In ContentSEOtrends

For DMOs aiming to boost exposure to international markets, the development of dedicated language sites for your target countries should be a key component of any digital strategy.

Let's look at the UK first.  The latest statistics from VisitBritain demonstrate that Europe remains a crucial market for British tourism, despite the political uncertainty over Brexit. There were 20.7 million visits from the EU15 nations in 2017, making it the UK’s largest visit-generating region. In total, 2017 saw visits from Europe grow 1% to 28.1 million.

Visits from the world’s most valuable outbound market, China, grew 29% to 337,000 and have grown 89% over the past five years. Spending was up 35% to £694 million in 2017 and on average, Chinese visitors spend £2,059 per visit. For every 22 Chinese visitors we attract to Britain, another tourism job is created.  The UK also saw increases in visits from a number of other emerging markets, such as India (up 35%), Brazil (up 31%) and Russia (up 55%).

With Brexit looming it is more important than ever for UK DMOs to raise their profiles in the European market and the development of multiple language versions of your destination site will help to ensure that you remain on the European holiday maker's radar.

It's also interesting to look at the world's internet traffic to see how the most popular languages are represented.  It will come as no surprise that English continues to dominate with 25.3% of the world's internet users but there have been some significant shifts over the last few years, particularly for Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese:

As some of our DMOs will be aware, the New Mind | tellUs e-tourism platform supports multiple languages so the development of relevant language versions of your destination site may be easier than you think.  A number of our clients are already leading the way and have achieved a strong foothold in international markets as a result.

You may have spotted our recent news on our client, Visit Sognefjord in Norway for which the Spanish and South American markets are a key geographical focus.  The number of Spanish speaking visitors to the destination has steadily grown in recent years, with a total number of 20,760 Spanish guest nights generated during 2017, an increase of 13% on the previous year. The strategic decision to translate the main elements of the website into Spanish ensures that Visit Sognefjord does not miss out on this potentially lucrative market.

Our client Fjord Norway have launched both English and German language versions of their destination sites and have also tailored their content (product descriptions, news articles etc.) to fit their visitors' profiles.  Research suggests that the interests of German tourists tend to differ from English and Norwegian speaking tourists so, for example, content on fishing is more of a focus on the German language versions.  Visit Bergen, Stavanger and Ryfylke, Visit Alesund, Valdres and Lillehammer have all developed English and German speaking versions of their destination sites following visitor analysis.

Our Arabic site for Visit Manchester has been developed to appeal to the target market, with content focused on high quality hotels, shopping and football, all complemented by carefully selected imagery.  Another of our destination sites for Ras Al Khaimah in the Middle East features Arabic, English, German and Russian language versions to cater for their key markets.

Destinations which offer dedicated language versions are able to derive a number of benefits:

  • Better communication - it goes without saying that your destination brand's assets will be delivered more effectively in the native tongue of the visitor
  • Improved engagement and a better visitor experience - research suggests that visitors are likely to spend more time on sites translated into their own languages
  • Conversion boost - visitors are more likely to book from sites translated into their own language
  • Improved ranking and visibility - destinations can increase exposure by targeting keywords in multiple languages

SEO is obviously a key ingredient for success for all of these clients, both in the UK and overseas.  For example, there are currently 65.64 million people in the UK and 741.4 million in Europe. The potential extra search traffic that sites could enjoy by diverting only a small amount of resources to the international community is staggering. 

There are other complementary techniques which can be deployed to boost your international presence further.  The SEO team at New Mind | tellUs has experience in location targeted (country specific) social media campaigns.  This combined with targeted email marketing to your consumer database, segmented by country of origin, can be a powerful tool in supporting your international aims.

To find out more about developing multiple language versions of your sites for your target markets, talk to your Account Manager.

Source of Stats:  

Visitor Stats - VisitBritain
Top 10 Languages Used Table - Statista Statistics

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