Website localization is a process of making your website available to all the segments of your customers. Customisation of the website’s text content, imagery and other features have a big effect on the buying decision of your potential customers. Website localization is not necessarily the need for only big companies – but it is equally important for the small companies too! Small companies can enjoy being local as far as their customer base is limited. Gradually with the expansion in the customer base, small companies must move towards website localization.
When a company does not localize, it tends to avert several segments of the customers from accessing its website. Imagine potential customers landing up on your website, where your products/services are exactly what they’re looking for. But they’re not able to read it or pay in their own currency using their own payment method. This incomplete journey of your potential customers could drift them away – resulting in low or no sales in that region.
Most of the times, a lot of people mistake localization with translation. Whereas, The Globalization and Localization Association states, “Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localization process.”
Thinking that it is easy to get away with plugging the website’s text into an online translator is a big misconception. It is not as easy as it seems and sometimes the online text translator may present a whole different meaning of the content which might not make any sense or hurt the sentiments of your target audience. Always consider the culture and the local language of your target audience as there are phrases and nuances in languages coming from different regions.
Website Localization – So much more than just translation!
1. APPEARANCE OF YOUR WEBSITE
How do the local websites of your target area look like? Does your website match to those websites? Will your target audience relate to the appearance of your website?
These are some important questions you must consider before getting on to the process of website localization.
2. RELEVANT KEYWORDS – TAGS & SCHEMA MARKUP
Tags and schema markup used in the website MUST be relevant to the business. Update your website with all the relevant tags and schema markup in all the languages you wish to localize in. Read about Multilingual SEO for a better understanding – WHY IS MULTILINGUAL SEO IMPORTANT?
3. CUSTOMER SUPPORT OPTIONS
Customer support options offered are quite standard, yet there are differences on what your target audience from different regions opt for. Some people would prefer having an online chat; whereas, some would be more comfortable with a phone call. This also means that everything that you offer on your website must be relevant to gain the trust of your audience. In case of phone calls, your target audience will talk to you in their language and hence, your customer care person must be speaking that language too. These are some important questions you must consider before getting on to the process of website localization.
4. LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ADS
Marketing on social media platforms is a brilliant way to get traffic on your website. The effect of an localized Social media advertisement is much more than seeing a online generic advertisement.
5. PHOTOGRAPHS AND GRAPHICS
Localizing photographs means using localized photographs with the elements matching to the locale of the region you market in. Always feature such photographs on your website that match to your target audience’s demographics.
Below is Amazon’s website for 3 different regions as on January 21, 2019. We can notice the difference in the appearance and design of the websites used in China, USA and India. Not only the graphics are different but the products and discounts offered also vary.
To become a global player or just expand to all the regions in your country, website localization is the key to a successful business. The lack of localization does not allow the conversion process to complete, which eventually results in low sales in the new market area. Write to us if you’re looking for experienced, native translators to localize your website – request @ cmmlanguages (dot) com