Translation and Language Industry Observations

In 2018 President Donald Trump shocked the world when he said that the USA should prefer not to take in immigrants from Shithole countries like Haiti and El Salvador. Trump said that he preferred to take in immigrants from Norway and Denmark. His comment was not only perceived as racist, it was not very smart either. Why would a citizen from Norway, which is one of the richest countries in the world, want to immigrate to the USA? Immigrants are typically people who want to leave an impoverished existence in order to to create a better life for themselves. Indeed the USA became the world’s number one economy through a liberal and humane immigration policy.

In the world of online translation services, there are countries which could be considered the equivalent of shitholes. These are countries which give the GTS website a ton of traffic, but zero in sales. And when we say zero in sales, we mean this literally. Here are these countries:

India: The second most populous country in the world with over 1.3 Billion people. It is extremely rare to get an online conversion from India. We do however get a lot of inquiries by email which almost never amount to anything. India has a ton of translation companies which offer their services at dirt-cheap prices. That’s why companies in India are highly unlikely to spend money on translation services from translation agencies in the USA and Europe.

Egypt: the capital of the Arab world with over 100 million people. There are thousands of translation agencies and translators in Egypt. All of them are coming to the GTS website to look for translation work. But in the nearly 10 years that GTS is selling translation services online, the number of orders we received from Egyptian clients can be counted on one hand if that.

Indonesia: this country has a population of over 270 million (nearly that of the United States). As with Egypt, we are seeing tons of traffic but nothing in sales.

Malaysia: Although not nearly as populous as Egypt or Indonesia, this country of over 32 million people are very keen surfers of online translation services. And we actually do see some very infrequent sales from Malaysia but the percentage of conversion is infinitesimal.

Honorable mentions: these countries are a considerable source of traffic but with no sales. South Africa, Romania.

Can’t even buy. Clients from any of these countries can’t pay online due to economic sanctions: Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria. So needless to say, we will never convert from anyone in these countries.

How to identify the poorly performing countries

This is the easy part. You can track visitors by country using any web metrics tool like Google Analytics.

Why is it important to identify the non-converting countries?

If your website is getting lots of traffic from a certain country but with no conversions from it, you should obviously not spend any money on SEO or CPC on these countries. Nor should you localize your website for these countries. And don’t put any effort into inquiries from companies or individuals in these countries because nothing will come out of it.

Focus instead on countries that convert

At GTS, the countries that convert on a high percentage basis are: USA, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands. Identify the countries that convert on your website and focus your SEO efforts in those countries. Localize your website for users in those countries to make their online experience faster, easier and better.

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