For a brand to thrive in any market, engagement on a personal level is necessary. With global expansion, website content must adapt to different cultures and interests to resonate with the target audience—whose needs are as diverse as the cultures themselves. If visitors cannot relate to the website, the brand won’t be successful in that market.
Understanding that globalization makes a brand available to an international audience and internationalization (i18n) ensures the brand is adaptable to the location’s consumer—localization personalizes the brand’s nuances to fit the specific cultures and languages of the area. While these terms are certainly related, they are different steps along the way of doing worldwide business, and a website should reflect this distinction. An international company has already experienced globalization and possibly, internationalization. Yet, in order to maintain growth (or to even survive), a strong website localization plan is increasingly necessary.
Keep reading to learn more about how to localize a website in multi-national markets.
The Advantages of Website Localization
According to a CSA Research study, 65% of consumers and business users surveyed in 29 countries said they prefer content in their own language, even if the quality is poor. Moreover, 40% stated they would not make purchases from websites in other languages. So, what are some of the advantages of website localization?
- Reach a wider target audience
- Build brand awareness, consistency, and trust to cultivate customer loyalty
- Compete with local markets
- Provide better user experience
- Increase revenue opportunities
- Break into new markets
- Continue to grow
How to Localize Your Website Content
Although website localization may be a complex task, it is certainly not impossible to achieve, as digital marketing has been heading in this direction for some time. Here are some guidelines for how to localize a website:
- Use visual components as a way to circumvent language barriers
- Language translation should be indistinguishable from a native speaker
- Understand that multiple languages may be spoken in a single locale
- Adhere to restrictions for such SEO devices as hreglang tags, meta language, geo-targeting, domain hierarchies, and URL structure
How to Market Your Localized Website
It is necessary to approach different areas with location-specific subject matter. For instance, what passes for humor in one culture may be offensive to others. Generational demographics could also be a factor.
Deciding on Location
There are varying reactions to website material among different cultures. Performing deep regional research and cultural study (including consulting with locals) is essential to understanding a particular community’s ideology, habits, and motivations. When deciding where to localize, consider these research topics:
- Local keyword phrases
- Preferred call-to-action tools
- Color symbolism
- Tone of voice
- Governmental regulatory constraints
In order to identify target markets, assess demand in each market, and determine the difficulty of adapting the product or service to the locality, there are some questions to ponder. (This is by no means a complete list, but it will jumpstart the process.)
- Does a youth-centric reliance on social media exist?
- Is it an older population that prefers traditional methods of communication?
- Will the brand resonate value to this community?
- How will SEO practices vary?
- Will it be difficult to conform to regulatory requirements?
- How will the website handle currency exchanges?
- What does the local competition look like?
- What is the potential ROI for doing business here?
Digital Marketing Components
In preparing for website localization, don’t forget about other elements of digital marketing, such as:
- email outreach
- social media content
- digital advertising
- direct response communication
- video reels
These will be part of the localization process, also requiring scrutiny for linguistics, imagery, audience, and purpose.
A Professional Approach
Website localization should not be a daunting experience. A professional ISO 17100-certified localization and translation team like Future Trans is the smartest way to approach a website localization. They can manage system functionality, SEO, cultural-friendly site copy, thorough testing before rollout, technical support, local consultants, user interface, and more. Depending on your goals, you can have a successful worldwide presence by making some carefully planned adjustments to your website, as well as your mindset.
Contact us and one of our representatives will get back to you.