The English language has always dominated the internet, and by the mid 90s it was estimated that 80% of the content available online was in English. However, according to data found last year by Internet World Stats, Mandarin is fast becoming the world’s most popular language, with 771 million users online. Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese rounded out the list of the five most used languages on the internet of last year.
Following Brexit, only two EU countries (Ireland and Malta) will have English as an official language, which could lead to English being even less popular online. It is therefore imperative for online businesses to adjust and respond by investing in website localisation and translation services in order to connect with foreign clients.
English is not the most spoken language in the world
Having a localised website is imperative for businesses to cash in on foreign markets in order to increase revenue by connected with non-English speakers. English is the world’s second most popular language with 983 million speakers, despite being established as the world’s lingua franca. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with a massive 1.1 billion speakers globally, including 193 million non-native speakers. Hindi is the third most popular language, with Spanish and Arabic rounding up the top five languages.
With statistics like this, it’s no wonder that English is on the way to being outranked as the most popular language on the internet. In fact, only 25% of internet users in the world were English-speakers, according to the Internet World Stats. A massive 72% of consumers spend most of their time online on websites in their own language, while 56% of consumers admitted that access to a website in their own language is more important than the cost of a product. Localising your website allows you to connect with your foreign clients, encouraging them to buy from your business.
Localising websites is more effective than automated translation
The rise of globalisation has meant consumers are more interested in 24/7 business and customer service support. Your website must be accessible and running correctly regardless of the time of day in order to satisfy customers and encourage purchases. Only having a website in English can drive potential customers away, increasing the bounce rate on your site. As previously mentioned, only 25% of internet users are English, so having an English-only website means you are only targeting 25% of the internet population.
While Google does offer translation services for web pages, it only translates word-for-word, which means your message can get lost in translation. To avoid this you should focus on localising your website, which allows you to target specific dialects around the world. For example, Spanish is spoken globally, but each country has its own specific dialect relevant to native residents and speakers. The language spoken by the 46.6 million speakers in Spain differs from the language spoken by over 418 million speakers in Latin America. Translation experts will be fluent in the localised dialect, letting you target the specific audiences and encourage them to use your website and help drive traffic.
Translation experts can help you effectively target your audience
Translators will be able to connect you with your target audience by assisting in website localisation. Our translators are experts in judging how different cultures will respond to content, and will be able to advise you on how best to reach out. Little changes, such as the tone of voice of your content or phrases used can have a massive impact on how your audience reacts to your website. For example, retailers localising a website between Britain and the US should change product descriptions from “jumpers” to “sweaters”, or “trainers” to “sneakers”. Our expert translators will be able to advise you on how to relate to the new audience through the language used, which can encourage buyers.
Your website should be one of the main focuses of your marketing strategy, as it is often the first place customers will come when searching for products and services. When branching out to other countries, you should ensure that your website resonates with the new audience, and will effectively bring in customers. Therefore, it’s essential that you have an expertly localised website that will encourage users to purchase your products and services.
Contact us today for help with localising and translating your website, and request a quote.