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Oban Multilingual testing cultural responses to Jordan tourism site

Experiment to track cultural differences and responses from French and German visitors to Jordanian tourism site

International SEO, search and online marketing company Oban Multilingual is conducting an experiment into how different cultures respond to react to different online content, with a focus on Middle Eastern tourism website.

Oban’s objective is to discover the different reactions to varied tourism website content from French and German visitors looking for information on Jordanian tourism.

For the experiment, Oban will be utilising its recently developed multivariate testing programme, software that allows administrators to track reactions to website variations in a live environment.

Oban will also employ native language copywriters, translators and researchers to create the content in French and German. Finally, a Jordanian researcher and analyst will devise content for the site and advise on content to add value to tourist brochure

The process involved the creation of a Jordanian tourism site with French and German domains. Oban will apply its new software to the site, and track the number of times a visitor takes part in the call to action. In this case, conversion involves the visitor registering for a Guide to Jordan brochure.

The main variation will be the alteration between direct from English translations and localised text (localised text is the way a native speaker would speak). Other variations will include the size and colour of the call to action.

The intention is to create a website that varies its content every time a new visitor visits, with the software tracking the version that leads to the most downloads of the brochure. From this, Oban will be able to track which variations are most popular with Germans, and which are most popular with French people.

"We are conducting this experiment to gain an insight into the reaction of users from different cultures to similarly styled tourism websites. We wanted to research how tourism websites could improve their international performance to gain more business or enquiries,” said Greig Holbrook, MD of Oban Multilingual.

“The theory was that the vast majority of international travel websites failed to gain the best results from their global traffic by only using a standard template which had been translated. We wanted to test how specific cultural content targeting could uplift enquiries and conversions for each country we tested. Obtaining this knowledge will help us design better for a more targeted audience in the future and we hope will generally improve the user experience,” he added.

The results, to be produced in early January 2009, will provide insight into how to optimise the content of a tourism site for French and German visitors, and will be released exclusively to ITP.net.

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