The Importance of Multilingual Websites in an Increasingly Global Market

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What if I told you that there were almost 4 billion people waiting to become your customers? Mind you, there is a catch. Not all of them are going to be interested no matter what you are selling, and you are probably going to have to reach out to them in their native language to find them. More than one-half of the population of the world is connected to the internet in some fashion. What does that mean for you? It means that there are literally around 4 billion potential new customers. If you can get them. 

Imagine for a moment that you have created a phenomenal new hot sauce. What would it be worth to you to gain 80 million or so potential new customers, provided you do a little localizing. Mexican market sales online and these localization tips can help you to capture a large portion of a diverse and new marketplace online without ever leaving the comfort of your work-from-home office. There are many Mexican languages, especially among the indigenous Mesoamerican communities, but Mexican Spanish is also the largest native Spanish speaker population in the world. 

What are the best tools for establishing a multilingual website? 

Ideally, it will be best to use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress or Joomla, for a number of different reasons. While your first thought may be due to a large number of website translation plugins and extensions, that would be an incorrect answer. Again as will be amply demonstrated further on in this article. 

There are many languages that are written from right to left. In these cases, brand consistency dictates that the website template or theme should be transposed when using these languages. Not only will this set you apart from your competitors, but it will help to show your understanding of things from a more localized perspective at the same time as it establishes a broader, more international level of brand consistency. 

It also helps that you will have substantially fewer competitors as website translation services will help you to place on foreign language apps and search engine results pages with far fewer competitors. Both website translation and localization services should help to increase the overall website visibility and the amount of organic traffic that the website owner can generate, no matter what niche you are involved with. 

Is it better to move your existing website into a multilingual format or to build a new website from scratch?

According to W3Tech Surveys, there is a pretty good chance that you may already be building or using a WordPress website. WordPress already has a market share of more than 63% with WooCommerce coming in at a very distant second place with barely 4% of the market share. 

If you have used a WordPress web design, the WordPress MultiPress plugin will allow you to create multiple sites all using the same core files. What this means is that yeah, you can just build your new multilingual website on to the same design you are currently using once you have the proper website translations. 

While Joomla also offers some of these same abilities, there is a steeper learning curve and it may not be an ideal website solution for beginners. If you have not considered using a CMS, or if you have already built custom website design, it may be necessary to build a new website for your translation and localization to be more readily displayed and shared across a common website. 

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With all of that being said and done, even if you have not developed an amazing new hot sauce, is it still worth building a multilingual website online and going through all of the potential headaches with website translation and localization? Chances are pretty good that it is definitely worth the effort, but let us examine some of the reasons why together. 

Website Translation, Localization, and the International Marketplace Online

How important is it to have a multilingual website in this day and age? There are somewhere in the neighborhood of four billion internet users or “netizens” around the world today, and this number continues to grow. The BBC noted in an article published on 15, April in 2020 that “a survey published by Unesco in 2008 found that 98% of the internet’s web pages are published in just 12 languages, and more than half of them are in English. This reduces linguistic diversity online to a handful of tongues, making it harder for those that speak one of the excluded languages of the internet.”

Did you note the part where it said that more than 50%t of the content online is in English, and there are only twelve languages making up 98% of the content online? Get rid of 98% of my competition and I may be very happy, even marketing to a much smaller audience online. Get rid of 50% of my competition and I would still be really happy. 

What would you give to get rid of that much of your competition? All you have to do is to have a multilingual website and use website translation and localization services, but only after you have found a viable market in those outer fringes of the internet. 

Will it take some work? Absolutely. Building a successful business online or anywhere else is always going to involve a great deal of work. Understanding both the principles and benefits of website translation and localization, however, can greatly reduce your level of competition in a great many markets. 

What is Website Translation and Localization

The short and concise answer is that website translation is how you translate everything into a language that the targeted demographic understands, and localization is how you speak directly to their “hearts” or to connect with the target audience emotionally. The reality is a little bit more involved. 

Both website translations and website localization services are an open invitation to connect with your audience directly, personally, and emotionally. They are also an opportunity to multipurpose all of your content, increase your website visibility, and even to increase viewer interaction and your influence online. 

It is more likely than not that you have never heard the phrase “Slower than maple sap in a tap” unless you have ever been involved in gathering maple sap to boil down into maple syrup and rock candy. Even then, you may have not heard that particular expression unless someone there was particularly lazy. 

Many expressions and other forms of localized vernacular can entirely change the entire context of a conversation when they are translated literally. However, if they are replaced with a similar localized expression in the language translation, they can stir up emotions, happy memories and otherwise engage your audience on a very deep, personal, and emotional level. 

The same principles are true for the use of photographs, infographics (to a lesser extent generally), and even certain color combinations based on local culture and the use of color psychology in a digital marketing campaign. It is interesting to note that different colors will directly impact consumers differently in some international settings. 

Website and digital marketing content translations are essential to capturing the expanded audience, but it also presents a unique opportunity to use localization services in order to capture their hearts and minds and to establish a sense of trust between the digital marketer and the consumer. At least if you can get their attention and get your marketing content in front of the expanded audience online. 

Website Translation, Localization, and SEO

Imagine for a moment that someone developed a perfect translation plugin or extension for your CMS. This translation app would translate from any language to any other language flawlessly, without ever making an error. Suddenly you and all your competitors have perfect website translations … except? 

Except!

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Except who has any results that can be indexed by the search engines? Who is ranking on the search engine results page in any foreign language? The answer in this case would be absolutely nobody. A professional website translation provides you with two exceptional benefits that far too many internet marketers are missing. 

If you presume that the previously mentioned article was correct and that half of all of the content on the internet is in English, your website translation just put you ahead of 50% of the internet. Half of all of the internet website content out there now offers you absolutely no competition in the new language. 

How much is it worth to you to lose billions of web pages that may be competing with you either directly or indirectly? Those are all pages that will never be indexed by the search engines in the languages you have translated, while your website will be completely indexed in two or more languages depending on the level of website translation services that you are using. 

Add in the localization services and you have now managed to touch the very heart of your target demographic, established a personal and emotional relationship with them, and gotten rid of most of your competition. 

You have also laid the groundwork for using translation services to multipurpose a lot of your digital marketing content and increasing your visibility and your search engine ranking even more. 

Website Translation, Localization, and Multi-purposing Content

Website translation services should provide you with virtually all of your website content in a new language or even multiple languages. Video transcription services that you have used to create SRT files that are crawled by the search engines can provide you with the tools to create multilingual SRT closed caption files for your videos using only basic translation services.

Successful multilingual digital marketing campaigns are no different than English-only digital marketing. It is important to get as much of your marketing content translated and out in front of as many people as you would in any singular approach. As such, multi-purposing your marketing content is just as important in multilingual campaigns, but you already have the most challenging part handled simply using the website translation. 

Content marketing translations have not only helped you to create foreign language websites but now provide you with everything you need to convert that information into other viewer-friendly formats. Slideshows, videos, and other multilingual marketing tools are available the same as they would be in your native language. 

Website Translation, Localization, and Social Media Marketing

Facebook is currently facing many challenges, including getting rid of hate speech. According to this report from GDN, Facebook has put together a board of people from 27 different nations who speak a total of 29 different languages in order to help them combat hate speech. What? Why is this important?  

Facebook menus and prompts are available in 110 languages, the Twitter user interface is available in 35 languages. Other social media sites also support different languages. Facebook often faces the need to hire professional translators due to the lack of people conversant in so many languages. Again, how many of your potential customers are you ignoring or missing altogether by not using multilingual social media marketing tactics? 

Reuters goes on to note that in addition to the 110 languages actively supported by Facebook, there are an additional 31 languages in common use on the platform. I do not care who you are, that is an incredibly large customer base, far too big to be ignoring. 

The fact is that there is a vastly larger potential consumer market, readily available and with very little in the way of direct competition, no matter what your individual marketing niche may be. The very heart of any successful multilingual digital marketing campaign is literally just as easy as finding a translation company that specializes in localization services, some enhanced web design, and marketing content multi-purposing. 

Is it going to be a lot of work and remain a challenge? Absolutely, but you get out what you put in when it comes to multilingual digital marketing. If you are willing to put in a little additional work, there is a lot of potential rewards to be gained today. 

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