Short-term accommodation businesses like vacation rentals hope to receive guests from all over the world. What’s one of the best ways of attracting these international travelers? By translating your website into multiple languages, of course.
Despite the theory that “everyone speaks English”, the language only comes in at number three on the world’s list of languages by the total number of native speakers. Pair this with the prediction that over 76 million international travelers will visit the US in 2024 and it’s clear that if your vacation rental website only supports English, you could be missing out on a lot of international bookings.
Prepare for a post-COVID world
While international travel might be on hold for the upcoming months, this time presents an opportunity for you to translate your vacation rental website sooner than later. By preparing for the rise of international visitors well in advance, you can perfect all the translations and ensure the best possible experience for these eager travelers.
7 Benefits of a multilingual vacation rental website
There are many advantages to having a multilingual vacation rental website. Simply put, ensuring your booking website is accessible and understandable to everyone makes sense. But that’s not all, it can also improve conversion rates and increase income. Here’s how!
Beat your competition
Have you ever been to a restaurant abroad and wished they had the menu in English? That’s exactly how international travelers feel when they come across a website that isn’t available in a language they understand.
While many travelers will know some basic English phrases to help them get by, when it comes to deciphering the vocabulary that comes along with renting a vacation home, it’s much more comfortable for them to read through the amenities and terms and conditions in their mother tongue.
Having a multilingual vacation rental website might even be the decisive factor that gives you the edge against your competitors in the same area. Not only do you automatically capture the attention of non-English speaking website visitors, but you’ll also make them feel comfortable about navigating your website.
Vacation rentals are about delivering a home-away-from-home experience and it all starts with the language options on your website.
Broaden your potential market
A report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization found that Chinese travelers are the world’s top tourism spenders. In addition, German, Russian, French, Italian, and Brazilian tourists all feature in the top 10 – are alarm bells ringing yet? What’s more, research by Phocuswright has shown that the European vacation rental market is as large as the US market.
The statistics speak for themselves: one in four European travelers have stayed in a vacation rental compared to just one in 10 US travelers. Italian, German, French, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese are all prominent languages spoken by international travelers, with the latter two languages spoken widely across North and South America as well.
The easiest way you can effectively attract international guests and make use of this growth is by translating your website into multiple languages. Not only will you increase your bookings from international guests, but you will also support your SEO activities and Google ranking as a direct result.
Translating your website will hopefully increase the number of visitors landing on your page. In turn, you can achieve greater awareness for your vacation rental brand.
Across the internet, there is a general acceptance that a business website with multiple languages is a credible, global company. In some cultures and locales, guests are still skeptical of booking travel online. Offering a language they are more familiar with allows them to resolve any doubts and help them to feel secure at the time of booking.
When SEO expert Neil Patel translated his blog into 82 different languages, he saw a 47% increase in search traffic in just three weeks. While vacation rental owners can’t expect instant overnight results, this experiment shows that there is a clear correlation between website languages and traffic.
An increase in traffic can also have a knock-on positive effect on bookings. For example, in your low or off-season, there may be more international guests searching for good value deals. If they find your website during their search (and more importantly, they can understand everything), they’ll be more likely to make their booking.
Easy to activate
Most website builders or CMS software will already be set up to accept multiple translations of your website content. The important thing to do, however, is research the languages that will be most relevant and effective for your vacation rental business.
Start by checking your Google Analytics to see where your website visitors are coming from and which languages they speak. In addition to this, scan through your database of past guests and upcoming bookings. Are there any trends in terms of the countries they are visiting from?
After identifying the most important languages, you can start thinking about the translations.
With some vacation rental software, you can automatically translate components such as property descriptions with Google Translate. Although this is a good starting point, Google Translate is not completely accurate, so we recommend asking a native speaker to double-check your content. That way, your multilingual vacation rental website will appear professional and credible.
Besides this, Lodgify’s website builder provides professional translations of other basic content (such as amenities and navigation bars) in 25 of the most common international languages. All you need to do is activate them inside your account.
The “Future of Travel” study by VICE and TransPerfect found that only 14% of travelers feel comfortable planning or booking in a language that is different from their own. However, 73% are more likely to book if there is localized content to assist with planning and booking.
By translating your website into multiple languages, you can improve guest satisfaction, appeal to more visitors, and make each interaction count. In some bilingual nations, it’s even the law to have your business website in both languages.
“In Quebec, the laws are very strict and proprietors are required to present all services in French,” said the owner of KABIN Sutton. Their multilingual vacation rental website has put them at an advantage since the beginning – since they can target both national and international guests easily.
Affordable marketing strategy
While being highly effective, translating your website is also a cost-effective marketing strategy. An infographic by Demand Metric shows that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and 78% perceive a relationship with a company that creates custom content. That said, if you’re trying to get exposure while cutting down on costs, a website translated into several languages is the smart way to go.
Go above and beyond
Making your vacation rental business more inclusive doesn’t have to stop at website translations. Guest communication is another extremely important factor that will lead to positive reviews, repeated customers, and an improvement in reputation. By preparing translated automated messages, you can enhance the experience for those who might not speak any English or struggle to understand it.
While you don’t have to go crazy and provide messages in every language, you can start with the five most spoken languages (Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi, and Arabic). Cover the most commonly asked questions and information and hire a freelance translator to ensure that everything is correct.
You may be asking how to get started with managing automated messages. Using a vacation rental software not only allows you to create your own personalized website but also helps to manage automated texts and emails in one centralized platform. This way, you can stay in touch with guests before, during, and after their stay while also significantly reducing your workload.
A multilingual vacation rental website gives short-term rental providers the chance to connect with more travelers around the world, boost bookings from international guests, and establish a trustworthy, credible brand. What are you waiting for?