Got a website? Good start. But when dealing with global customers, you have to take a giant step further.
According to the Internet World Stats, Internet users who do not speak English now outnumber the Internet users who do speak English. Constructing a successful global website – one that users can navigate effortlessly — is a must.
John Yunker, President of Ashland, Oregon-based Byte Level Research, says language is only your first concern. “People often assume the most challenging aspect of Web globalization is translation,” he says, “but often it is such things as customer support, fulfillment, and usability.”
Yunker offers these tips:
- Ease your way into global markets. Start with one market and/or one language and be consistent.
- Build your site for speed. You may have a broadband connection at home, but most of the world connects to the Internet through a dial-up connection.
- Feature more than just a few pages of translated content. You do not want to disappoint users who discover the site doesn’t fulfill what it appears to promise.
“To reach out to the world for business, your website should be flexible enough to adapt to other languages in the future,” adds Vigdis Eriksen, founder and president of Eriksen Translations in Brooklyn, New York.