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Old 07-23-2004   #1
K.S. Katz
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Pros & Cons for Going Multi-Lingual

I'm a director of a non-profit organization that's demographic is strictly United States. We know there's opportunities to expand into the multi-lingual market, but are still trying to weigh in the Pros and Cons:

Pros
1) It opens our organization to a largely untapped marketplace.
2) We would be able to get our message out and help more people.

Cons
1) Translating the website. I've checked out translation services and they're very expensive. Translation software is cheaper but it oftentimes makes glaring errors.
2) Cost of adding additional personnel, making the script multi-lingual and training them to handle the new clients.

SEO for the website. Does SEO change? Because you're dealing with not only another language, but also another culture.
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Old 07-23-2004   #2
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Thumbs up Test, test, test

I suggest you start off with translating a few landing pages, let's say 5 or 10. Then do a small PPC test campaign with Google and/or Overture. Do it just for your money words in the desired language and build your ads in that same language.

Test, test, test and measure results. This strategy wont get you take in a big loss if it doesn't work. However, if it does, it might pay for the entire project by increasing your number of landing pages based on profits.

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Old 07-23-2004   #3
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..

Like Nacho mentioned. You might want to start off small. Don't expect to much. You might or might not succeed. The company I currently work for, who happens to sell compatible inkjet cartridges, created a website for the spanish market and got pretty bad results.

The only problem I really see is, how are you going to deal with customer service for your new market? Also it will be costly to keep up with changes to the websites. You will have to make the change on both your English and Spanish site, and everytime you will need to consult with your translator, and that might cost you money.
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Old 07-24-2004   #4
bwelford
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Well here in Quebec you have no choice for many markets. Your market place may split say 50% french speakers and 50% english speakers. It's just a cost of doing business. It brings lots of head-aches but you've just got to work around it.
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Old 07-27-2004   #5
maxfink
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Spanish Website Translation

Well, you have to have the right chemistry between your good/service and the target market to get good results. There is no doubt there is a huge U.S. Hispanic demographic (almost 13% of the total U.S. population), and that a good part of that demographic is searching for goods and services online in Spanish. But if you are going to do it, you want to be in a position where you can convert that traffic efficiently. In any case, if you are going to translate the website into another language for the U.S. market, you should clearly start with Spanish.

Keep in mind, it is a bit easier at this point to rank well in the search engines in Spanish.

Links to look at:

http://www.hacr.org/statistics.htm

http://www.ushispanic.net/USHisp/USHispbyState.html

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/.../cb02ff15.html

http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p20-545.pdf (detailed Pdf file: will take a minute to download)

--Max
Sharpersites.com

Last edited by Nacho : 07-27-2004 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Removed link on signature
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