The Overlooked Potential of Multilingual Websites

Everyone is tired of hearing the word globalisation and how the internet has sped up the process of connecting the world. To keep this international public on the same page we initially used English to communicate with one another and it became the standard language. 

Nowadays, with a diverse and accessible audience, businesses want to distinguish themselves from their competitors. One way to easily do this is to communicate with their audiences in their native language. We can all communicate effectively in English, but the effort that you as a business make when you communicate in the language tailored to your audience does not go unnoticed.  

Here are some ways in which a multi-lingual website can have a positive effect on your business: 

  1. Makes your website stand out. In the sea of English websites out there, it makes logical sense that your website will stand out if the same quality content is available in different languages. This is especially true since some search languages are set to produce results only in the language they are set to. Furthermore, over half of searches on Google are not in English. (source)
  2. It is easier and quicker to understand. Most people do understand English, however it is not their mother tongue and reading something in your mother tongue is always more comfortable and often avoids misunderstandings
  3. Increases trust. If you read something in your native language, you feel you understand it better and by consequence you trust the material more. (source – look at ‘Can’t Read, Won’t Buy’ point)
  4. May increase your website’s traffic. This is just logical. If you have a professional and accessible website, you transmit an image of trust and it is more likely your client will come back again and suddenly you have more traffic. 
  5. Clients become loyal customers. Point 3 leads to this one: if your website makes clients want to come back again, this makes them by definition loyal customers. 
  6. Shows you care. The fact that you went out of your way to make your website available in different languages obviously shows you are willing to provide customised service for your audience and they are your main focus.

Conclusion:

There are many plug-ins that enable clients to easily translate a website into a language they are more comfortable with. However, think of the last time you were on a foreign website and on the right-hand corner there was an option to view it in English. Did you or did you not feel a sense of relief? Furthermore, these plug-ins are often not the best translators. Although the core message is conveyed, it is like your client is looking at your product and the packaging is crumpled up. Thus, do consider this: a multilingual website may be the next step to growing your business by generating a more loyal clientele.

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