a well-designed and easy to use website will make a substantial difference to your bottom line, you really need to be talking to us at Zoom Planet.

Photo: Image courtesy of William Hook on Flickr

3 Reasons to Take Mobile Web Seriously

With the development of smart phones and tablets, the mobile web is becoming increasingly popular, and there is tons of data to show just how popular it has become.  For any company, regardless of industry or market, mobile websites are crucial to online success.

As persuasive as the statistics may be, for many business owners they are just a bunch of meaningless numbers.  There are many great reasons to pay attention to the mobile web, but three reasons in particular stand out.

1.  Mobile traffic might have a greater impact than you thought

Most business owners don’t realise just how much of their traffic comes from mobile devices.  Many people do still use PCs and laptop frequently, but more and more people use smart phones and other mobile devices to access the internet, especially on the go.  As mobile technology becomes more usable, this will only increase.

If you doubt this, go check your statistics for your website.  Go ahead, we’ll wait.  It’s very likely that you receive more traffic from computers than mobile devices, but it is equally likely that traffic from mobile devices accounts for a significant percentage of your visitors.  If your website is difficult to read on a mobile device, you may be alienating that whole section of your audience.

2.  It can be critical for customer satisfaction

Customers have certain expectations of companies they do business with.  This has been true through all of history and will always be true, for all industries.

As technology improves, customer expectations are changing as well.  Today, customers expect to be able to comfortably read and navigate your website, regardless of what kind of technology they are using to access it.

Fail to provide a website that is easy to use on all platforms, and at best you will disappoint your customers, at worst you could drive them away and give them a negative perception of your brand.

3.  Ignoring the mobile web and put you behind the competition

Today’s global neighbourhood means that companies are now able to compete with each other from across the globe instead of just across town.  As a result, it is vital that you do everything possible to stay on top.

A mobile website alone won’t keep you on top, but not having one can can be devastating.  Customers trying to access your non-mobile site on a mobile device will see your company as verging on outdated and could head to your competition.  Now imagine the opposite situation, you have a nice sleek mobile website and your main competitor doesn’t, all else being equal, guess who gets the customer?

Regardless of your thoughts on the mobile web, a significant portion of your potential audience is using it.  If you are trying to make your online presence as powerful as possible, a mobile website is crucial.

Photo: Image courtesy of Johann Larsson on Flickr

Turning website visitors into customers

Website owners can often fall into the trap of becoming so obsessed with the number of visitors the sire receives that they forget about delivering a positive experience to those that do show up. This is especially true if you own a site that sells high-ticket items. You need to ensure that the customer is comfortable and trusts all the information on your pages if you want them to buy.

How to convert a visitor into a paying customer

Here are 5 tips that will help you make it happen more often than not:

1. It pays to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing with their online business. This doesn’t mean that you should run in and copy the successful sites, but it does mean that you should look for their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what works will help you gain the attention of the search engines and the visitors they send your way.

2. Information really is where your site will live or die. The more reasons you can give your visitors for making a purchase, the more likely thy will be to buy. Your conversion rates will soar if you can give away valuable information for free.

3. Visitors pay real attention to the experiences of your previous customers. Ask happy customers to leave a review or send referrals you way, as that is a great way to create new sales.

4. If you want to stay current and credible, make sure that the information on your website is fresh and relevant. If people are happy with what you offer, they will return, so give them valid reasons to purchase again when they do return.

5. Your website is perhaps your best sales and marketing tool, but it is not the only one. When using other marketing methods, you need to make sure that the message and brand you build on your website is consistent across all mediums.

The most effective ways to measure website performance.

There are plenty of tools available that will give you some real insight into how well your site is performing. Google offers analytics and website tools that should be accessed regularly in order for you to see if you need to make some tweaks to your marketing efforts.

1. Bounce rate – This is a great way to see how many of your visitors are arriving at your site and leaving quickly or only looking at a single page. If you have a high bounce rate, it will affect your search engine ranking.

2. Acquisition – This lets you know where your visitors are coming from when they land at your website. This lets you know where you should direct more of your efforts in terms of marketing your pages:

a. Organic visitors are those that come via a search engine

b. Referrals are those that come from other websites

c. Social media visitors arrive via Facebook, Twitter, or one of the other social media sites

d. Direct visitors will arrive directly using your URL

3. Search queries – This lets you know all the search terms that have been used to find your website, which can really help you cater your message so that more people find you.

Photo: Image courtesy of Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

How to design a fantastic logo for your business

There have been many books and articles written about the logo design process, yet it is still a subject that is open to much debate. A logo that looks great to one person may look terrible to another person. That is why logotype development can be such a controversial process.

You only have to think back a couple of years for a great example of how a logo design can polarise opinion quite strongly. The London Olympics of 2012 were a great success but the design of the logo received a much more mixed reaction. Many people hated it and, for some, it was the “London 2012 Olympic Logo Disaster

How to design a fantastic logo

Putting together a fantastic logo design is far from simple, but sticking to the few tips that we discuss below will help ensure that you end up with something memorable. Let’s take a look at some of the most important elements of great logo design:

Consider your target audience

The best kind of logo is one that the target audience finds to be appealing. The way that your audience perceives your company can be shown in the design of your logo. Something that you should consider before starting the design process is doing some research within your target audience so that you can get an idea of what they would like to see. This makes sense when you consider the importance of your brand. Creating a logo that goes against the message you are trying to deliver can be a little confusing to the people you are trying to reach.

Sketch your ideas

A big part of the conceptualisation process takes place when you start sketching your logo ideas.

The best way to do this is to commit your ideas to paper before you start tinkering with design programs on your computer. Even the designer that make their living creating logos still sketch their ideas on paper before getting started on the computer. Advanced programs like Photoshop are an invaluable resource for logo designers, but the best results still come when the sketching process is used first.

Steer clear of trends

One trap that some logo designers fall into is imitating logos that have become popular. While this can sometimes result in a great design, it more often than not ends up looking like a cheap imitation. The best designers understand that adopting a herd mentality can stifle creativity, leading to designs that fail to impress. Making sure that a logo design is unique is the best way to make sure it will stand out.

Don’t forget typography

There may be no element in logo design more important than the choice of typography. In recent years, it is a simpler typeface that has become the norm when creating a logo.

Make sure your logo is in vector format

Your finished logo will likely end up being used on a wide variety of products, from business cards to billboards. Another common design mistake takes place when designers create the logo in raster format. When the logo is resized, the image quality is affected negatively, which is not something that happens with a vector image. You can size that type of image up or down and ensure that the quality remains the same throughout.

Photo: Image courtesy of Mick Baker on Flickr