How to choose the languages for your international website

When you localise your website, there are hundreds of languages in the world to choose from, only a small proportion of which will be useful in the context of taking your business global.

Although you could just look at the most popular languages on the Internet, choosing the languages you localize your website into should be based on a combination of several factors, and take your business into account. Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down your list:

Where is there demand for your product/service

Selling your product to people who already want it is half the battle. Market Research on where your product or service is in demand will take the guesswork out of your export strategy.

Have you received international orders before?

Having a bedrock of customers in an overseas market will fast forward your growth there. You can see where your international orders are coming from by examining your customer data or web analytics and then focus on those markets to ensure a speedy ROI.

Which countries are most practical for you to deliver to?

This is where you’ll find yourself discounting several markets for practical reasons. There may be a huge demand for your products in any given country, but if the cost of shipping or customs formalities and regulations are very stringent, you won’t be able to compete with domestic businesses in your field.

Where are your competitors active?

Look at which countries your competitors are trading in. Chances are, you should be there too.

Are there areas your competitors have overlooked?

Rather than following in your rivals’ footsteps, why not break new ground by launching in untapped markets?

What budget have you earmarked to invest in international expansion?

This will certainly dictate how many countries you can target in one go, and may guide you in which ones you choose to prioritise.


Thinking about these issues will help you select particular countries or markets to target, and give you more information to get a quote for any work you need doing to ensure a successful international launch.

We can help you identify the best markets to launch your product or service into – ask us for more details.