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iWorld by Sharad Agarwal

How Many Languages Does It Take To Stay Competitive Online?

A minimum of 16, if you want to be among the best

How Many Languages Does It Take To Stay Competitive Online?

A ranking of the world's 100 best websites for global and multilingual visitors reveals that you need to possess multilingual capability in order to succeed internationally.

But language isn't the only criterion that determines web globalization success. Some of the other factors that also count include:

  • The total addressable audience the site can reach
  • The spending power of the linguistic communities it supports
  • The incremental growth in demographics of each target segment

According to a recent research, out of a maximum 'Global Web Score of 10', Google led the list of top ranked sites with 9.56, followed closely by Facebook (9.53) and YouTube (9.51). Other companies that merit attention include Wikipedia (9.43), Samsung (9.11), Blackberry (9.10), and HP (8.97).

Top 10 Languages in the internet

Any business pursuing customers online must consider the linguistic reality of the marketplace. It is imperative to factor in the following features when planning a global web presence.

  • Geo-lingual visitors, individuals who will be more likely to complete tasks on a website if content is adapted to his or her country requirements and/or linguistic preferences
  • Customer Experience Levels (CEL), a proscribed set of experiences common to all websites
  • Availability Quotient, what percent of world online population can take advantage of a given CEL on a particular website
  • World Online Wallet (WOW), the economic buying potential of online audiences
  • Meta-navigation, how a visitor moves from one country or language to another within the global web presence of a single company
  • Automated Geo-targeting according to IP address detection
  • Match the localization of content with respective country domains
  • Social media and multimedia engagement strategies for global and multilingual visitors
  • Make sure brand messages are not lost in translation

It is quite apparent that web globalization is now a mainstream business activity. Companies are learning that if they want to achieve higher levels of international revenue, their web presence must be global. It takes a combination of quantity and quality to create a compelling web experience for users that may speak any language and come from anywhere in the world.

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