The goal of your website is to reach current and prospective customers. But what if many of those customers don’t speak English? How are you going to connect with them? With your website, of course!
The Benefits of a Multilingual Website
Your Content Will Reach a Wider Audience Worldwide
Worldwide, only 25.9% of internet users are native English speakers. The next three are:
- Chinese 19.4%
- Spanish 7.9%
- Arabic 5.2%
If you have a business that could benefit from a worldwide audience, you must serve a worldwide audience by adding another language to your website.
Your Content Will Reach a Wider Audience in the United States
Even though most people within the United States speak English, many don’t or prefer to use websites in their own language, especially when making purchasing decisions for products or services online.
According to the American Community Survey in 2017, in the U.S., these are the ten most common languages spoken at home by people five years of age or older:
- English only – 239 million
- Spanish – 41 million
- Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien) – 3.5 million
- Tagalog (including Filipino) – 1.7 million
- Vietnamese – 1.5 million
- Arabic – 1.2 million
- French – 1.2 million
- Korean – 1.1 million
- Russian – 0.94 million
- German – 0.92 million
Do you live in a Multilingual Region?
If you have a product or a service that anyone can use and are only marketing to people in English, you could miss out on much potential business! This is especially the case in some regional regions where languages other than English are spoken in more significant numbers. For example, if you live in California or Texas, it would be worth considering adding Spanish to your site. If your business is in San Francisco, Chinese would be an excellent language to consider adding. You know your business and the area it serves. Do some research and decide for yourself.
A Multilingual Site Will Also Improve Communication with Customers
It is important to be able to serve your customers beyond the website, as well. You wouldn’t want to have your photography site translated into Russian and have no one at your business who can speak Russian when the customer comes in to get portraits taken. You would need to figure out how you will serve that customer.
One example is Bienvenidos Law. They are specialists in immigration law in Anoka, Minnesota. Clients can read their site in English or Spanish by choosing the language in the menu. When you go to their law office, the people who work their also speak Spanish, so it is a seamless system that serves both English and Spanish speakers well.
This is also an obvious example of a business that should have a multilingual site since their client base is usually not native English speaking.
Businesses that Should Consider Adding Languages to their Site
Aside from businesses serving non-English speaking clients, other types of industries that should have a bilingual or multilingual site are:
- International Ecommerce
- Travel and Tourism Companies
- Hotels and other accommodations
- Sightseeing and cultural centers
- Event Organizers
- Companies in countries with more than one language
Another business that has a multilingual site is La Perla Tortillas. Because they sell their products in restaurants and grocery stores, English and Spanish speakers alike will be purchasing their products. Customers can choose in which language they would like to read the website’s content. All they need to do is click on the flag of their choice on the upper right-hand side of the page. Go ahead. Open the site and try it for yourself!
Reaching Your Audience
If you need help reaching your audience, contact the experts at Iceberg Web Design. We look forward to talking to you.
 Johnson, Joseph. “Internet: Most Common Languages Online 2020.” Statista, 27 Jan. 2021, www.statista.com/statistics/262946/share-of-the-most-common-languages-on-the-internet/.
American FactFinder, Census Bureau, 2020