5 must-have elements to include on your bilingual website (Part 2)

Nowadays, every business and non-profit should have a website. This is a must to promote their products, services or a cause.  Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, many have had to quickly create a brand-new website, while others had to update their existing one to be able to take orders and payments online.  This has become crucial to the survival of their business in the last year.  

While having a website has become necessary, if your company or organization is based in Québec, by law, your website needs to be available in French.  As stated in Article 52 of the Charter of the French Language (commonly known as Bill 101), the website of companies with an address in Québec must be at least as complete in French as it is in English. Failure to comply can lead to fines ranging from $600 to $20,000! That’s a hefty price to pay! 

Also, by having a unilingual website, you are missing out on opportunities to attract more clients. For example, if you make beautiful hand-crafted soaps and have a transactional website that makes it possible for people to order your soaps online, but your website is only in English, you are only selling to anglophone clients.  However, if this website is also available in French, you can now attract and sell to francophones.  Increase your impact! Increase your sales!  

The same goes for your non-profit organization. Posting bilingual content on your website will attract more donors, which, in turn, increases the odds of success of your fundraising campaigns.  

Other than the obvious homepage, where people land, your bilingual website should include:  

  • A simple breakdown of your services, programs or products: For example, if you scroll to the Services section of my website, you will see that I offer “À la carte” translation services and “FLEX Translation Packages”. You then have the option to click on Find out more buttons, to do exactly that.   
  • An “About Us” page: This is where people can find out more about your organization.  It may include your mission, your values, and a brief history of your organization.   
  • Testimonials and client logos: Your success should be showcased through 3-4 testimonials of clients satisfied with your business or participants in your organization’s programs. Just like testimonials, client logos showcase your clients and gives potential clients an idea of who you work with and the types of projects you work on.   
  • A blog (or news or press release) section: Search engines love “live”, dynamic websites that regularly add new content. Also, your blog positions your company, your products/services, your expertise, and your team against the competition. To find out more about this subject, click here for an article from my friend Nathalie Dion from B2H Conseils. 
  • A “Contact Us” section: This should include your name, your email address and your phone number. If you’re part of an organization, you could add info@ email address and main phone number, or include departments and team members’ names and email addresses.  You could also add a contact form where people can type in their name, email address and message.   
  • BONUS: If you’re a non-profit, you absolutely must have an easy-to-find DONATE button on your main menu or as a call to action on your homepage. This button should not be hidden in a drop-down menu.   

For more tips on what your bilingual website should include, read Part 1 one of this article here.   

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