Arabic is not just one of the sweetest languages in the world, but it is also one of the most widely spoken. Arabic is the major language in the Middle East and in the North African region. Needless to say, if any business owner wants to reach out to his or her customers in these regions, Arabic has to be the language of choice. And this is precisely where many of the online marketers are not measuring up.
Moreover, a website is usually created to market products and services. For an online marketer, a website is like a 24-hour supermarket where a visitor can arrive anytime and make their purchase. So, if someone has to market their products or services online in the Arabic speaking countries, doesn’t common sense say that their website should be translated to Arabic?
With more than 344 million speakers, Arabic has become the fastest growing language on the world wide web and occupies already the 7th spot in terms of popularity. One may argue that most people in the Arabic speaking countries don’t have access to the internet but data shows something else altogether!
Indeed, while the worldwide internet usage in 2014 is expected to rise by 6.6%, the growth rate in MEA (Middle East and Africa) is projected to be 10.6%. This is not an unusual trend – internet use in MEA has been growing faster than the rest of the world at least since 2011.
There is even more impressive data available in the domain of digital ad spending. Digital ad spending in MEA experienced 50% growth in 2011 compared to 2010. In the next couple of years the spending increased almost at the same rate. It is expected that by 2016, the growth in digital ad spending worldwide will be 10% while it will almost reach 20% in the MEA.
All these data points clearly point out that a website translated into Arabic works better for SEO purposes. As the internet makes more inroads into the homes of Arabic speaking people, and with the remarkable growth of mobile searches, potential consumers in the Arab world are all going to look for their products and services’ needs in Arabic. Therefore, websites that are already translated into Arabic will get precedence over English language websites simply because they can better appeal to the Arabic speaking people. With more people visiting these websites it is only natural Google and the other top search engines are going to rank these websites highly.
To sell online, an internet marketer has to offer the right content to the right audience. So, if the audience is Arabic there has to be Arabic content on the website. Machine translation jobs are shoddy, so someone has to sit and translate websites into the Arabic language.
All these points clearly indicate that Arabic website translation has moved from a “good to have” to a “must have”!