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The foreign language internet – opportunity for business

The foreign language internet is a tremendous opportunity for businesses currently marketing themselves in English to increase sales by an order of magnitude. Internet marketing in foreign languages is a massively profitable, yet underused, activity, because it’s easier to reach the top of the search engine rankings in languages other than English.

As there’s less content online in foreign languages, there’s less competition to rank highly. Less competition means lower costs when paying for ads on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. It also means companies need fewer inbound links to their websites to rank highly in the natural results.  For businesses, this translates into a higher return on investment in foreign language search engine marketing (SEM) than in English language SEM. The growing multilingual web is the great untapped opportunity of our age, and here’s why:

• Over half of all Google searches are in a language other than English.

• Only 25% of the Earth’s population speak English – 94% of this number do so as a second language.

• 85% of all consumers require information in their native language before making a purchase (1).

• English accounts for only 31% of all internet language use.

• Between 2000 and 2008, foreign languages have experienced massive growths in usage online.

• 35% of all web traffic goes to the top Google-ranked site – which is double the traffic of the second ranked site (2).

• eCommerce is growing year upon year – an 11% compound annual growth rate is forecast for Western Europe alone over the next five years, hitting €114billion by 2014 (3).

• Every US$1 spent on localisation yields a $25 return (4).

At Lingo24 we’ve experienced firsthand the benefits of search engine marketing for the foreign language internet. Our localised sites for our target markets in northern and western Europe are prominent in search engines for competitive foreign language keywords in the translation industry.

We’ve discovered that it’s much easier and more affordable to dip your toe into the foreign language internet than you might expect.

We are now helping Lingo24’s new and existing clients to make the most of the foreign language internet for their own businesses – get in touch and we’ll show you how.

1. ‘Cant’ Read, Won’t Buy’, Common Sense Advisory

2. Chitika Research

3. Forrester Research Inc

4. Localization Industry Standards Association 2007 report

Christian Arno, Founder and President, Lingo24

Christian Arno is Founder and President of Lingo24. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world.

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