Top 10 reasons to go Multilingual online

by oskarokupa on November 7, 2008

In times of economic turmoil is never a good idea to put all your eggs in the same basket. Diversifying your business and make it accessible to a wider audience will increase the business chances to appeal to customers. Usual response from business in difficult times is to resort to reduction of costs or what is called downsizing (which is an euphemism for sacking people). I believe this is a mistake. In difficult times investing in cheaper forms of marketing and applying creativity to keep afloat are a must and can actually get better performance than in better times, as my friend Mike proves in bucking the economic trends .

As a result, going multilingual can actually expand your customer base substantially for a moderate investment through online marketing. Let’s see why:

  1. Multilingual Online Marketing of your site will help you lure a  new number of global visitors and clients to your site.  It is very important though that you have done a previous market research, and have recognized your target audiences in the countries you want to target.  Having a native speaker that could adapt your SEO efforts to the language/country selected is a must.
  2. We all now that almost 1 billion people (using the Anglo Saxon numeral) search in a language different language than English. You might be able to appeal to that huge demographic if you play your cards right. Having language versions of your site will help you to reach out to that elusive audience who doesn’t want to search in English.
  3. Over-saturated online markets such as USA and UK have a big competition. Search Engine Marketing is understood and practised for most major companies. This doesn’t happen in emerging markets where Online Marketing techniques are in its infancy. Getting a big notoriety online in the form of high rankings and visitors can be much quicker than in the mentioned countries.
  4. SEO wise, algorithmic factors are also to be taken into account. SEO for European languages can be based on keyword rich domain names, a bit of local link building (given the lower competition link building doesn’t need to be so intensive), basic optimisation and moderate content generation. Exact phrase match seems to be more powerful for other languages than for English since stemming algorithms are not so sophisticated than in English. A good native copywriter could work that loophole very well.
  5. Global online expenditure trends can give you very useful information of healthier markets. Brazil for instance is going to spend US $5.9 billion online this year. It could be a good time to learn Portuguese : )
  6. Thinking long term. With online penetration percentages of almost 70% in UK alone there is not much room for internet growth in the future. Meager figures of 19% of internet penetration, with an already outstanding 250 millions internet market in China alone give you an idea of the possibilities. China’s e-commerce sector is growing rapidly with 23.8 million using online payment services, up 72% from last year. 91 new million internet users only this year. You do the maths.
  7. Working for the former colonies. You don’t really need to localise your site for 20 languages to reach 20 nations, there are other languages that let you lure visitors from all over the world. Maing languages to focus on the Internet should be what we call FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish) and you can appeal audiences in 3 different continents. Very little work for global visibility.
  8. If you are fed up of trying to optimise for Google that is not  a problem. In such a big markets s Russia (Yandex) or China (Baidu), Google is not the big daddy.
  9. Psychological effect. Being multinational gives your site an authority aura. If your visitors perceive that your company is big enough to appeal worldwide they might rely more strongly on your services
  10. Political factors. In Europe multilingualism is a must. The European Union is encouraging language diversity so it is not hard to believe that Internet users will search in different languages regularly as part of their daily Internet routine. Business will have to adapt to those new behaviour patterns.

To sum up; expanding your business online will help improve your brand awareness. Doing it multinationally will mutiply tenfold the reach of your business and services. The companies that understand online globalisation the quickest will be more ready for downward economic trends.

If you have any question contact me on twitter on .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DougIMunhall January 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

You made some decent points there. I looked on the
web for more information in regards to the issue and discovered most individuals
should go along with your views on this


FaeUSchapp January 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Cool blog! Will be your theme customized or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with some simple tweeks would really make my blog shine.

Please tell me in which you got your design. With thanks


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