The Importance of a Multilingual Website

by Patrick Pittsford

For most of history, businesses were limited to working only with the people living within a nearby geographical proximity. We bought our clothes, furniture, insurance, and office supplies from local businesses in town – it was all we knew. 

Enter the Internet. Today, businesses of all shapes and sizes have the opportunity to sell their products and services to people in the next town over, or even across the globe. The Web provides incredible opportunities to grow revenue and increase profit. However, in order to maximize reach, organizations have to think beyond communicating only in their own native language. After all, Asia, Europe, Latin America/Caribbean, and Africa each have more Internet users than North America.

Here’s an important truth: a mark of many successful organizations today is the ability to communicate in more than one language with their customers. Your Website is the perfect place to start. There are many benefits to having a multilingual website.

Multilingual Website can Increase Website Traffic

The more professional and accessible your Website is, the more customers you will gain and the more loyal they will be. In the age of smartphones and constant e-connectivity, there’s no doubt that your business’ Website will be one of the first (if not the first) place you get to make a strong first impression. In fact, 61 percent of global Internet users research products online (source), so your Website is one of your greatest marketing tools.

With this in mind, consider the impact that multilingual content can have on your Web traffic. Over half of all Google searches are in languages other than English (source). The ability to engage global customers will increase your Website’s traffic significantly – it is essentially an instant return!

A Multilingual Website Can Convert Visitors to Loyal Customers

ecommerce purchase

Of course it’s not just about convincing people to visit your Website, it’s about converting those visitors into loyal customers. Did you know that you have only a few seconds to capture the attention of visitors and turn them into potential customers? It’s true! Most visitors leave a site somewhere after a visit lasting between 0-8 seconds (source). This means that your content needs to be engaging and, even more importantly, translated accurately. You likely spent valuable time and money making your site’s English content amazing, so it’s vital you do the same when translating pages to other languages.

Maybe you’ve come across automatic translation tools or plugins on the Internet. They’re cheap and easy, but sadly cannot guarantee a linguistically correct Website localization. A professional, high-quality translation service that will localize your content is essential. This is your only real option if you’re serious about reaching global markets with new customers and maximizing your business opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Consider taking a close look at what your competitors are doing. Multilingual websites are becoming more common today, and translating your site can provide a significant competitive edge. It could be your next big marketing move.

Need more proof? A study done a few years ago revealed that 63 percent of the people surveyed said they are more likely to purchase from a Website available in their native language. However, 73 percent of those same people said they constantly encounter sites that aren’t available in their native language (source).

A multilingual website gives you both the opportunity to connect with more people around the globe while providing for a world-class customer service experience. You will not regret it!

Patrick Pittsford

"I enjoy working with the diverse group of people at Interpro. They not only make for a dynamic work environment but are almost always good for a laugh during my work day."