Industry Update
Opinion Article21 August 2018

Five reasons why translating your website will increase your number of guests

By Benjamin Dordoigne, WordPress Packages Project Leader at OnTheGoSystems

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If you are running a hotel you will expect to welcome guests from all over the world. That means you will have to cater to customers in multiple languages. But this doesn't just mean hiring a multilingual concierge. Your website needs to be multilingual too.

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That's because a website in multiple languages is one of the best strategies for increasing the number of guests to your hotel without breaking your budget.

To illustrate, WPML has spoken to a number of hotels which used the plugin to translate their website. Here are the five main reasons why they say a multilingual website helped improve their sales conversions.

It creates an easier booking process

A website in the user's native language makes it far easier for them to make reservations at your hotel. We want our lives to be easy when we are making a booking. A booking platform where it is difficult to identify which dates are available, for example, will see potential customers switching off.

One of the simplest ways we can help a guest is by giving them a booking process in their language. 72.1% of people prefer to browse in their own language. The customer is always right so we should do what we can to help them.

The Spanish hotel Villa Paulita says a multilingual website "removes one of the key obstacles to your conversion rate." In particular, it says it was important to facilitate the reservation of accommodation with special offers.

You can target a larger audience

It might sound obvious but having a website in multiple languages means you instantly widen your customer base.

Given that 25.3% of internet users consider English as their mother tongue, it is crucial that you offer English content on your website. As an example, the Greek hotel Theoxenia Palace is not based in an English speaking country but says "if your website is not in English you will miss loads of clients from around the world."

Many of their guests do not speak Greek but because they can browse in English it allows those who speak it even as a second language to make reservations.

It is easier for foreign guests to find you on search engines

Not only does a multilingual hotel website help guests from all around the world use your website, it allows them to find you in the first place.

Translating your website means that you can rank highly on the likes of Google in those languages. That's because you are able to translate the keywords, URLs and meta descriptions among other features which are important for optimizing multilingual SEO.

As an example, the Greek hotel Flegra Hotels says translating its pages multiplied organic searches in all the languages. Before organic searches from the likes of Turkey, Italy and the Netherlands did not exist but they now appear on the first pages for those countries thanks to SEO.

It makes you appear more professional

A website with multiple languages will indicate to potential guests that you are a serious, professional company.

When a user logs in and sees the option to change the language, it will indicate to them that your hotel is used by people around the world. Knowing this will give them confidence that you are a hotel worth booking with. Indeed, the Dutch hotel Hotel Van Dijk says having a separate "website" for each of its languages exudes professionalism to its customers.

Furthermore, not only having different languages but translations of the highest quality will impress the guest. To elaborate, David Fardon's Revenue Marketing builds and translates websites for hotels. He explains one instance where, after translating 5,500 words into Spanish and Catalan "A Spanish person spoke to the hotel and commented on how the translation was of the highest quality. And they just volunteered that information."

Showing dedication to your content tells the customer that you are most likely equally committed to other forms of your service.

It improves brand recognition and familiarity for your guest

Adapting your website and marketing copy to local guests is an important way to develop brand recognition with them.

Customers from different countries will have different cultures and values which need to be respected. Indeed, people within the same country might have different expectations. Meeting them will tell guests that you are a brand they can trust to respect their values.

To demonstrate, Villa Paulista is based in the Catalan region of Spain which contains people who either prefer to speak Spanish or Catalan. Therefore, it said it was "important culturally to offer them the website in their native tongue to avoid putting anyone off." Doing so indicates that they are aware of the cultural expectations in a region. Something which always goes down well with clients.

Final thoughts

In an increasingly global world, offering a website in multiple languages not only makes business sense, it is becoming a necessity. Doing so, will instantly widen your customer base and lead to you saying "hi", "hola", "bonjour" or greetings in any other language to guests from all over the world.

WPML is a translation plugin which is trusted by nearly 1 million multilingual websites around the world in more than 40 languages. If you are looking for someone you can trust to build your multilingual website then look no further than us. We will take care of the whole process from start to finish to will help you attract guests from any country you want. Contact WPML today to arrange a personal consultation to see how we can build your multilingual hotel website.

Benjamin Dordoigne

Benjamin is the WordPress Packages Project Leader at WPML. His experience in WordPress, project management and marketing ensures clients receive a full service without the hassle of chasing multiple contractors.

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