How do you quickly double your online income? Well, that's easy. Get found by 50 of world that currently cannot possibly find you. I can almost hear you say, "Did you just say that 50 of world cannot possibly find me?" Yes, and that is saddest thing but greatest, simple to execute opportunity for many online businesses
Let us start by seeing why half world is in no position to find you. After that, we will see how we can change that. Some quick statistics and facts are in order here. These are numbers and facts that we will be using to formulate our strategy and win in these foreign markets:
- According to some accounts, half world's Internet users either do not speak English, or they do speak it but prefer to search web in their own language. In either case, when they go to a search engine, they type in their search terms in their language and not in English. That is why they cannot find your web site - because keywords you use are not translated into their language. But remember, they can read English or use translation software to translate English sites. The only problem here is that they cannot find your site. But if they did, they would be able to use it somehow. We will look deeper into that later.
- They tend to use localized search engines that are able to index words in their language.
- They use translation tools that are able to translate English web pages to their language as they browse.
- Although world has thousands of languages and dialects, 97 of world speaks just 24 languages! A quick visit to Oracle.com will show you what these languages are. Oracle has a drop-down language selector that covers them all. You can make your own simple instant translator free at http://www.rohitab.com/cgiscripts ranslingo.html. Modifying it a little would enable you to have a single drop down instant translator that covers 30 languages. See http://www.FatSMS.com for an example of how this has been done. If you wish to have one of these on your site, see http://www.positionweaver.com ransguide/ for more information.
- Because very few English site owners submit to non-English search engines, and do so using appropriate content as we shall soon see, you will be tapping into a very ripe, large and untapped market with much less competition.
- Foreign language markets online are growing at a much faster rate than English speaking ones as Internet penetrates these countries.
On a country-by-country level, here are some quick statistics and facts to go by:
- In Latin world, Brazil is largest single market, speaking Portuguese. Also keep in mind that roughly 1 out of every 9 people in USA are Spanish speakers. That is a huge market.
- The German market is very large, wealthy, and high-tech. It also has a large proportion of bilingual users who primarily search and browse in German but they are able to read English sites when they do find them, without use of any translation software.
- The French-speaking world is probably even larger than German one, with about 150 million people spread around world in many francophone countries.
- The Asian speaking market is phenomenal. Some researchers estimate that by 2007, dominant language on Internet will be Chinese. Even today, Asian users make up a big chunk of all online users. Japan, second largest economy in world, is non-English speaking.
To ignore these markets is simply crazy, yet most people do. But that is understandable, given fact that most people think it is very difficult to penetrate them. I would like to show you how easy it really is, something that I myself just learnt a couple of days ago quite by accident.
Our goal is simple, and it is to get people to find our web site when they search using words in their language that describe our site. For example, say you had a web site that sold travel reservations. Let us assume that most people find your site using search term 'cheap air tickets'. If your site were entirely in English, then you would only get people searching using term 'cheap air tickets'. You would never be found by Germans searching for 'preiswerte Flugscheine', German translation of that. Remember, these Germans would have been able to read your site in English or use their translation-capable browsers to read it, and then order from you. The same goes for Italians searching for 'biglietti di aria poco costosi' or Spaniards that type in 'billetes de avión baratos' into search engine. But you could have sold to any one of them, they were definitely looking for you and they would have understood you.