With approximately 841 million speakers worldwide, English is one of the most widely spoken languages across the globe. Even more common is Mandarin, which boasts more than one billion speakers globally, according to SIL International’s Ethnologue: Languages of the World.Additionally, nearly 500 million people speak Spanish and 380 million know Hindi—a combined population that rivals the global English-speaking populace.
If you’re only producing content in English, you’re failing to connect online with these massive populations (and more!) that could constitute a large portion of your potential client base. Use the information below to craft multilingual content for your law firm’s online marketing, and expand your business horizons.
1. Find your untapped audience.
Analyze demographics within your city by using population and demographic data from the United States Census Bureau and similar resources. For instance, San Diego County, California has a large Hispanic and Latino population—roughly 33%—so a personal injury attorney may want to alter his/her law firm’s online marketing toward Spanish speakers.
Also, take stock of your current and past clients. Do you often find them asking for documents translated into Korean or Arabic? Does your staff often need to conduct client conversations in languages other than English? These are indicators that it’s time to focus on multilingual content, and which language(s) you should hone in on.
2. Decide what to translate and/or create.
Translating content from English into another language, and creating new content in a different language, are two different things. When deciding which strategy is best for you, ponder this:
- Do you already have a library of engaging content to translate or are you starting fresh?
- Do you have the existing resources or access to resources that will help you craft material directly in another language, e.g., does an attorney at your firm have the ability to write new content in a foreign language both fluently and professionally? Or, is translation the cheaper and easier option in your particular situation?
For example, if your law firm’s online marketing (e.g., online blog) receives a high level of engagement, consider translating the top blog articles from English and transforming your current blog page into a multilingual one.
3. Find a native speaker or professional translator.
Don’t give in to the temptation of using a free online translation service. Sure, it’s inexpensive, but the quality of your blog and marketing materials will suffer. When translating or creating new “foreign language” content from scratch, be sure to consult a native speaker or someone proficient in professionally writing in that language. Take advantage of your office team’s language skills if possible, or outsource the work to a reliable translation service.
4. Implement a multilingual SEO strategy.
Those whose primary language is Spanish, for instance, may surf the web in Spanish. Invest time into sharing your multilingual content on social media and even guest posting on blogs that cater to Spanish speakers. This will help to build a multilingual SEO strategy that drives traffic to your law firm’s online marketing content.
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