The internet continues to expand and has now become the automatic point of reference point for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information. However, along with this growth there has been a move away from English users of the internet. Businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage now must have a multilingual website. In response to this need, Kwintessential, a provider of intercultural communication services, has launched a new free website translation tool.
An internet dominated by the English language is a thing of the past. Multilingual websites will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organisations as the process of internationalization unfolds. However not all businesses appreciate the need to translate websites and not all understand why.
Kwintessential, a firm at the forefront of encouraging businesses to think beyond their national and cultural borders, have compiled a list of 10 good reasons why webmasters must look to website translations:
Foreign Language Users
The internet began as an English speaker’s invention and as a result was dominated by English speaking users. However, times are changing. With the accessibility to both PCs and internet connections people from Morocco to Malaysia are surfing the net.
As far back as 2005 Nielsen-Netratings described foreign internet markets as “low hanging fruit,” i.e. if you have the will and foresight there are massive revenues to be found for relatively little effort.
Research demonstrates that usage in traditional internet strong holds such as the USA, Germany, the UK and Sweden is flat lining. On the other hand countries such as France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan are seeing substantial growth in internet usage.
A Cost Effective Marketing Tool
Being able to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language undoubtedly yields results; these are not only financial but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product.
A website translation is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.
Get New Clients
Ultimately what a multilingual website can do is bring in new customers. By having your website accessible in foreign languages you are potentially showcasing your company across the globe.
If a website is translated into only a handful of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is a huge potential increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.
A website that speaks customers’ languages demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.
For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.
A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a ‘cultural comfort zone’ due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.
Get the Competitive Edge
To get the competitive advantage in today’s environment you need to think outside the box. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don’t you? If they don’t, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.
Shows an International Frame of Mind
Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal globally.
Improve Search Engine Rankings
Search engines lead people to websites. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.
In addition, key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages and to translate between languages. Having pages of your website available in foreign languages ensures your site being picked up in searches.
The multilingual internet is the future; as a result businesses need to start thinking multilingual for their websites.
As a way of encouraging businesses and webmasters to adopt a multilingual approach, a new free website translation tool has been developed by Kwintessential. A simple bit of HTML coding is used on a website page which allows users to choose a language to view the page in. With one simple click the website is translated.
“We appreciate that there is nothing better than a proper and through translation and localization of a website,” explains Nicola Johnson, the company’s Business Development Manager. “Our tool is more about giving people a taste of what it is like to have speakers of foreign languages access their website. The translation can be rough at times but the reader will always be able to understand what is being said. Users will also appreciate the ability to view pages in their own language. All in all this is a positive move designed to get people thinking about the localization of their websites.”