If you are selling services or products online, you’ll already be familiar with the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). These benefits extend to having your website and SEO strategy translated into other languages. But just how hard is it? And is it worth it?
If you don’t translate your website you are missing out on a huge opportunity to expand in the global market place. Machine translation doesn’t cut it and as a poorly translated site will put clients and customers off, it’d be a waste of time. Avoid partial translation of a website as this will leave huge holes in your offering. For example, if you neglect to translate a key FAQ, any customer or client seeking that info would be put off.
Read on to discover the reasons why multilingual SEO is crucial for companies engaged in cross-border business.
If you’re capable of selling products or services across borders, it doesn’t make sense to not have a multilingual translation of your website. This is especially true if you want to reach out to more consumers in the global market place. Businesses should optimise their websites to enable potential clients or customers to easily understand the company, what it is offering, and its services or products. In order to be able to generate revenue from the international market place and reach out to global audiences, it is advisable to translate your website and create a multilingual SEO strategy.
You need to settle on an overarching strategy. The strategy should include a defined user experience, how the site should be navigated, and how it should look and feel. So, what language should your website be translated into? A good place to start is with the language you use in the CMS to create your content. Assess which market would bring in the biggest return on investment.
From there, it’s not a straight forward process. You need to consider which parts of the website you will translate and into which languages. The best website translation services will help you decide the optimum level of translation.
Some changes are simple and easy to do. For example, changing a price in pennies to dollars, or adding a some translated press releases. These changes are useful, though to many they appear as merely cosmetic. However, other changes can be pretty challenging to translate as they require a high level of skill and accuracy. For the content to have the same impact in another language and indeed culture, the translation needs to be refined and based on the knowledge and cultural references of the audience that will be accessing the content. To make sure you get it right first time, check your potential provider has ecommerce expertise, web page translation services, website localization services and multilingual blog SEO capabilities so you can access the full range of services required to produce a professional finish. Not many website translation companies offer the full range of services.
SEO is the process of optimising a website to appear higher up search engine results pages. This is important as research shows most people do not click past the first page of search engine results. If your company isn’t on the first page of search results for the keywords that matter, then you may as well put a billboard up in the middle of the Pacific. Of course, consumers in different locations use different search terms. Not only that, but they use different search engines. For example, in China, Baidu rules. Therefore, you should look for a company that is proficient at multilingual content management.
SEO has evolved into a multi-faceted strategy and includes factors such as:
Backlink building is one of the most powerful SEO tools. You need to know the current ranking of your business, so that you can learn how to improve it. This will give you a strategic advantage over other businesses in your industry. Remember to keep things in context, don’t make any drastic changes and to adopt a measured approach. This is not just about ranking higher, but focusing on ranking better.
Multilingual SEO optimisation, or MO SEO, involves using different or multiple languages when structuring a website and optimising it for search engines. Information on this subject is constantly evolving. However, we have identified some core guidelines that we recommend.
Thinking of how a user would like to access your site is a good starting point; this then helps you design it optimally. Often, it’s necessary to do a ‘crawl’ to fully understand the structure of your website, and develop a strategy to optimise it in another language. SEO tools are available to help with this process. Use optimised content to rank higher for you target keywords. All key attributes like layout, pictures and content should match the intended language.
If you do not optimise your websites, you are missing out on a big opportunity. SEO plays a huge role in the global market place. It is only going to get bigger. There are many challenges in the global market place for online businesses. For a start, it’s a crowded place. The average internet user in most countries has a fairly new smartphone. So to start off, you need to optimise your website for the mobile user experience. With reference to China, that would require a presence on WeChat.
Websites evolve with the frequent addition of new products and services, or additions to FAQs, or company updates. The process of website translation should be an ongoing process so that all the updates are current and can be efficiently translated and applied as and when required.
The benefit comes in the form of user satisfaction. In today’s online business world, trust is vital. This can be a problem for foreign language websites. Getting website translation and multilingual SEO will go a long way to building trust with the consumers you wish to target.
Having a multilingual website and SEO strategy mean you will open up myriad opportunities to effectively and efficiently engage with consumers across the world. If your website was available in Mandarin, Spanish and English, for example, you’d have 38% of the world’s population covered. The return on investment for website localisation services and ecommerce translation services is usually more than worth the effort.
With more than 6000 languages worldwide how do you decide which ones to use for your business platforms? The belief that English is the language of business isn’t valid anymore with the increase and demand for online shopping, eLearning platforms, and eCommerce services like Shopify.
Historically, English has been the international business language but the emergence and reliance on the internet has completely altered the way we do business. In the mid-1990s, around 70 million people used the internet with Native English speakers making up for 80% of these users. However, today there is a whopping 4.6 billion internet users worldwide but English users make up for just 25.9% of that number.
If your business aims to enter the international market you need to speak to customers in their own language, meaning that integrating translation and localization into your business platforms is crucial. A survey performed by Common Sense Advisory looked at 2,430 different internet users across eight different countries and found that,
So while languages like English and Mandarin have long been some of the most important languages to learn for business, they are not the only ones to consider as eCommerce business continues to expand globally. Countries that have been on the sidelines in terms of global business now have a fast-growing number of internet consumers. Take a look at these top nine emerging languages for your business platforms.
Portugal is a relatively small European company but its language, Portuguese, has a large number of native speakers around the world, approximately 258 million.
Brazil is generally the main attraction in terms of business as Brazil is Latin America’s largest eCommerce market, it also ranks in the top five for the internet market as well as the smartphone market. Its growth has also not gone unnoticed, the British Council created a report on the ten most important languages for the future in the UK and Portuguese ranked in at number six.
Arabic is a widely spoken language, making for 274 million speakers globally. It’s also the official language of at least 23 different countries.
In the same report by the British Council that Portuguese ranked in, Arabic came in at second which, is no surprise as there are several Arabic-speaking countries that rank in the UK’s top 50 export market for goods.
Despite some of its political difficulties, many parts of the Middle East have a wealth of internet consumers and a steadily growing economy. With many Arab people only able to speak Arabic, translation services or localization is crucial for reaching this market.
Russian is spoken by 258 million people worldwide, with the majority of them located in Russia. Russia is the up and coming hotspot for eCommerce as Russia lacks a main eCommerce platform like Amazon which, makes them the last remaining major market without a dominant online retailer. According to Morgan Stanley, eCommerce sales in Russia could triple by 2023.
Capitalising on the Russian market will require, at minimum, eCommerce translation services, as the large majority of Russians do not speak English. The best method, of course, would be a localisation strategy from a certified translation company.
Hindi is the official language of India with 600 million people speaking it, that number in and of itself says a lot. While there are many other languages spoken in India, English has often been used to conduct business, however, that is changing. Hindi is quickly becoming more prominent among new entrepreneurs as 85% of India does not speak English. In a CSA Report, Hindi saw a gigantic 67% increase on the top 100 online languages chart, making Hindi a language and a market to pay attention to.
While Japan had a rough go after WWII it has since become one of the most rapidly growing eCommerce markets in the world. It’s estimated that 93% of the population in Japan use the internet and with 126 million Japanese speakers, it’s a consumer market worth noting.
Relatively few people in Japan speak English, meaning that to succeed in this market translation and localization will be required.
Indonesia is home to 277 million people and a rapidly growing eCommerce market, thanks to an increase in middle-class consumerism and a high percentage of smartphone use. In a report by McKinsey, the consulting firm has predicted that the value of the Indonesian eCommerce market will rise 800% by the end of 2022. To enter this market, translation and localization will be essential to your eCommerce business plan.
Korean itself doesn’t rank high in terms of the world’s most spoken languages but they do have nearly 47 million internet users and a very expansive and popular eCommerce market. Currently, 96% of the Korean population use the internet with its total eCommerce transaction sales amounting to 135 billion dollars USD in 2020 alone. This makes Korea a hub of interest for eCommerce business that is sure to continue growing.
77 million people speak Vietnamese and it is the main language of trade within Vietnam. With an increase in eCommerce consumerism, it’s predicted that Vietnam will have 70 million online shoppers by 2025. Engaging with the Vietnamese market and its consumers will require translation and localization as a crucial part of any eCommerce business plan.
Poland is the ninth largest country in Europe with 41 million people speaking Polish. Poland is already home to many eCommerce companies that operate in Europe and worldwide such as Amazon. Even United States officials have taken note of Poland and the importance of eCommerce on its economic development and its intense growth over the pandemic. It’s worth considering Polish when choosing what languages to add to your business platforms if this is a market you want to break into.
Into23 offers global language solutions with quality translation and localization services. With 24/7 accessibility and fast delivery, Into23 can transform your business to enter the global market and reach even more customers. Whether you’re looking to enter the Chinese market and need English to Chinese translation services or you want to step up your website or eLearning platform, Into23 specialises in helping companies with Asian languages. Getting a quote is easy, just show us your website for a free quotation on our translation services.