Targeting new markets isn’t a surprising new strategy for businesses looking to grow. Yet few businesses seriously consider expanding into geographical markets outside of their home country, with research by Baker Tilly suggesting that less than a third of UK SMEs are active in overseas markets.The economic potential of using the web to generate revenue is worth almost £27th worldwide, yet websites with solely English content can only ever take advantage of a third of that figure, research shows. Few businesses also see translating their website content into other languages as a way to grow online, with many SMEs believing an English website alone is enough when expanding into other countries. Yet, considering that there are 2.4 billion web users speaking thousands of different languages and dialects globally, this mindset is a huge waste of a fantastic growth opportunity. So, why aren’t more businesses wising up to the incredible potential offered by producing website content in languages other than English? It’s worth looking at the reasons behind this outdated approach to language and dissecting why these assumptions no longer ring true: 1. Everyone speaks English This is a dangerous assumption to make for any business focusing on growth, especially when you delve into the statistics. In fact, as NewsReach’s interactive infographic How Far Does Your Content Reach? shows, an English website is capable of being understood by just a quarter (26 per cent) of the world’s online population. String more languages to your online bow, however, and you could potentially reach a much larger number of web users. For example, add Chinese content and you can instantly up your reach to half the online world (51 per cent), while adding Spanish pages could allow you to reach six in ten web users worldwide. Striking research also shows that more than half (52 per cent) of global online shoppers will only buy from websites offering content in their own language, so ignoring their demands means businesses are set to miss out on significant potential revenue.
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