One of the great things about the Internet is that it connects people from around the world. But one of its greatest strengths is also one of its greatest weaknesses. When visitors from other countries visit your website, they may not be able to understand your copy, unless it’s a multilingual website. Google Translate can be helpful, but the translations aren’t always accurate or helpful.
There are many ways to improve the reach of your website – from improving the tone of your content, finding ways to build trust. Hosting your website in multiple languages can help you cater to a greater audience without having your message get lost in translation – literally.
Here are eight reasons to host your business website in multiple languages.
1. Cater to Promising Markets and Attract New Customers
The first and most obvious reason you need a multilingual website is to cater to new, promising markets and attract new customers.
Thanks to smartphones, more people than ever before have access to the Internet. English speakers are quickly becoming the minority online.
In fact, the majority of Internet users do not speak English. In 2017, only 25.3% of web users were native English speakers, and 2.7 billion users are from non-English speaking countries. That leaves a huge audience of people who will want to browse your website in their own language.
Offering your website in multiple languages allows you to serve a much larger audience. Customers who may not have purchased from you in the past may now change their minds because your website is available in their language.
Don’t assume that people in other countries automatically understand and speak English. Only about 39% of people in France speak English. In Spain, less than 23% speak English, and in China, only 0.75% speak English. A multilingual website is crucial if you want to attract customers and clients abroad.
2. Build Brand Awareness
As you open your business to more markets, grow your audience and attract new customers, you build brand awareness and also improve your marketing efforts.
For example, these Montreal movers have their website available in both English and French. This allows the movers to cater to both English and French-speaking Canadians, expanding their audience and building their brand.
It could be argued that a multilingual website is one of the most cost-effective ways to market a website. It also helps build relationships with customers and give your brand an international outlook.
3. More Search Traffic
When your website is available in multiple languages, it has more opportunities to rank in the search results in different parts of the world. And in some regions, it may be easier to rank higher in the search results.
One you make your site available in multiple languages, you should start seeing more search traffic.
In English-speaking countries, Google, Yahoo and MSN are the default search engines, but other countries have different search engines. These search engines, created in the region’s native language, cater to the habits and needs of local users. Websites that aren’t available in the searcher’s native language will not be listed on these search engines.
Making pages of your site available in multiple languages allows you to maximize the potential for your site to be picked up in more search engines.
4. Get a Leg Up on the Competition
How many of your competitors are catering to international markets? Making your website available in multiple languages could give you a competitive advantage. You have the opportunity to lead the marketplace and offer something that no one else is offering.
If your competitors do have multilingual websites, then what are you waiting for? Your customers will now expect your site to be available in different languages. If you don’t meet their expectations, then you’ll find yourself losing customers.
5. Build Trust
Building trust is a challenge even with a conventional brick-and-mortar business. Building trust online is even more difficult. It’s far too easy to get scammed over the Internet, so consumers aren’t as quick to hand over their money.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that many consumers do not trust websites that are not in their native language. Making your website and content available in multiple languages will help customers feel more secure. You are literally speaking their language.
Also, a multilingual website shows that you work and deal internationally, which automatically gives you credibility.
6. Show That You are Customer Focused
When designed properly, a multilingual website shows that your brand is customer focused and sensitive to other cultures.
Customers will find it easier to navigate and interact with your website if they can understand your content.
7. Gain Loyal Customers and Set an Example
International buyers will quickly become loyal customers when they find that your website is available in their native language.
These loyal customers will share your brand and products or services with friends and loved ones, expanding your brand even further.
Going the extra mile will set an example in your industry. Customers will appreciate you taking the time to cater to their needs and will make them more inclined to do business with you in the future.
8. More Sales
Each new language that is added to a website increases your potential to make sales by up to 100%. Even if your website is updated to provide content in a few major world languages, like French, Spanish, Italian and German, you have the potential to increase sales by 400%.
And it doesn’t cost much to translate a website into different languages. The return on investment is significant.
A multilingual website can benefit virtually every business, but there are exceptions. If your business sells products and you don’t have any intention of shipping them internationally, then making your website available in different languages may not be appropriate or practical. If your business is strictly local, then you may not benefit from it being available in other languages or listed on other search engines across the world.
If you plan to offer your website in multiple languages, it’s important to ensure that it’s done properly. Hiring a translator is typically the best option, as you can ensure that your content’s message is the same.