Why I Translated to Dutch and How It Worked Out

July 22nd, 2008 Amir Posted in Case studies | No Comments »

Holland, with it’s 16.5 million people population is by far not the largest country in Europe. Still, translating to Dutch has been one of my best investments recently.

My program, Passport Photo is used to print pictures for passports. Instead of paying a ridiculously high fee for printing them in special passport booths, people can print them at home, or at a shop – like ordinary photos.

Before the Dutch translation, Passport Photo was already translated to German, Spanish, French, Portuguese. These languages cover most of the people living in the Western Hemisphere, including:

So, how comes I decided to pick Dutch, as the next European language to translate to?

A photography enthusiast from Holland took interest in Passport Photo. He placed an article describing the program on his website. It was all in Dutch. When this started, I received some daily Dutch visitors. Even though many of them speak English, conversion rate wasn’t very high. I guess, if you visit a website

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in your own language, and it sends you to a different site in another language, you might be turned off a bit.

As soon as I added the Dutch translation for Passport Photo, I started getting sales. Now, a few months after, this page also receives hits from people looking for passport photos in Dutch (paspoortfoto). Overall, my Dutch sales are almost as high as the German sales, making it the #3 selling language for me.

It’s possible that some of these Dutch sales would have been in English if I didn’t have the Dutch translation. However, after adding the translation, I’m getting a much higher number of sales from Holland and a higher total number of sales.

My conclusion

Of course, getting incoming links and product recommendation is extremely important for any web business. For me, getting the incoming link in a foreign language was reason enough to provide full localization to this language.

Every customer is important. See how much good one single happy user, who happens to run a popular Dutch photography website has done.