If you’re looking for new ways to build your business and gain more online visitors—think internationally. Now is the best time to market to foreign language Internet users. What once started as a dominantly English-speaking sphere has shifted as different countries are coming into economic power and increasing their online user base. The world isn’t a small place anymore, and websites cannot be limited to just one language.
Nearly 3 billion people used the Internet in 2013 (a 676% increase since 2000), and numbers can only be expected to rise with advancing technology and an increase in PC users. While English remains the top online language, others aren’t far behind. Here are four benefits of optimizing your website for multiple languages:
1. Acquire Internet Users in Emerging Markets
By keeping abreast of growing nations, you’ll know which ones to market to in which language. If you look at statistics on emerging markets now, you’ll find that China ranks number one, followed by South American countries like Colombia and Chile. Translating your website into Chinese and Spanish, then, will develop a loyal, foreign user base that will pay off as these markets continue to grow.
2. Increase in Sales and Repeat Customers
It’s a simple formula: the more languages you offer on your website, the more people you reach. If you wish to acquire 80% of the world’s population, you would have to translate your website into eleven different languages.
Even translating it into the top three spoken languages (English, Chinese and Spanish) would cover 54.5% of the global population. That’s a wider market to target, and customers are more likely to return because they can read your site and are more comfortable with the information.
3. Develop a Sense of Trust
How confusing would it be for you if you wanted to purchase something from a foreign website? You like the look of their product, but you can’t read the fine print. You can’t completely trust the company, and you wish they’d taken your native tongue into consideration.
This is how a foreign language Internet user feels when they browse such limited websites. A recent survey conducted in Europe found that 90% of their Internet users would rather search for sites in their language with almost half that percentage claiming they wouldn’t spend money on a foreign one.
Translating your website creates a sense of comfort, security and trust. People feel better when they know exactly what they’re getting into when they make an online purchase. More than that, it’s a sign of respect and appreciation for other languages. It shows that you think of customers on a more personal level.
4. Greater SEO
Look at some of the top websites with international markets, from technical companies like Apple to food services like Subway. Like many other companies, they’ve translated their entire site into multiple languages to reach as many customers as possible.
Translating your website puts you a step above competitors and increases your site’s SEO. Gaining more customers may come down to a simple decision of which website produces comprehensible content, and a multilingual site puts you higher on the search results if a customer is looking for a service in a specific language.
Go Global With Your Website
If you want your business to grow and its website to succeed, appeal to an international audience by translating your website into the most widely used languages. If or when new economic powers emerge, you’ll have the advantage with your diverse online user base.
Image Credit: Travelling Elsewhere
Kate Wilson is an avid reader and writer of all things language. Since completing her studies in English and Modern Standard Arabic, she has continued to exercise her passion for language through her blogging. You can read more of her writing on her blog at JetFeeds.com, where she writes about everything from foreign language acquisition to urban gardening, or follow her on Twitter @kateowilson.