Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.
+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
You have a small business. That certainly doesn’t mean you think small. Nor does it mean your customers reside in a small geographic area. Global business is for everyone these days, and for the company that makes smart decisions about multilingual search engine optimization (MSEO), the Web can deliver a potentially endless stream of revenue opportunity from customers around the world.
Hurried translation efforts and hastily constructed websites, however, do more harm than good when it comes to bottom-line results. For those contemplating a move into overseas markets, there are four key points to keep in mind:
1. Word choice counts. Before your company goes live with a website in another language, make sure your copy is optimized and relies on proper keyword selection. Your translation should convey who you are, what you do, and why customers should care.
2. Machine translation might be cheap, and you’ll learn why if you make the mistake of using it. Localizing copy requires knowledge not only of vocabulary, but also of nuance and regional connotation.
3. Don’t assume a visitor’s locale dictates her language choice. Perhaps your customer is in Quebec. She might speak French, but it is just as likely she’d rather see information in English or possibly even another language. Offer her a choice of languages via a drop-down menu.
4. SEO is not an add-on feature. Some companies translate their websites and optimize them later to phase in resource investments, but this phased approach can cost more money in the long term. MSEO should guide your content development and site-architecture strategy to ensure you have launched a website that will attract customers.
CEO and co-founder
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.