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 top best practices in web globalization?
- What are the most popular languages across all websites?
- What websites offer the best global gateways?
- How are companies integrating and promoting Twitter and Facebook on their local websites?
- What mobile apps support the most languages — and what languages exactly?
More than a decade of web globalization researchFounded 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 and IT 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
- Web Globalization is Destiny
- The Top 25 Global Websites
Part I: Best Practices and Emerging Trends
- Top 20 Best Practices
- Top 10 Emerging Trends
- Profiles of the Top 3 Websites
- Other Notable Global Websites
Part II: The Websites and How They Were Scored
- How Websites Were Selected
- The Websites
- Scoring Methodology
- What’s Changed Since 2012
- Global Reach (Languages)
- Global Navigation
- Global/Mobile Architecture
- Localization & Social
- Methodology FAQ
- What Do the Scores Mean?
Part III: Website Rankings and Key Findings
- All Website Scores
- Best in Class
- Languages: How Many?
- Languages: What’s Hot?
- Global Navigation: The Top 25
- Country Codes
- The Use of Icons
- Wave Flags Carefully
- Language Detection and Mobile
- Global Consistency: The Leaders
- Mobile Websites and Apps
- Ten Tips for Mobile Website and App Development
- Taking Social Global
The Top 25 Global Websites
Google claims the top spot
Google is no stranger to the top spot, but this is largely because Google has not stood still. With the exception of navigation (a weak spot overall) Google continues to lead not only in the globalization of its web applications but its mobile apps. YouTube, for example, supports a 54-language mobile app. Few apps available today surpass 20 languages; most mobile apps support fewer than 10 languages.
Hotels.com has done remarkably well over the past two years and, in large part, due to its investment in mobile websites and apps. Philips improved its ranking due to its improved global gateway. And Microsoft and HP also saw gains due to their website redesigns, which also included improved global gateways. New to the Top 25 this year are Starbucks, Merck, and KPMG.
Global Benchmark Reports
Select an additional benchmark report with your purchase.Each report provides in-depth analysis of websites within each industry, along with key language trends and best practices.
12 website profiles
12 website profiles
9 website profiles
14 website profiles
6 website profiles
8 website profiles
18 website profiles
Companies Included in the 2013 Report Card
Below are the 150 companies and organizations benchmarked in this report, sorted alphabetically:
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Dollar Rent A Car
Ernst & Young
Procter & Gamble
Toys R Us
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 nine 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 valuable 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 2012 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.
What companies purchase this report?Many of the companies benchmarked within this report have purchased the report for multiple years. Purchasers include Cisco Systems, Panasonic, FedEx, Philips, The World Bank, and Yahoo! There are companies not included in this report that also use it regularly, such as global consulting and IT firms and government agencies.
Scoring MethodologyThe Report Card analyzes each website according to the following four criteria:
- Global Reach (Languages): The website supports enough languages to reach a wide global audience. To receive a maximum score, the website must support 42 languages.
- 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 relevant to the user's locale and culture and provides functionality on par with the global website. Local-language social media are also supported and well promoted on the local websites.
About the Author
John Yunker has helped a wide range of Fortune 500 companies improve their global websites and application. He has experience consulting with some of the world's largest companies and has also worked as senior program manager at Microsoft. He 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.