Website localization: 5 tips for global success

What is website localization and why is it important?

Localization is the adaptation of translated content to a specific geographic area. Customers like to be addressed in a way that makes them think the product or service was created specifically for them. Translation is very important, but it is not the only step. Other factors include context, colloquialisms, cultural association, religious preferences and local currency. By understanding your audience well and working with local experts, you have the best chance of success.

To ensure that your customers purchase your product or service, it is vital that you understand your audience well. Don’t assume that potential customers engage in the same way as your home audience. For example, colors can have different meanings in different cultures. One example is a campaign by Puma. To honor the 40th anniversary of the UAE (United Arab Emirates), they launched a limited edition athletic shoe. This shoe was given the colors of the UAE flag, a sacred symbol. However, in Arab culture, the shoe is seen as dirty and unclean because it is in contact with feet and the ground. Incorporating the colors into the shoe was seen as highly offensive and disrespectful.

In addition, it is important to differentiate between the products you want to stand out. If you own a sporting goods store, you are not likely to offer skis to countries where there is no snow. No one understands the culture better than the people who live there. They can provide a local perspective that you can then successfully capitalize on.

Decide what content you want to translate

It is rarely necessary to translate everything. Outdated news articles from 2014 will add less value than an article from 2020. Be careful not to cut corners by only displaying a page of products. Customers are also interested in information about the company, terms and conditions, and delivery and return options. A foreign purchase carries a bit more risk, so give the buyer as much confidence as possible.

Don’t skimp on your translations. It will pay for itself.

Use the right keywords on your translated website

By using the right keywords, you ensure the most visibility online. Good research is important here. Key words for a certain area will not be the same for other regions where you are active. For example, the words blinds and Venetian blinds are popularly used in the same way, but Venetian blinds are a brand name. Google has a keyword research tool that is available in several languages. So do your research and build a good SEO strategy around the right keywords.

Adapt your website’s offer to the local market

It’s not just about the products, like the earlier example of skis, but also the pricing and product features. Do research in the local market and see if the price of your products is competitive and if it includes effective features. This is because it is possible that local companies offer a similar product at a lower price. This makes your product less competitive.

Identify the right marketing channels

The most effective marketing channels in the United States may differ from those in, say, Mexico. Some countries focus on traditional marketing channels, such as newspapers, flyers and brochures. In contrast, countries like America focus on online marketing channels, such as social media. Also, not all search engines are the same.

A well translated website pays for itself. Need help translating and localizing your website? Contact us and we will help you!

Nathan Woods

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ABC Translations