Should your website offer multiple languages?
The United States is a country with diverse peoples, cultures and languages. To reach as many potential customers as possible, it may benefit your business to offer various language choices. Doing so will not only place your website in search results it wouldn’t otherwise have, but also increases the amount of content you offer. Offering more content allows the search engines to rank your site with greater “search authority”, hence higher page positions in search.
According to Wikipedia, there are currently 41 million Spanish speaking residents in the US. When you consider that there are nearly 320 million people living in this country, those Spanish speakers represent nearly 8% of the population. If your website only offers English language pages, you may be missing out on potential customer acquisitions.
Because Wicked Design tracks the metrics of all of the websites we design and develop, we have a collection of unique knowledge regarding website trends, including search phrases and default languages set in visitors browsers. There are many, many folks who use Google and other search engines using the Spanish language. We see Spanish search phrases from users seeking products, services and places to eat. If you don’t offer a Spanish version of your website, these online seekers will find those that do.
While there are many online solutions that offer website translation of English pages, often the context of a message is lost. Automated website translation services can be a powerful tool that helps empower many, but often the specific meaning or context of a message can be lost. Therefore, offering properly translated website pages can increase your customer base when non-English speakers are reassured by proper attention provided to them. Because keeping the interest of your web visitor is critical, you must accurately and properly communicate with them in meaningful ways.
Here in the northern Virginia area, our community is even more diverse than other surrounding areas. The metro Washington DC area attracts peoples from all over the world, who need products and services like everyone else. Therefore, the importance of offering native language websites should be a consideration for your business or organization. When done properly, your web pages will benefit from search that it would not otherwise enjoy.
The good news is that your current website may enjoy the benefits of having mulit-language services without needing a total redesign. There are many off the shelf, and inexpensive (if not free) tools to help enable this. Once installed, language columns are displayed next to the list of pages contained in your website. Next to the English column, you will see other columns that relate to different languages. To populate a page in another language, you simply choose the translation box for the chosen second (or third, forth etc.) language and a blank page appears.
At that point you begin to enter the translated content for that particular page. Once done, you save your work. When the web visitor chooses to see your site in the translated language, that new page version appears automatically. These same tools allow language button to appear at the top, making it a simple matter to switch between languages.
While some of these tools offer automated translation services, these options are not ideal due to the issues mentioned above; proper context. The ideal method is to have your content translated by a person, or company, who has a master grasp of both of the languages in question. Doing do will help ensure that your web visitor had the best experience possible.
Wicked Design recently completed the development of a large website that offers both English and Spanish languages. The SeasonsInOurLife.com website, owned by Dr. Carlos Durana, offers his clientele the ability to view his site in English or Spanish. Because of this fact, he’s broadened the appeal of the services he offers through his website. At the same time, those potential Spanish language clients seeking his services will discover his three offices (Reston, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington, DC) using the search engines.
English Version of Website
Spanish Version of Website
Success of this endeavor can be seen in website metrics for his site. Dr. Durana now enjoys seeing Spanish language searches from visitors appearing in website reports. He is now capturing the interest of a portion of those 41 million Spanish speaking folks. This will give his practice leverage over others who only offer English language website. Lastly, his website page count has also doubled to fifty six pages. In terms of search ranking, this adds powerful “search juice” to his online ranking and authority.
If your business or organization is considering offering multiple languages for your website, Wicked Design would be glad to help. Send us a note for a free consultation.