The Top Reasons For and Benefits Of a Multilingual Online Presence
As we move past the nightmare of the global covid19 pandemic, we are seeing the emergence of “the new normal” and a day of remote employees and conducting business online. While this presents many challenges, it is both a necessity and an opportunity at the same time. Establishing a multilingual presence online allows for an immediate, cost-saving expansion into global markets, providing a host of benefits for those who set up their digital presence properly.
What if I told you that you could create a relatively simple website translation that would automatically sixty percent of your total competition? At least. Website translation and localization trends are rapidly moving into non-English as a more standard website feature for international digital marketing online.
Adding to the English language website following translation and localization trends should also help the website owner to eliminate most of their online competition, at least for the time being.
The Importance of Translation and Localization Services
According to an article published in December of 2019 on the Wired Magazine website; “we’ve taken another shot at building an online Babel to reach the digital heavens, with English as the web’s lingua franca. Billions of people use the internet every day, the majority from developing countries. This is why in 2020, over half of the web will for the first time be written in languages that are not English.”
It has been said that “content is king”, but the reality is that information is king, and content is the means by which that information can be conveyed to the target demographic online. The means by which you capture the heart of a digital audience is through the use of localization, or putting everything in terms that your audience will understand and relate to from a personal perspective.
Mind you, this only works when both translation and localization are used each in cooperation with the other. One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make is relying too heavily on translation apps and plugins that are all lacking in one very important area of concern.
Successful Website Translation and SEO Strategies
Virtually all of the website translation plugins and extensions have one very notable shortcoming. While it may sound great to allow your website visitors to have a translation readily available, this will not get the translation indexed by the search engines.
A full website translation will allow for the creation of a multilingual website where all of the content gets properly indexed by the search engines, even in the foreign language translations. Going back to look at the very limited amount of competition in the overall content on the internet today, this alone would allow for any digital marketer to largely circumvent the majority of their competition online.
Even the best of the website translation plugins will often charge a monthly fee for their services, whereas a single website translation will provide the digital marketer with everything that they need to open up two more incredibly successful multilingual digital marketing strategies. Both localization and content multi-purposing are common internet marketing strategies, and have much greater potential when combined with the original website translation.
What are the Benefits of Website Translation and Localization
Website translation services provide the digital marketer with copies of all of their content in a different language or languages. These translations provide the ultimate opportunity for the website to implement localization strategies that are fully indexed by the search engines and attract a new international audience at a more personal level.
Translation can be very challenging at times, as it requires the translator to be fully familiar with both languages within the language pair, and to have a more broad understanding of the domestic origin of the language. Just as different marketing techniques are required for urban and rural markets, different localization strategies must be implemented for different areas.
There are many localized forms of language that have no literal translation or that would change the entire meaning of a conversation if they were to be translated exactly. This is most common with localized expressions, local vernacular, and even certain figures of speech. The website translation allows the skilled translator to replace these expressions into similar expressions in the translated language.
This opportunity for localization based on the website translation moves far beyond the realm of language, however. Photographs that are suitable in one location may cause offense in others, even if there was no intention to offend.
In some cultures and countries, certain animals are considered to be sacred, and should not be pictured as food or in other ways that may be deemed to be offensive. In some locations, pictures that include the sole of the foot may cause offense. When building a multilingual website with separate pages for the translations, all of the pictures, localized language, and other forms of communication can be directly targeted towards the expanded audience.
Website Translation and Multi-Purposing Content
The idea of multi-purposing content is not new or relegated only to translated content marketing materials. In fact, all of your website content can be multi-purposed so as to expand your reach and influence online.
Once all of your marketing content has been translated, you now have all of the necessary tools to create podcasts or videos from articles. You can create slideshows and other forms of communication that work together to increase your visibility online.
All of these materials will also be indexed by the search engines, at least if handled properly. Video transcription should also be noted here, and not without good cause. Using video translation and transcription services allows for the creation of SRT files or closed captioning for your video marketing materials to be created and used online.
YouTube allows for the uploading of SRT files in virtually any language you would like to use. What makes this impressive in terms of SEO and visibility is that these multilingual closed captioning files will also be indexed by the search engines. Not only will YouTube now be more likely to highlight and recommend your videos, but so will the search engines, especially with foreign language searches where there are fewer competitors online.
The end result is that a one-time website translation has now given you everything you need to go out and begin a comprehensive multilingual social media marketing campaign and to increase your overall visibility, not only in domestic markets but in the more profitable and less competitive international markets as well.
Website Translation and Multilingual Social Media Marketing
The Facebook user interface supports 111 languages, YouTube supports 80, WhatsApp 58, Instagram about 50, and yet, the vast majority of people online are only utilizing these platforms in English. Moreover, the same study by Reuters that provided all these statistics also indicated that there are 31 additional languages in common use on Facebook alone.
Facebook alone has almost 50,000,000 users who converse primarily in Portuguese, 42,000,000 who speak Malay, and almost 35,000,000 users speaking in Spanish. Twitter is even more diverse, though with a much broader penetration of the Japanese markets with almost 30,000,000 users speaking Japanese.
Add in the other social media platforms and it should be evident that running a multilingual social media marketing campaign should not even be an option, but should be seen as necessary. There is a vast and hungry market that may have never been introduced to any of the information you convey with your content.
Reaching out to such an audience, however, also means having all of the means in place to be ready to accept them as customers, clients, members, or in any other fashion where they can be monetized by the website owner. This makes it imperative that not just language options, but full websites and all of the content marketing materials are available and readily visible to the foreign language markets online.
Video influencers whose only real product is their videos and promotional items could easily get their videos out in front of literally tens of millions more viewers. Internet Marketers who sell informational materials may need some document translation services to translate those materials, but can introduce their products to tens of millions more potential customers.
Imagine moving into national markets with substantially less competition. What are the potential rewards of such a move?
These numbers for foreign language users on the internet, impressive though they may be, are not just some distant dream. These are attainable goals and hungry customers for those internet marketers that are willing to put forth the added effort necessary to provide these customers with a landing page.
Will it take some work? Absolutely. Building a multilingual web presence is not going to be an easy chore, but when has building a successful online marketing campaign ever been simple? The fact remains that there are literally tens, if not hundreds of hungry new customers and viewers available on the internet today. The only question that remains is are you willing to start a successful multilingual marketing campaign to reach out to them?
About the Author!
Ofer Tirosh is the part-time editor at Study clerk and CEO of Tomedes, a translation company that works as a language service provider for people and businesses expanding into the global markets, and focusing on globalization through the use of localization strategies.