How to Create Multilingual Solutions for Your Small Business Websites

Going After the International Customer

You have been growing your small business but are finding that it is time to expand into the international markets. How does one move their business to a place that will attract foreign customers? As most small business owners will attest, your website is your introduction to your customers. If you want to attract foreign visitors to your business you need to start talking in their language. You need to be able to speak to your target audience in a language they understand. Visitors are more likely to linger and purchase from websites that speak to them in their native language.

Translating Your Website Is No Easy Task

Unfortunately, translating your website from one language to another is not as simple as hitting a translation button on your computer. However, the process to translate and grow our business with your international customers can be done with a little work. By following some of the tips we have, your small business websites could be translated to most languages that your international customers are looking to attract.

Small Business Has Gone Internationally
Small Business Has Gone Internationally

New Language, New Website?

One of the first questions many business owners ask when looking to translate their websites to international customers is will they need to build completely new websites for each new language. The short answer is yes and no. Your small business website should not involve rebuilding the back end of how your website technically works. Most all websites work the same way and to show continuity with all your websites it is important that they all work the same way. The pages that your customers’ whether domestic or international view should be similar. The way they navigate within the websites should also be similar so that your customers will have familiarity with your small business website no matter what language is spoken.

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Content is King No Matter What Language is Spoken

The content within your various multilingual websites are what matters most to you and your international customers. It is important to understand that the information you provide on your primary website will translate well into other languages. For example, if your marketing a service and use a phrase like “there’s no home like your home”, you need to make sure that that phrase will translate correctly in the language of the international customers you are marketing to.

SEO is Important in Multilanguage Websites

Just as search engine optimization is important to your primary website, having good SEO is important to any multilingual websites that your small business puts out there. After all, you still want your international customers to be able to find you and your small business. You will need to recognize that just because certain words or terms are popular keywords in English, that they are popular keywords in another language. For your small business to be successful in another language you will need to find those keywords that are popular in that language. Not an easy task unfortunately, as there is not a shortcut to making this process happen. By utilizing Google Trends, you can match English words and terms with their high rankings translations.

We need to be able to speak several languages in business
We need to be able to speak several languages in business

Different Domains for Different Languages

As a small business owner, one decision that you will find yourself making is whether or not to expand your internet presence into other domains. Is the domain name of your business available in other countries that you want to do business in? If you are looking to expand into the European market, do you currently hold the .eu domain for your small business? How about doing business in Russia with the .ru domain? In many cases you might want to make sure that your competition does not steal these domains away from you while expanding their reach into international markets. However, as a small business it might not be prudent or even possible to go on an international domain name spending spree.

International Internet Traffic

Before you spend a ton of money gathering up international domains for your small business, start looking into where your internet traffic is coming from. If you are getting a substantial amount of traffic from different international markets then solicit opinions and feedback from those customers on how your current website is doing. You may find that with some small changes on your website you will reach more international markets.

Without Social Media your business will not survive.
Without Social Media your business will not survive.

Social Media and International Business

As any small business owner will tell you, driving people to your website takes some effort. Usually that means involving your business with the popular social media sites. Most businesses are using Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic towards their websites; however, in many countries, these are not always the biggest social media sites. For example, Twitter is stilled banned in China so the big social media site for them is Sina Weibl. A social media site that continues to gain a huge audience in China.

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