Learn from the best global and mobile websitesWeb globalization often leaves people with more questions than answers, such as:
- What companies are doing the best job of taking their websites global and mobile?
- What are the most popular languages across all websites?
- How are companies integrating and promoting Twitter and Facebook on their local websites?
- What mobile apps support the most languages — and what languages exactly?
- What websites offer the best global gateways?
About the Report CardFounded in 2000, Byte Level Research was the first firm dedicated exclusively to the art and science of web globalization. We have consulted with hundreds of multinationals and have learned what works and what doesn't work and, just as important, where their websites are headed. This expertise is carried over into the methodology of the Report Card, the first report dedicated to best practices in web globalization.
We conduct a hands-on analysis of the world's leading websites, analyzing how web designs are shared across countries and mobile platforms, noting languages used on every website and mobile app, and studying local content, social media, and navigation. This information, along with nearly a decade of historical data, will help you benchmark your company against competitive and “best of breed” sites such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Hotels.com. A combination of quantitative data and practical, hands-on advice make this report an invaluable resource for any company doing business across borders.
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Who this report is for
- Web executives use this report to learn best practices and drive changes within their companies based on concrete data. For example, knowing exactly which companies are now using geolocation can help raise awareness and get management buy-in. No other report will tell you exactly which companies are using geolocation right now and which companies are using language detection.
- Marketing executives use this report to improve the effectiveness and usability of their global websites. The numerous screen shots included in the report clearly illustrate trends and best practices. The report points out flaws in many of the world's most popular websites — and, more important, makes clear suggestions for improvement.
- Web design firms and advertising agencies rely on this report to upgrade their web globalization skills. This report's accessibility and its wide range of real-world examples makes complex concepts more easily understood.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Mobile Meets Global
- Executive Summary
- Top Findings, Trends, and Recommendations
Part I: The Websites and How They Were Scored
- How Websites Were Selected
- The Websites
- Scoring Methodology
- What's Changed Since 2011
- Global Reach (Languages)
- Global Navigation
- Global/Mobile Architecture
- Localization & Social
- Methodology FAQ
- What Do the Scores Mean?
Part II: Key Findings and Trends
- All Website Scores
- Leaders of Industry
- Languages: How Many?
- Languages: What’s Hot?
- Global Navigation: The Top 25
- The Value of Country Codes
- The Use of Icons
- Wave Flags With Care
- Language Detection
- Global Consistency: The Leaders
Part III: The Leading Global Websites and Why
- From Global Reach to Mobile Reach
- Cisco Systems
Part IV: Taking Mobile Global
- Turning Global Websites into Mobile Websites
- Different Approaches to Mobile
- Mobile App Language Leaders
- Most Popular Languages
- The Leading Social Languages
- Mobile Considerations
Part V: Profiles of Notable Websites
- What Makes a Website Notable?
- American Express
- Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
- InterContinental Hotels Group
- John Deere
- Volvo Group
Part VI: Leading With Fewer Languages
- Language Isn’t Everything
The Top 25 Global Websites
Google reclaims the top spot
Google emerges on top once again, unseating Facebook (barely). Companies like Cisco, 3M, and Samsung have become regular faces in the top 10. But there are some new faces as well, such as Hotels.com and Booking.com. The travel industry as a whole has been aggressive in its support for both multilingual websites and mobile apps.
Companies Included in the Report CardBelow are the companies benchmarked in this report, sorted alphabetically:
Frequently Asked Questions
Do companies pay to be included in this report?Absolutely not. We have never and will never accept money in return for inclusion within the report.
Who analyzes these websites?Report author John Yunker personally reviews every website — and has done so for all eight editions of the report. No work is outsourced. This historical understanding of each website (combined with one-on-one interviews with many of the executives who manage these global sites) provides truly unique and actionable findings and recommendations.
How do you select companies for your list?We survey a wide swath of global companies across all major industries to provide a well-rounded overview of the state of web globalization. Within each industry, we include the leading companies with a focus on brand leadership. We include more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies and 70% of the 2011 Interbrand 100 Best Global Brands.
What’s the value of comparing companies across different industries?Web globalization best practices may emerge in any industry. By keeping a broad focus on all major industries, we are able to point executives to those companies and industries that are doing the best job of presenting themselves to the world. Every company included does have peers by which it can be evaluated. In the end, our goal is to provide a truly global perspective on which companies and industries are the most active and successful in web globalization. Only through casting a wide net do we achieve this goal.
Scoring MethodologyThe Report Card analyzes each website according to the following four criteria:
- Global Reach (Languages): The websites support enough languages to reach a wide global audience. The average number of languages supported in this report is 32.
- Global Navigation: Web users can quickly and easily find their localized content, regardless of what language they speak.
- Global/Mobile Architecture: The website leverages global templates to support global branding while still allowing room for local customization. The website is also accessible via mobile devices, and language parity is maintained with the PC website. Responsive websites and mobile apps are also noted.
- Localization & Social: The website is truly relevant to the user's locale and culture. Local-language social media are also supported and well promoted on the local sites.
About the Author
John Yunker has worked with a wide range of Fortune 500 companies, as both a consultant and employee, most recently as Senior Program Manager at Microsoft supporting the globalization of web-based applications. Nearly a decade ago, John authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies. John speaks at numerous industry events, including Localization World, Internet Retailer, and the Unicode Conference and has been quoted on global topics in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is also editor of the popular web globalization blog Global by Design.
The Web Globalization Report Card is a copyright of Byte Level Research LLC. Trademark pending.