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Latest market research report from Common Sense Advisory provides detailed review of 18,900 unique data points from 300 translation and interpreting company websites

Common Sense Advisory

(Boston, MA) March 4, 2010 – Thousands of companies around the globe offer translation services, spoken language interpreting, and website localization, competing for business in a market estimated by market research firm Common Sense Advisory at US$17 billion in 2010. However, as a new report from Common Sense Advisory reveals, many of these firms fail to make their own websites available in multiple languages. The report, titled, “Marketing Language Services Online,” provides a detailed review of 300 websites of translation and interpreting businesses based in 48 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

The report finds that 35 percent of language services supplier websites are monolingual. By contrast, just two percent of companies offered their website in 20 or more languages. “Fifty-four of the websites reviewed in our study cited ‘website localization’ as one of the services they offered, even though their own websites were available in just one language,” explained Nataly Kelly, senior analyst at Common Sense Advisory, who led the research initiative. “This is the language services industry equivalent of the shoemaker’s son going barefoot.”

The 36-page report includes:

• A comprehensive review of 18,900 unique data points from 300 translation and interpreting company websites
• Detailed evaluation of company website characteristics in five major categories: location and size, marketing strategies and visitor engagement, languages and orientation, corporate branding, and information accessibility
• Breakdown of percentages of language services firm websites available in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
• Analysis of color palettes most commonly used, including the color that 75 percent of LSPs use as their most dominant website color
• Frequency of common keywords on company home pages, including “translation,” “language,” “localization,” and “multilingual”
• A discussion of the one basic website feature that 83 percent of language services companies fail to provide

The report also shows differences between the behaviors of the companies that earn the most according to the company’s annual ranking of Top 30 language services firms and their competitors. “The top-earning firms were far more likely to build confidence among their potential customers and provide transparency as part of their online marketing strategy,” comments Kelly. “For example, nearly half of the top-ranked companies made a point to showcase relationships between themselves and their clients via case studies, compared to just 16 percent of their smaller competitors.”

"Marketing Language Services Online" is the first detailed review of language services company web marketing practices produced by Common Sense Advisory, and is available as part of a membership to the firm’s research. For more information, visit

About Common Sense Advisory

Common Sense Advisory, Inc. is an independent research and analysis firm specializing in the online and offline operations driving business globalization, internationalization, translation, interpretation, and localization. Its research, consulting, and training help organizations improve the quality of global business. For more information about Common Sense Advisory's research, reports, and globalization and localization consulting services visit: or

Published - March 2010

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