Website localization is beneficial for businesses looking to expand across the globe. It’s an invaluable tool that will give a business an edge online by having their brand exposed abroad in a way that’s natural for the target audience. It makes marketing your products easier since you won’t be misunderstood by the locals. Website localization caters to not just the language of the target audience, but their culture as well. What you’ll see on a localized website is something that would hit home to the audience rather than a straight-up text translation of each and every word.
How Website Localization Works
Pringles Sukiyaki Flavor, only in Japan.
Website localization works by having the entire content of the website be tailored for a target audience. This involves changing the images, videos, ads, layout, and right down to the text. It would be replaced by marketing materials that makes more sense to the locals. The marketing content is made to respect the locals’ culture and therefore will follow their social norms. It takes a whole lot of work and will definitely need the mastery of the language and culture of the target audience to effectively do website localization.
How Website Localization is Done
Localizing a website is tedious but with the right methods and people, it can be done accurately and effectively. Localizing website content isn’t just about translating and changing up content. A lot of research, designing, and optimization is involved to make website localization work. According to an article by Adotas, a news publication site, this is how a localization team works on a website.
- Research –Studying the customer is the first step. This is where the customer is defined through an in-depth analysis of the market condition, product demands, barriers to entry, laws, and regulation. This is crucial for marketing your brand overseas.
- Defining your Goals – This defines the direction of the localization project. This is where you decide how many languages are going to be used, what pages would need localization, what design should be applied, what market strategies would be necessary, and more. Once your needs are set, you’ll need to find a company that can provide you a website localization service in order to achieve your goals.
- Internationalization – This is when the organic content gets translated into your desired languages. This process will make it easier for non-native speakers to understand your site’s content. Website developers will code the website to that which best suits a given country.Read: HTML Language Code Reference by W3schools
- Designing the Website According to Language – Website designs and layouts you often see aren’t universal. In some countries like China, Japan, and Korea, their websites may be designed and presented in vertical form and may appear busier than western designs. Therefore, adopting some languages may require a change in layout. It’s best to use a global gateway and have a menu that would let them choose their language for the best user experience.
- Native Translation – Get a native translator to get the job done perfectly. A native translator is aware of culture, customs, humor, and current events. It’s a sure way to get the attention of your audience. Translators may use a translation management software to keep the conversion process organized.
- Choosing the Right Media – Cultures are different. There are things that are encouraged in one country but discouraged in the other so choose the appropriate media to use in a given country. This will make your website appear more refined and optimized to media that is more locally popular.
- Optimization for Search Engine Rankings and Performance – Localizing a website would be fruitless if it can’t be found in search engines. This step requires the expertise of SEO specialists (Search Engine Optimization specialists) as they’ll provide your website with the appropriate keywords to associate your website with and the necessary performance optimizations. This will ensure your website is searchable by your target audience via Google or any other search engine and have a pleasant time browsing your website.
- Testing – Test the website as much as you can before deciding to launch it. It will help you find flaws or room for improvements for your newly localized website. Remember to make your website as polished as possible in order to give a solid first impression for your clients.
Some Tips to Consider For Website Localization
Website localization will work wonders when there’s teamwork. As it was said before, website localization doesn’t just focus on the translation of content. It’s a complex set of processes that need coordination and supervision in order to succeed. Collaborate with your mixed team of programmers, designers, linguists, and marketers to come up with localized ideas that will be for you, your client’s benefit, and especially users..
Just remember that you’re catering to the needs of real people using different languages so don’t leave anything to chance. Make it work, make it great, and you’ll have a steady stream of new customers thanks to a well-coordinated localization team and a well-localized website.