So, you’ve got a great website and a solid content strategy in place, and things are going well. But, recently, you’ve been becoming increasingly aware of the fact that only having your content available in one language might be severely limiting your reach.
Say, for example, that your content is currently only in English. Well, you’re off to an excellent start, as 25% of internet users access information in English. But just because it’s still the language with the largest share of the internet, there’s no guarantee it will stay that way for long.
Plus, there’s still another 75% of users whose language you’re not speaking. That’s quite a hefty chunk.
It’s been proven time and again that people are far more likely to place their trust and their money in the hands of an online business if that business speaks their language, literally.
And it makes so much sense. If you consider your own internet usage, I think you’ll find that you rarely, or never, buy from sites that don’t have well-written content in the language you speak. If you’re anything like me, you might even change your mind about them just because a comma is out of place.
So, there’s no arguing about the fact that translating your content into another language is a fantastic way of expanding your audience and reach.
But now comes the tricky part. With so many different options to choose from, how do you narrow it down? How many languages should you translate your content into, and what languages should they be?
A good way to establish the right languages for your content is to ask yourself a few key questions.
Is there an obvious choice?
Depending on where your business is based in the world, there might be a language that it’s extremely important for you to be speaking. Some countries have multiple official languages, like Canada and Belgium.
If that’s the case for you, then choosing not to make your content available in the other official language or languages spoken in your country means you’re excluding a large part of the population.
Even if a language isn’t official, if there’s a significant group of people that speak it, then it’s well worth considering. A great example of this would be Spanish in the United States.
Do you already have a significant number of customers from a certain country?
Even though your content is currently untranslated, are you currently making significant or consistent sales in a certain country? If so, then you’ve already got a good foothold, and the likelihood is that translating your content would boost that exponentially.
Another thing to look at, as well as your sales, is your visitor numbers. You can use an analytics tool to identify the countries that your website visitors are coming from. You might be attracting visitors but failing to convert them. Translation could be the key to turning those visitors into customers.
For any countries that look like likely candidates, it’s important to do your research before diving in. Check out your competitors and get some solid data to back up your choice before committing.
And, bear in mind that the fact that you don’t have visitors from a certain country doesn’t mean that there isn’t potential in that market. It might be that a translated website would be the key to attracting and converting them so, in this case, it’s all about the research.
What’s your budget?
There’s no getting around the fact that quality translation is an investment, and some languages will be more expensive to translate into than others. There’s no point cutting corners, and it’s better to get your content translated well into fewer languages, than poorly and cheaply translated into multiple.
Bear in mind that languages that use different writing systems or run from right to left will be more complicated, and therefore have a higher price tag.
When it comes to deciding which languages to translate your content into, make sure you take your time, and do your research. Once you’ve made your decision, commit to it, and you’ll soon start to see it pay off.