The Benefits Of A Multilingual Website

by Beshar Bahjat

multilingual website globe with arrow

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.

Multilingual Website for a Global Audience

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.

Localized Campaigns Outperform English Only, Counterparts

Localization is the process of catering to a specific region. It doesn’t stop at the language translation itself, colors and numbers can also have an impact. For instance, white in one country may indicate weddings and celebrations, while it signifies death in another. As a result, a company might have different color themes for its ad campaigns depending on the region. A multilingual website must also be adapted and localized in terms of layout, color and culture. In mobile advertising, 86 percent of region-specific campaigns outperformed their English only, single market counter parts in terms of conversions and click-throughs. Localized sites and campaigns often utilize professional website translation services to target specific geographic regions, because geo-targeted posts have been found to be six times more successful than broad international posts.

Multilingual Websites and Multilingual Apps

Before you make a plan to localize your website, you should do your research in the prospective regions you are targeting. For example, 92 percent of China’s 25 best-selling iPhone applications use Chinese names over English names and 80 percent of Japan’s top 25 Android apps follow the same localized model. In the Google Play store, 4 out of its top 5 grossing countries are non-English speaking, while the iOS App Store has equal parts English and non-English speaking countries in its top ten profit regions. From 2012 to 2013, Asia’s annual app revenue increased by 162 percent. International markets hold plenty of promise for companies that can connect with diverse audiences. A professionally localized website or mobile app can assist you in reaching out to these customers.

People Want to Shop in Their Native Language

How do you connect with consumers? Connecting with consumers means speaking their language. A multilingual website allows you to do that. While people abroad may speak English, it is typically easier to speak and understand information in their mother tongue. In fact, 72.4 percent of international consumers prefer online shopping sites in their native language and 55 percent only do business with sites offered in their native language. Clearly, having access to a site in a consumer’s native language is important. When people shop, they want to feel comfortable and connected with the brands they do business with. Translating your website will make your web presence more welcoming to the target region.

The Challenges in Creating a Multilingual Website

Translation involves much more than swapping one word for another. Translators must account for idioms and standards that apply to other cultures. An automated translation service will not do this for you. For a true multilingual website to be effective, it needs to be done correctly by a professional human translation team. If you want to ensure effective implementation of localization practices, utilize professional multilingual website translation services.

Beshar Bahjat

Vice President, Engineering

"Working with people who care about what they do and want to do the right thing makes coming to work much more enjoyable."