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Benefits of having your website in multiple languages

We live in a world of diversity – whether it is language, food, culture or life style. As we try to come closer, there comes the need to find something that is common – something that can build the connection between two parts, and that part is the language. Having your website in multiple languages allows you to do that. Translating your website will make your web presence more welcoming to the target region.

Businesses understand this well and hence the trend of “localizing” customer experiences get utmost important. Businesses that have a clear vision of expansion and long-term sustainability adapt themselves to speak customer “language”.

Having your website setup complete is the first step, although normally, it’s done in the owner’s native language.

According to the Common Sense Advisory, 75% of consumers worldwide prefer to buy from websites in their own language and 55 percent only do business with sites offered in their native language. Even if they speak some English, or their mastery of the English language is good, trust is much higher when purchasing in their native tongue.

Going online is the first option

Whenever we’re considering buying something, the first thing that we do is to perform an online search on the brand or go directly to the company’s website.

Although people usually make recommendations, the default reaction for most people still is to look it up online. What do you think that happens when a potential customer ends up on a site that they cannot understand because it is in a different language? Do you think that they force themselves to navigate the website or do they give up and find something else they can relate to? This is a very important aspect that your website should have, and in addition to it, here you can see other reasons why your visitors leave your website.

Because the majority of consumers rely on their smartphones and mobile devices to help them with their purchasing decisions, any business who wants to remain competitive should have a website that is ready to welcome a global market. I am not saying an automatically translated website, but one carefully written and designed in the new language.

Website in multiple languages for a Global Audience

Websites are global by nature; however, with the rise of the Internet and eCommerce, it is becoming increasingly relevant for businesses of all sizes to create a multilingual website. Anyone can now easily access and participate in multi-national commerce, which gives companies greater growth opportunities. To maximize sales and production, enterprises must make their online presence easily accessible to everyone regardless of language.

Any single language can address no more than 30 percent of the global population. For example, English is commonly regarded as one of the world’s most used languages. However, 70 percent of web surfers don’t speak English as their first language. In recent years, it has been researched that only 21 percent of the traffic from the world’s top ten international websites originated in the United States. Large markets exist beyond the English-speaking world and savvy companies are trying to include these markets in their daily commerce. In order to expand their audience base, enterprises are investing in the localization and translation of their websites. A multilingual website, when done professionally, can only help your organization achieve this goal.

Your potential customers could be from anywhere in the world and without the ability to communicate with them through your website, you lose their interest.

Here are several benefits of having your website in multiple languages…

01- Expand your Reach

The first and by far the most important reason to go multilingual is straightforward—you can expand the reach and approach a much wider audience. After all, why stick to just one target group if you can address more consumers simultaneously?

The figures can vary greatly, but if you are currently targeting a million English-speaking prospects, why wouldn’t you double that number by crafting a multi-language website? Do not forget that China has over 1.4 billion citizens and some of them could potentially become your customers; the same goes for other countries such as Japan, Brazil, Russia, or Germany.

You can’t please all the people, all the time. But, by making your website multilingual, you can create a lot more happier clients all round. As many as 90% of Internet users in the European Union stated that they preferred websites to be in their native language. So, you’ll be pleasing at least nine out of ten European customers by localizing your website to their language. You’ll be able to compete with local businesses and large international companies on the same level and have satisfied customers responding to your tailored message.

02- Build trust and brand recognition

By limiting your website to one language, you’re also limiting exposure to your company. When your site is available in multiple languages, you attract the attention of an international market. You also become identified as a global brand which elevates your status and improves your reputation. Consumers tend to trust global brands more than ones that are only known locally.

A translated website means more people on your website which, therefore, means a greater awareness of your brand.

A multilingual business website will attract people from around the world who will start to associate you with a certain product or service. Doing so will differentiate you from the competition. Customers love familiarity and knowing your company will help create repeat customers.

Furthermore, a website in multiple languages adds credibility to your brand. There is a general acceptance that a company with multiple languages must be “global.” Similarly, if your website is completely localized, then clients will appreciate your understanding of their culture, earning their trust.

Multilingual sites prove that you are running a global business, which looks outstanding in the eyes of an average customer.

03- Increase traffic to your website

A multilingual business website with great SEO will see more users from around the world visit your website, which, of course, leads to more potential sales.

By having a website that is available in multiple languages, you can attract new customers and tap into a whole new market that you would have had trouble engaging if your website was stuck with just one language. You don’t need to offer all the languages of the world on your website. Your own market research will allow you to identify which key languages are most relevant to your industry.

04- Most users ARE NOT native English speakers

Speaking purely in numbers, the majority of internet users around the world would prefer not to browse websites in English. Therefore, it does not make sense to expect them to want to shop in it either.

As of April 2019, only 25.2% of internet users were English native. In contrast, 2.7 billion people are from non-English speaking countries. That’s a lot of people who will want to browse your website in other languages.

Furthermore, if you think that the majority of people speak English anyway you might be disappointed. To illustrate, only 39% of people in France speak English while the figure is lower in other countries. In Italy, it’s 35% and Spain less than 23%. And these are in European countries which you would expect to be higher. In China, for instance, only 0.75% are fluent in English. Therefore, a multilingual business website is crucial if you want to find clients from abroad.

05- Improve your multilingual SEO

When you meet the needs of your customers around the world, search engines respond accordingly. If your site is optimized for key search terms used in local markets, loads quickly for users around the world and generate positive UX and reviews, your SEO will rise. Not only that, but many search engines, including Google, place great importance on local SEO. So, if you can demonstrate that you meet local needs or have local presence, your ranking will increase globally at a local level.

SEO is one of the most important strategies for finding new customers so it only makes sense that enhancing it for different languages will do the same in new markets.

Creating multilingual SEO will help search engines such as Google understand which languages your pages are in and which ones should be targeted at certain people. In addition, behavioral factors such as the amount of time people spend on your website are taken into account. Therefore, if you are trying to promote your website in the wrong language your rankings might take a hit thanks to a high bounce rate.

A note on this

The success of an online business mostly depends on its ability to rank highly among industry-related websites. And as long as the multilingual website is set up properly, Google will rank it higher in search results. And we are not talking about Google or Bing only as these platforms don’t make such a huge influence in some countries. For instance, Baidu is the largest search engine in China, Yandex is dominating the Russian market, while Voila plays a significant role in France.

06- Improved User Experience

A well-localized website (not just a one-size-fits-all translated version of it) leads to improved user experience and greater client satisfaction. When customers can navigate your site without facing error messages in English, currency that they’re not familiar with, or images that are of no relevance to them, their user experience is heightened.

A better user experience leads to improved metrics. They’ll spend more time on your pages, your bounce rate will decrease and your conversions and CTR will soar. Not only will you see the boost in sales, but your SERP ranking will improve as well.

If you are running an international business with physical branches all over the world, a multilingual site can help you to boost local searches. Most people are searching for “near me” places, so you will enable them to find you much easier using a native language search inquiry.

07- Expand into new markets

A translated business website will introduce your company to new customers from markets you did not even know you could access.

As any good salesman will tell you, your pitch needs to be different for each person based on how they want to communicate and what they want to hear. Therefore, translating your website is an excellent starting point. If you have an English website and want to move into the South American market, a multilingual business website in Spanish and Portuguese is an important starting point.

In addition to the content on your website, different markets will have different values, which need to be reflected in your marketing. For example, you will see vast differences in advertising strategies between western and Asian markets. For this reason, localizing your marketing based on the country/region will see you welcoming new customers from around the world.

Translating your web content and marketing is great for customers which you are directly targeting. But what about those who might find your website organically? They will be more than happy to find the information or product they are looking for in your website translated into their language.

08- Presents you as a customer-centric brand

A multilingual website showcases that you understand your customer. It shows that you have given a thought to their comfort and convenience and their user experience matters to you. This creates an unspoken bond between your brand and your customers, which leads to business and customer satisfaction.

Companies with multi-language websites prove to be customer-centric, thus improving the overall brand reputations and credibility among target audiences. It’s just a matter of human nature as we all love to feel acknowledged and appreciated.

If you provide users with quality content in their native language, rest assured they will respect you more and prefer your services over someone else’s. Of course, their way to return the favor is to spend more time on your website, consume more content, and ultimately spend more money buying your products or services.

09- It increases your sales

Increasing sales is the driving force behind any decision made by a company. Translating your website is one of the most effective ways of achieving it. Every localized version of your website increases your reach to potential customers and untapped market. This helps business continuity and indirect marketing of your brand.

Creating a multilingual business website has directly increased sales for a number of companies. One of the reasons why customers are more inclined to make a purchase is because they are viewing websites in their own language. If you translate your site into French for your French speaking audience and Spanish for your Spanish speakers, you’ll be opening up vast new markets for your product.

Briefly, business owners with long-term goals and a vision to create a differentiation understand that making a connect with the customer in the language of their choice is the way to success.

Website localization helps increase revenues. When potential consumers find the information they need from your site, they’re more likely to convert from prospects into paying customers, and when your website is multilingual, you enjoy a wider audience which ultimately means more customers.

10- Perform Better in Online Searches

With a website that comes in multiple languages, you improve your chances of being found in a search. Google Search alone is available in 123 languages. The majority of people use their native language when they perform their searches.

I am not saying that your website should be localized for all 123 languages, but it should at least be available in the major languages around the world or at least the ones that are most relevant to your company. Most people who are bilingual or multilingual will often speak one major language and one or two others that aren’t so common. Surprisingly to many, English is not always one of those main languages that many multilingual people speak.

11- Go one step ahead of your competitors

Your market is probably flooded with all sorts of companies that are trying to find their place in the sun. If you are also trying to make an impression on the target audience and outdo the biggest competitors, a multi-language website might just be the way to do it. Yes, it takes a lot of time and resources to build one, but why avoid it if it can lift your business head and shoulders above other companies?

12- Cost-effective marketing solutions

A website is an anchor of modern business. It’s a place where you can present the products and publish appealing content that inspires users to read more and spend extra time exploring your pages.

The best thing about it is that content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Given the benefits, you should definitely consider the idea of crafting a multilingual website. It merely gets you one step closer to the audience, at the same time increasing the number of users who are able to understand your marketing messages.

CONCLUSION

It’s no surprise that multilingual websites improve communication with your international clients. After all, if you can’t understand a website and don’t know what it’s selling, your chances of buying from it are slim. When you keep in mind that three quarters of all online shoppers prefer to buy in their own language, translating your site for them will meet their growing needs. If building a multilingual website seems too complicated, think twice before rejecting the idea. It’s a time-consuming and challenging process, but also the one that can take your business to a whole new level.

There are so many benefits to having a multilingual website. While it’s true that you’ll need to factor in the initial cost or translation and localization, the ROI is clear. If you want to break into new markets and do business successfully around the globe, start rolling out multiple language versions of your website today. Who knows what kind of sales figures and customer numbers you could be looking at next year?

It's a Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant, owner and founder of LFStudio. He is also author and entrepreneur. He helps small businesses to get clients online, generate income and grow.

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