Speaking Their Language: Why you Might Gain From Having a Multilingual Website
Sometimes it’s tough to figure out new ways to attract customers and increase your revenue. There are tried-and-true marketing plans that may net your company a few new customers, but there is another, out-of-the-box way to reach millions: design a multilingual website.
English is still one of the most widely-used languages on business websites, but you can gain a great competitive advantage if you offer your site in one or two others. Over one billion people speak Chinese; 400 million people speak Spanish; 250 million people speak Arabic. These are all potential customers that your company could reach if you decided to include, one, two or even three different languages on your website. Beside the staggering amount of new customers that you may reach, here are a few other benefits from having a multilingual site.
There’s a Shift From English
The internet was invented by English-speaking people and, as a result, has been mostly populated by English-language websites. This trend, however, is slowly declining.
With the price of computers dropping worldwide and the number of people who have internet access growing, there are more and more people everyday who read and write on the internet that speak a language other than English. In fact, if this trend continues — and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t — English will be in the minority in the near future.
This means that the internet is truly becoming a global market, and with that, businesses need to take note. Websites in more than one language are a vast, untapped resource that can connect businesses with millions — perhaps billions — of potential customers. Even if your website could own a small percentage of that, you would see a drastic increase in sales.
It’s Cost Effective
Designing a multilingual website isn’t that expensive, either. Companies like webdesigner Berlin can help you figure out what you need if you can’t do it yourself. But whatever the cost, the trade off for reaching more customers should be easy to make.
When you offer different languages on your website, you are creating a global recognition of your brand. This is a goal that many businesses strive for, and you may be able to pull it off merely by translating your website into a few other languages. By doing so, you will connect with speakers of other languages in ways that you would not be able to with an English-only website.
A multilingual website also has a built in marketing strategy: that you care about the needs of people around the world and want to offer your products and services to them as well. You can specifically target the speakers of each language with ads that matter to them, engaging them with your brand and perhaps making them want to learn more about your company.
Help You Get Ahead of Competition
If you look at your market competitors’ websites and they do not offer multilingual support, then it should be an easy decision for you to do so. This will immediately separate you from your competition and give you a global advantage that they don’t have. If they want to emulate you in the future, fine, but you were there first and your customers will remember it.
And if you are the last one on board, that’s fine, too. At the very least you need to offer the same options that you competitors do so you can stay level with them. Then, you can focus on your customers with original website content that will help you gain their trust.
Help Search Engine Results
However you look at it, search engines are still responsible for sending massive amounts of traffic to company websites. When someone needs something, chances are they will Google it and look at the first one or two results that are offered. And you want to be on top.
But other countries may not use Google. They may have their own search engines that will rank your English-only website low for its users. Having a multilingual site will expand your presence in foreign search engines and increase your visibility. If you competition doesn’t have a multilingual site, when people search for services in your market, you will have a much better ranking than them, simply because the search engine takes language into account. This will lead to more customers and increased sales.
You may think of English-only websites as the norm, but as the internet reaches more places globally, that’s going to change, and you need to take advantage of it.
Anja Merret with an MBA specializing in marketing has years of experience in working for small to medium sized businesses in marketing and business development. She can identify the best solutions for an online presence for clients. She\’s always focused on giving clients excellent value for money.