It’s been almost 30 years since the creation of the World Wide Web, and the relevance of the internet regarding international trade, commerce, knowledge industries, and culture is only growing stronger. Around 53% of the global population has internet access, and the number is as high as 86% in developed countries. It’s vital for any business or organization that wants to attract an audience to have an online presence. But, especially when this business or organization is expanding to new markets and new cultures, this online presence will need to be rethought and redefined.
According to Statista, 25% of online content is in English, often referred to as “the lingua franca of the internet”, and 19% is in Chinese. And the rest is in local languages. If your brand is expanding abroad, it will have to compete with local businesses (and the local presences of international businesses) that are used to communicating with your target audience in effective and relatable ways. So localizing your website (and implementing website localization best practices) is key for your website to reach broader international markets.
What We Mean By Localization
If you are rebuilding your website to expand your business operations to new countries, the word “localization” may sound familiar to you. At first glance, it may look like the process of translating the content from the original to the local language. But localization is more than that: a correctly localized website meets cultural, regulatory, and UX expectations, it’s a fully adapted experience designed for your new audience. Localizing prevents bad first impressions and guarantees that your website meets its intended goals.
All website localization best practices stem from considering everything from local cultural codes, to technological barriers that could make the website hard to navigate for local users, and even elements that could appear minor but that make a big difference, such as the web font the site uses and whether it has characters for the new audience’s language.
Why is Website Localization Important?
One of the main arguments to localize is that a customer is more likely to buy on your site if they are approached in their native language, find content that resonates with them and images that they can see themselves reflected in. Not translating your website could limit you to the few customers in your target region that speak your language. On the other hand, the research process that makes localization possible lays the groundwork for further marketing campaigns.
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1.Know Your Audience and
Speak Their Language
The main goal of the localization process is to adapt your brand to foreign customers while preserving its identity. So it requires an in-depth analysis of the audience, including their social norms, colors, linguistic nuances, living conditions, and buying habits.
The tone in which interfaces “communicate” with the customer varies across cultures. In some cases, “calls-to-actions” are written in a detached and impersonal way, in others, they always begin with “You” and talk directly to the customer, inviting them to take the desired action. A localization professional should recognize these differences and adapt the content accordingly.
2. Acknowledge Connectivity’s
Role in User Experience
3. Use UTF-8 (Unicode) When Coding
4. Adapt your Interface to
Be willing to adapt your user interface to the needs, trends, and language of your target audience. For instance, if your audience speaks a language that’s read from right to left, you’ll need to mirror some elements of your interface. On the other hand, in some cultures, websites are more text-heavy, because the customers require as much information as possible about the products that interest them, so you’ll need to adapt your layout so it can feature more content.
5. Define the Proper Search
Engine Optimization Strategy
6. Partner with a Professional
It may seem obvious, but localizing a website requires taking into account a wide variety of factors that may exceed your working capabilities. Coding, translation, UI design, it’s simply too much work, and by delegating to a specialist, you ensure a quality result that meets website localization best practices and helps you achieve your goals. If your company is embarking on this type of project, get in touch with a world-class website localization company.
bayantech provides customized
website localization solutions!