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6 Steps For An Online Multilingual Strategy For Small Businesses

Friday, October 12th, 2018
website design

It is important for businesses to know their customer base and help them understand products and services quickly. One top priority for marketers should be speaking a customer’s language like a native, or providing website content that does. According to Common Sense Advisory research, there is a relationship between financial performance and the number of languages your business supports. This relationship means the that the better your website content, the higher your revenue.

There are a few pitfalls typically made when marketers in small to medium sized businesses attempt to provide content to a range of languages. Following these six crucial steps will help your business avoid those pitfalls and achieve a successful multilingual strategy on the web.

1. Consider the nature of your company

The nature of your company and the size of your regional opportunities will be what sets your company’s internet marketing strategy. Looking at your global markets will determine which language is your priority. If you are an e-commerce marketer, your preference will be to localize country by country. If your site is set up for informational purposes, you’ll want to localize by language.

2. Plan within your current marketing strategy

If your business is considering entering a global market, consider regional or country plans and what your objective will be within your brand. Plan on what your strategy will be to meet that objective in the chosen country versus what you are doing locally.

Be sure to know and understand the tools you will use to drive traffic and know your target audience. Understanding what will connect with your audience and how to achieve that connection is vital.

3. Put yourself into your customers’ shoes

When you are operating in a foreign market from a local headquarters, you have to understand your audience. Look at your web content from their eyes and ask yourself if it is engaging, informative, and authentic to their needs. Your strategy could incorporate local politics, religion, or culture, for example.

4. Centralize and streamline the process

You will find translating your content into one language difficult. Translating into two or three is even harder. It is vital that you centralize and streamline the process, so it becomes automatic each time you need a new translation.

5. Choose a translator

When you choose a translation service, verify their work to ensure you are getting good translations. Check the quality of their work in the territory you will be entering. Looking at reviews will let you see how consistent they’ve been delivering work. You should also ask about their resources, tools, timeframe, and technology to ensure they will meet your needs.

6. Reduce translation costs

There are translation services that offer “translation memory services” so you never have to pay for the same translation twice. This service will reduce your project costs as you go along, since much of the content will contain a lot of the same information. Translation memory technology is vital as it will save you from being charged for repeated sentences.

Language pitfalls to avoid

The most common pitfall made in a multilingual internet marketing strategy is assuming all your online customers can speak English. Research shows only slightly more than 27 percent of people online speak English as a first language. This study went on to explain that somewhat more than 50 percent of this same group use English as a second language. Little more than 15 percent of this group would purchase if content wasn’t offered in their native language.

Another point made with this study is approximately 25 percent of the population in the world uses Chinese as a first language. Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish are also increasing in prevalence. This study shows the importance of marketing towards different languages, especially if you are a multinational company.

Another common pitfall made is assuming that translations are all you need. Accurately translating your website content is a good starting point, but it is not the complete solution. When you optimize content in English, it is not completed without SEO and this applies to each language you translate. It will not help your internet marketing strategy if you do not implement SEO into the translations as well. This is because it will be hard for people to locate your content.

Learn more about internet marketing from UCI Digital in Amarillo, TX

The Team at UCI Digital in Amarillo, Texas understands your internet marketing goals are the cornerstone of your business online. We are committed to making your website functional, error-free, and beautiful. If you would like to learn more about internet marketing and website design, call us today at (806) 553-5332. You can also Send Us an email or visit us in person at 1000 S. Adams in Amarillo, Texas for more information about our Services.