Does your website speak your customers' first language? A multilingual website can help you keep and win global clients
According to a study by The European Commission in 2011, 9 out 10 internet users in the EU said that given a choice of languages, they always visit a website in their own language. Providing content on your website in more than one language will help you to effectively reach your customers in your global target markets.
Earn the trust of your customers and stand apart from your competition by showing you are a global brand.
Who can benefit?
- Businesses – Translate your entire website and marketing materials.
- Individuals – If you’re in the travel industry, you are sending your global clients emails and messages, make sure they read well and are appropriate.
- Performers, entertainers and artists with promotional materials; flyers, emails and social media.
Where to start
Once you’ve made the decision to reach out to global markets, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you happy with your current brand and marketing materials?
- Will your current marketing materials be suitable for the new markets?
- Does your current website platform support multiple languages?
Creating a strategic plan of action will be the first step in mapping out the translation process. Look over all of your marketing materials. Decide if you want to make any major changes to the current designs or layouts.
For example, if your website needs to be made mobile friendly or your navigation needs changing, be sure to discuss this with us before getting started.
Make notes about anything you are looking to change and bring it to the meeting with your designer. It will save you time in the long run.
Evaluate your hosting and platform
Building a multilingual website will take up more space on your server. Making sure that your website is hosted on a reliable server with great support is a must. Your global clients will need your site to be fast around the clock so downtime has to be none. We’ll complete a hosting and platform audit to verify you have the required support for a multilingual website and offer you options if you don’t.
I always recommend that my customers stay away from the low budget hosting packages and spend a bit more to get a faster load time, better support and a more secure environment.
Your marketing materials
The subtle differences in the way we do business, varies from coast to coast. So when you’re doing business on a global scale, keep that in mind. You’ll want to review all of your marketing materials with your translator keeping your business goals in mind, while addressing cultural and language differences. You may need to create additional pieces or remove some, based on local trends, cultures and customs.
Translating your website
DO NOT just let your browser auto-translate or rely on Google and bing translators to do the job. Hire a professional translator. First of all, there is a lot more to translating than just handling each word verbatim. Secondly, it’s not just the words and the order they are in but your audience’s cultures and customs come into play. How you speak to your customers in one country may not be appropriate in another. Professional translators will be comfortable with all aspects of translations.
I offer options for professional translation services online as well as professional individuals abroad. Sometimes I use a mix of both depending on the project. If you have a large, text-heavy site, a translation service online may be more budget friendly to use as the main translator but also bringing in individual specialists to help refine the copy for publishing.
Your investment in the global market is an important step for your company. Make sure you take the right steps to set up your communications with these markets so there is no language barrier. Getting this right will open up the world to you!