Posted on May 23, 2000
by Robin PorterGetting more traffic must be one of the most widely covered subjects on the Internet today.
Everyone wants more visitors to their website, and with online competition increasing daily, marketing your business online can seem like a daunting task.
But as we come across ever more imaginative ways to lure them in, I can't help feeling that the vast majority of webmasters are overlooking a vast untapped online market. Potential markets of many millions of "surfers", many of which are likely to be interested in your products / services / website. But if such huge markets exist, why are nearly all webmasters overlooking them?
The answer is language.
We take it for granted that English is the language of the Net. Most of us don't give it a second thought that many tens of millions of people are surfing the web in languages other than English. The rate of new user growth in the United States may be starting to slow down, but in Europe and elsewhere it's just hotting up. Everyone's getting online! And the mixture of languages is enormous - French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish. In many of these countries, the Internet is being embraced in ways not seen in the US. One such example is Finland -now widely recognized as a pioneer in the use of new Internet technologies and ways of using the Internet. It is also home to techno giants such as Nokia and Erricson.
Historically, the Europeans were colonist empires, and consequently, their languages are spread throughout the world. Spain and Portugal dominated central and South America, and the French reached Canada, the Carribean and large parts of Africa. Consequently Spanish is the official language of twenty countries, is spoken by over 250 million people, and is the third most widely spoken language in the world. Then of course, there's China. With over 1 Billion people -that's over 16% of the population -it's not going to be very long before we have to sit up and take notice of this huge emerging market.
So how do we tap into these markets? Firstly, you need a translated version of your website. If you have a large site, you may prefer to produce an abridged version. Translation services are easy to find locally, or you can find them online. Ideally, use one where the translator translates into their native tongue. There are some online services where you can just type the URL of a webpage, and it will provide you with your page instantly translated. These services are inexpensive or even free (such as http://www.freetranslation.com or http://www.plustranslation.com). It is advisable, however, to get a fluent speaker of the language to check the results before you use them.
You don't need to go to the trouble of new domain names, new hosting accounts -just put them on the same server as your current site. Next, you may want to include links from your homepage -perhaps in the form of flags relating to the language - to channel foreign language surfers who inadvertently end up on the English language site.
Once you have translated your website, you must of course promote it. Register it with search engines and directories in the appropriate countries. You can find listings of search engines and directories, country by country, at http://www.searchenginecolossus.com. If you have an international domain (such as .com), you shouldn't have too much trouble registering, though you may come across some that insist you are registered in that country. If so, you will need to weigh up how important that search engine is, against the potential number of surfers for that country/language. If it's too big to ignore, then you can register a domain for that country, and set up a separate website.
1. Identify countries suitable for your business, that you would like to tap into - and find out their native tongue.
2. Translate your website, using local translators, software or online services.
3. Have someone check the translation
4. Place links on your homepage, showing you have other language options.
5. Promote your website in the local countries, through directories, search engines etc.
There you have it. As the competition increases in the English
speaking world, you now have the opportunity to inexpensively
access fresh markets with tens of millions of potential
customers. Food for thought!
RP Associates brings you "The Internet Marketing Wizards". They've earnt fortunes online -now you can discover their Marketing and Success Secrets. Find out the techniques they use to ensure they absolutely cannot fail, and how you can use them to skyrocket your Internet income. Get the FREE "Wizards Success secrets" e-book and Newsletter at http://www.theinternetmarketingwizards.com/index.htm?a11 before your competitors do.
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