First, your business went digital, and then you started seeing some results; now, you’re looking for the next step. Will that be localising your website? It certainly is an excellent idea – after all, it’s high time you started catching the attention of foreign customers!
One of the first decisions you will have to make is choosing into which languages it is worth localising your website.
A simple way to make that decision is by thinking hard about what cultures you want to win over.
Sure, early stages of website development will generally either happen in English or be translated into English because, well, it’s simply the most widely-spoken language on the internet. And yes, having your website in English only, or English and one other language, is a great strategy, but only if you’re happy to limit yourself to English-speaking markets.
However, if you want your brand to go truly global, you’ll have to draw the attention of other audiences by translating your content into their native languages.
Although a large part of the global population speaks English as a second language:
You may be missing out on 40% of consumers! Why take the risk?
When choosing the right languages for you, a good starting point is to establish your target audiences. Now you’ve seen the data provided above, you know that if your potential clientele does not speak English as their first language, it is highly unlikely they will buy from your website.
Start by visiting the websites of your competitors to determine audiences that may have an interest in what you’re selling and check what languages they have used. Another option might be to take a closer look at the nationalities already visiting your website.
The next step is to conduct market research to determine the countries in which your product or service could be most successful or where e-commerce is particularly popular.
It is also important to remember that one language may have different variants. For example, if you choose to target French, you’ll also reach people in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada, Belgium, Cameroon, and even Senegal.
However, if you want to target French-speaking Canada rather than France, it would be better to localise your website specifically for Canadian French.
If you have a limited budget, you should also consider the additional costs of translating into certain languages, as some language pairs are more affordable than others. Translating into Spanish and French may be less expensive than translating into Swedish or Korean, for example.
Additionally, other languages are formatted differently depending on their alphabets. So, if you translate a website written in a Latin alphabet into Mandarin, Arabic or Japanese, for example, your website design may also need to be changed.
SMARTIDIOM guarantees delivery of the highest quality projects, providing you with options to suit any budget. We use only native speakers of the target language desired. We can help and advise you as you embark on the journey to select the ideal languages for your website.