You have decided to take a step beyond and go global.
That may sound really abstract. And it is indeed.
One company can’t go global from one day to another, that’s for sure. In fact, I always recommend having a scalable strategy:
So, you made the decision to expand your business abroad, and now what?
Probably, if you have an online business, the main source of income comes from your website. What should you do with it to have the same impact abroad?
I’m sure that one of the strategies that you have thought about is the translation of your website. A good translation a localisation of your website can be a good way to proceed. However, did you know that there are different ways to translate a website?
It depends. As everything depends in the translation industry. The most important thing here is to ask yourself: what’s the main purpose of my website and what do I want to get from it?
Differences between a multiregional and a multilingual website
A multilingual website is, in general, a website whose original content (the content that was firstly included in the website) has been translated into a different language/s. Ideally, this content would have been modified to sound as natural as possible in the target language. For example, the way that we convey persuasiveness in Spanish is different than the way we do the same in English.
However, the content is the same. Every single ideal included in your original content has been translated into a different one.
On the other hand, a multiregional website is a website that you can read in different languages, but the information in every version of the website is different. The information has been altered in a way that people from a specific region can understand and feel identified with. So let’s say that you have a website whose copy is in English and want to get it translated into Spanish, then the process will be different if you want to target a Spanish or Latin American audience, for instance.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
The advantage of a multilingual website is that you can target a wider audience as it isn’t specialised in a specific region. This is a double-edged weapon, as you’ll have to adjust your copy for a greater audience. You’ll need to be aware of the different cultural and terminological differences. For example, a vest could mean different things in the UK and the USA, so be careful if you’re selling clothes.
With multiregional websites you know that all the information in your copy will be completely adapted to the specific region that you’re targeting at. However, it may not be the same for people from different region, even if they speak the same language, which may not be a bad thing as you’re only targeting a specific region.
So, the question here would be: who do you want to target with your website?
Tips for multilingual websites
- Research your new audience: You need to know the needs of your new audience. If they don’t share the same needs as your audience, maybe you should change the content in your website and go for a multiregional website.
- Hire a translator specialised in marketing and corporate materials. It’s not just about languages, but finding the voice of your brand in a different language. So make sure that the branding of your business in a different language is in safe hands.
- Research the language itself for online purposes. For example, when choosing different keywords for your copy, you should research those that perform well in the target language to gain more visibility online.
- Pay special attention to the translation of the name of your brand and your mission statement, as they must be adapted to a bigger audience.
Tips for multiregional website
- Here you’ll need to special attention to the market instead of the language.
- You need to know everything that it’s going on within this specific market. Address current events and news going on to attract the attention of your audience. For example, have a look at the trending topics on Twitter of this region in specific.
- Also, you need to know the need of that specific region. It will be different from the needs of your original community and therefore you’ll have to tackle them in a different way.
- Here you’ll have to hire a copywriter or a content marketer specialised in both, your field and the community that you want to target to guarantee that the content of your website is focused on this niche.
- When dealing with SEO strategies, you should focus on those keywords that are used within the community that you want to target, instead of the language. you can use Adwords’ keyword planner for this purpose changing the area that you’re researching.
- Geolocalise your website and business so it can be easily found in this specific region.
Make sure that you that you make the right decision as you could lose a lot of readers if you don’t align this strategy to the main objectives of your business.
Have you already decided which strategy are you going to use to start internationalising your business?