Learning how to create a website is a relatively easy process these days. However, if you want to grow your business and reach new markets, you need to implement an effective website localization strategy.
Website localization means adapting a website for a local audience. It is important to understand their culture and tailor content to their needs and preferences. Taking the time to localize your website increases your chances of success in new markets.
This article explains what website localization is and how it differs from everyday translation. We then explore the benefits of content localization and walk you through the process of internationalizing your website. Let’s start!
What is Website Localization?
Website localization is the process of adapting content and online services to local audiences. Suppose you have an online store that serves customers in the Indonesia and wants to expand into the Latin American market. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the region, so you can start translating your website into Spanish.
However, the effort should not stop there. If users based in Mexico or Chile are given the choice of shopping from a local online store or from an international website in Spanish but not meeting their needs, they would probably prefer the former.
To better understand why customers choose a store different from yours, you need a fundamental understanding of customer preferences. Users may have special requirements such as:
- Shipping options
- Payment methods
- Channels used to access customer support
- Web design sensibilities
All these factors contribute to the user’s shopping experience. However, these are often overlooked when you’re trying to enter a new market.
Localizing a website requires researching the local competition. Adapting to new markets often requires the help of the local community. Otherwise, you may just have a hard time translating your website and find that it doesn’t work.
Website translation and localization:
What is the difference?
Website translation is a simple process. Simply translate website content such as buttons, widgets, menus, pages, headers, and footers into one or more languages.
However, for websites with large amounts of content, the entire translation can take weeks or even months. There are many free translation services available, but we recommend hiring a professional translator instead.
We can fully translate your website from language A to language B, but there is no guarantee that it will be properly localized. Website localization requires investigating the peculiarities of the target region.
As such, good localization often requires more than just word-by-word translation. However, you can have websites in the same language that target different regions.
E-commerce portals are a good example of this. You often see international companies providing their own version of their website for each country, even if they use the same language.
To fully localize your website, you need the help of experts who are familiar with your target region. They should be able to tell you what key issues need to be addressed in a particular area.