Why Translate Your Website?

By Laureana Pavon, CGM Consulting

We are well aware that the Internet allows marketing products and services at global level. However, how many Internet sellers are taking full advantage of the growing global market?

Currently less than 15% of companies present on the Internet offer more than one language, while a majority of online businesses use English as their only language of choice.

Experts agree that in order to sell in international markets it is very important to communicate with potential customers in their own languages, and that there are many reasons to translate a website:

Although it has predominantly been an English-language medium, the Internet business community has come to understand that a growing percentage of the global online market is non-English speaking.

Web users are between four and six times more likely to purchase from a site that communicates in their native language.

Internet Languages in Figures:

  • Over 500 million people search and surf the Internet in a native language other than English.
  • It is estimated that approximately 50% of all online business transactions are conducted in non-English languages.
  • Web users are between four and six times more likely to purchase from a site that communicates in their native language.
  • Users visiting a website written in their own language spend twice as much time exploring its contents.
  • The percentage of online content in languages other than English is growing at an incredible rate, and this faces English-only websites with an increasing level of competition.

How would translating my website help to promote my business?

The figures included above clearly show that multi-lingual websites will increasingly have a competitive advantage over their monolingual competitors.

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating and marketing your website, customers who find your website need to understand the products and services you offer. Using the web as a marketing tool is an important decision, but failing to take into account the non-English speaking community means you are missing out on millions of potential customers.

Creating a foreign language version of your website will allow you to better connect with these customers, while maintaining and updating a website in multiple languages will not cost significantly more than maintaining and updating the original one-language version. A professional translation of your website is key to your marketing success, as communicating with potential customers in their own language will definitely be a major advantage for your businesses.

Which languages should a successful website include?

Having a multi-language website is a must if you intend to achieve global presence.

The top ten languages used on the Internet, in order of importance, are English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Portuguese, Korean, Italian and Arabic.

One approach commonly used by large European corporations is to translate a website into a group of the most popular European languages, namely, English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. Smaller companies generally choose to create their websites in their country of origin’s native language(s), but also maintain an English translation.

On the other hand, if your target market is the United States, you need to consider that Spanish is the non-English language most commonly spoken by people at home. According to the 2000 US Census, more than 28 million people considered Spanish as their native language. Furthermore, considering Spain and Latin America, the total Spanish speaking online population is estimated at over 65 million, making Spanish an ideal first choice for North American companies.

How can CGM Consulting help you?

We offer a full set of language services, including website translations and localizations. Depending on what's most applicable to your case we can either replicate a website in a second language or just translate the texts in your pages and graphics to provide input to your website administrators.

Ready? Just drop us an email to get started.