Relationship Between Website and Localization
The digital world has created exceptional conditions and opportunities for business growth and expansion. Whether your business is big or small, having an excellent website that represents your brand is one of the key factors in having a wider reach. A website is the center of attention in your online presence and can be the instrument of manifesting your marketing strategies and make a worthwhile impact on them.
It’s essential that your website hits your target markets and makes your products and services more appealing to them. To achieve this, your site should be visually attractive, contain great content, be user-friendly, functional, have a neat navigational design with qualitative graphics and images, apply the SEO principles, etc.
It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth the investment, especially when you gain brand recognition and distribution in social media making you reach the global market, and you start celebrating the fruits of your dedication which eventually increases the sales.
Here we will discuss the importance and steps needed for setting website localization.
Creating brand recognition and tapping into the global market used to be a real struggle for businesses, especially when it came to reaching different demographics where a respective knowledge of languages and cultural expectations was needed. Today, this factor still determines the perception and judgment of customers – which you want to be well received. However, the digital world is always evolving and introducing new trends and ways that make a lot of work easier.
Here comes the role of the website localization. Localization is vital for a global business to succeed online. When you are developing a website for an international audience, you need to make sure that you get quality translation and localization services, so that you get the most out of your website. Efficient communication with an international audience is key to keeping a global business competitive.
Localization in a nutshell
Website localization is a procedure in which it translates the web content into the local language. It’s a method used to translate language, requirements, and culture of a locale. Localization is done in text, images, documents, interface, etc. The effectiveness of localization will aid the users to relate to your website in a way that makes them feel like a native. The number of internet users is increasing day by day. This increase in number does not imply that your website has an audience from each place of the world. Communication with every member of the globe requires localization. To gain more profit and traffic, one must conduct website localization to gain a wider audience.
Below, we will unfold 9 straightforward steps which a beginner should follow in order to perform the localization process.
Strategic steps toward localization
Step 1: In-depth Research
In-depth research is vital for doing localization. The research should be conducted on factors like culture, product, services, purchasing power, customer income and other related factors. You need to define your customer and do in-depth research and analysis on them. Study your potential international buyers and try to get in their shoes. Try to find answers to as many questions a buyer will have while finding you. In this regard, try researching aspects of the market condition, in-demand products, purchasing power, barriers to entry, laws, and regulations. To run a smooth business, one needs to identify and analyze its niche.
Step 2: Defining Project Goal
After deciding your customer category, you should consider the following step of defining the project. This means defining the number of languages and deciding which ones you need to grab the attention of your buyer. Determining the number of languages makes the localization process easier. After determining which languages you want, find a person who provides localization services. If you want to do the process on your own, you must be aware of programming languages. One must know the exact number of pages that need localization, marketing strategies, SEO, and website design. You need a proper language translator along with a language programmer. The programmer should be aware of the latest technologies used while programming. Pay close attention to setting a goal to avoid loss in the future. You should possess a clear understanding of goal aid in establishing a realistic budget for your project.
Step 3: Internationalization Time
Now is the step that starts the localization of your website to the international world. This is a procedure in which the organic content of the website is translated into different languages which makes it easier for a non-native person to understand the content. Developers do know about internationalization and need to put the higher effort in a coding website that best suits every country. For instance, they should add Hreflang Tags. These tags identify the language along with the country. For example, consider Spanish that is spoken in Spain and Mexico as well. So, the developer needs to localize it accordingly. Unicode(UTF-8) is another code that supports different language characters. Chinese and Arabic are catered by this code. The programmer needs to have knowledge of coding source to the translation string so that each time you add a new language that code does not break translation string. This step is the hardest but the ultimate results are fruitful.
Step 4: Website Design According To Language
Localization does not only stand with the language. It is also associated with the layout and design of your website too. As many languages are written in a vertical form like Chinese and Korean so your website design should be aligned with the languages to give a good look. Adopting this language will demand a change in design too. In this regard, use a global gateway, and the website design according to the language version. If one is deciding to localize in many languages then best id to have a drop-down menu for language selection and let the client decide its country and language selection.
Step 5: Best Translation
For localization, you need to have the best person to translate your website into another language. In this regard, hire a native translator, as he or she will be aware of language, culture, customs, and humor. This way you can grab the desired audience. Use a translation management software, to keep your translation in a well-organized manner and convert typing directly to the website.
Step 6: SEO Is The Key
SEO is a fundamental tool for ranking up your website. Besides the localization process, SEO is also vital as without it localization effort will be wasted. Search keywords in accordance with the language for instance there lie a difference in spelling of UK and US English. So, cater to these nitty-gritty details while doing SEO.
Step 7: Selection of Right Images
This step is important as there are many cultures that encourage one thing and same is discourages in many others. So, choose an image that best suits the country’s culture. A practical suggestion in the context of localization, avoid infographics or text image as they will require an extra translation effort.
Step 8: Fast Website Speed is Vital
No matter how much effort you put into all of the above steps, all will be in vain if your website loading time is slow. Speed is necessary as a customer does not like to wait for the web content to take lots of time while loading. To make your website load fast, use images that are not big or make a mess with the websites’ content. Using a content delivery network will provide you with the security that your website is operated at higher speed around the globe.
Last Step 9: Try Testing as Much as You Want
Before launching localization, test your website as much as you can. Extensive testing will help in finding flaws and will save you from any loss as the clients first impression depends upon it. Testing of localization will include a hyperlink, compatibility of hardware, broken links and complete functionality. Another language test is grammatical error check, typing mistakes, and taboos.
Despite the idea that adapting your website to a multilingual site may seem both expensive and daunting, it’s worth understanding the many potential benefits that await you and your business through website localization. You should keep in mind that localization brings many benefits and that’s why your competitors are using it. It’s important for your website to be global friendly, build credibility, cause positive customer experience, enhance your brand’s identity, gain new customers/hit new targets and improve your SEO. After a solid execution of these steps, a major advancement shall be witnessed.