A Guideline of Website Localization

A Guideline of Website Localization
2021-04-14
980 79

One of the most effective ways to improve your lead generation is by localizing your website. Yet, of course, this process is not easy and cheap. You have many things to put into consideration if you want a result that is worth the investment you put in.

Localization VS Translation 

Although the key purpose is to make your website easily digestible for a non-speaking English audience, website localization is not just a website translation. There are various adjustments required in this process. Translating the content is just one of those. 

The Benefits of Website Localization 

A lot of people think that developing a website in English and making the domain global would be enough to reach an international audience. Being an official international language, most worldwide forums indeed use this language. However, such a concept doesn't apply to most internet users in the whole world.

 

Not everybody in this world is fluent and comfortable with English. Statistics show that more than 75% of people spend their online time on content in their local language. Even more, around 87% of internet users will not buy things that are sold other than their local language. Hence, although you have made your website available for them, only a few will make the click.

 

Engagement is also different between global and localized websites. Most people find it hard to feel relatable with the content from a usual English website. With localization, your website will be more engaging to the new audience. 

 

By making your website more welcoming to the local audience, you can generate more traffic and better engagement as a result. Your SEO rank will increase as well. If everything goes well, you can expect an increase in your website's conversion rate.

 

 

 

How to Localize Your Website

Localization is not as easy as it may seem. There are a lot of things that you need to invest time and money in. You must do it step by step carefully to generate the return you wish.

 

 

 

  1. Prepare The Space
  2. Even if you start your digital business locally, it will be much better to design the website to be adaptable for potential localization in the future. As a rule of thumb, the simpler the design, the easier it will be to adjust.

     

    First, you need to provide a lot of negative space around each text box. One sentence can either be long or short in different languages. If you have a cluttered layout, localization may cause a cramped page, broken design, or even truncated text. Other things to consider are the possibilities for the language to start right-to-left or vice versa. Your design should be able to accommodate both.  

     

     

  3. Identify Your Audience
  4. The more countries you cover means the more customers you potentially generate. However, that also means more money and time for the localization. Experts recommend you proceed with it one by one to get the best results.

     

    Try analyzing your website's traffic and see the demographic of your potential audience. Prioritize your localization only on countries with the most visitors. This way, your investment would be much more efficient. Feel free to cover more countries after finishing the current one.

     

  5. Keyword Research
  6. Using the right keywords is crucial in SEO. However, the most searched keywords can be different from one country to another. Therefore, it is necessary to identify your keywords for each localization.

     

    Besides keywords, you also need to look into the terms, phrases, and topics that are popular in each country. The content on your website should adapt naturally, so it can engage the local audience better. 

     

     

  7. Translate
  8. You can either translate your website manually or use tools. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages.

     

    Using tools is much cheaper and quicker, but there might be a lot of awkward phrasing and boring tone. On the other hand, manual translation will make your content sound natural and enjoyable to read. However, you need quite time and money to finish the whole process.

     

    The middle ground is to combine automatic and manual translation. You start the translation using a tool. And then, you hire a proofreader for each language to fix the awkward phrasing. Don't forget to ask them to make other adjustments as well such as term usages and keywords.

     

     

  9. Internationalize Your Website
  10. Do not make some local versions of your website by duplicating it. Google may detect the duplication and automatically penalties the website. Instead, ask a developer to internationalize it. 

     

    Internationalizing your website means configuring its architecture so the platform can accommodate multiple languages. The process includes setting up hreflang tags on your source code and a few other technical tasks. If this gets correctly executed, search engines will accept all the language versions and understand which to display in each region. 

     

     

  11. Testing Out
  12. After finishing all the adjustments, conduct a simulation to see if the localization works. For a more accurate evaluation, you need to hire people from the intended regions to try it out. Note any errors and discomforts so you can refine them later.

     

    Bear in mind that not every country has Google as its favorite search engine. For example, Baidu is the most common to use in China. Meanwhile, most Russian citizens prefer Yandex. Also, you need to consider both desktop and mobile versions. 

     

     

  13. Evaluate the Result
  14. You must evaluate one language first before doing another language for your website localization. Try checking out the Google Analytics data, Alexa ranks, and other similar evaluation tools. You should expect higher traffic, longer dwell time, lower bounce rates, and even higher conversion rates.

     

    Compare the results with the money you have invested in this language, so you can see how much it is worth. The next language to do will most likely deliver lower results. But as long as it is still profitable, then there is no way you should cancel your plan. 

     

     

    The majority of people prefer visiting local or localized websites. Unfortunately, many digital entrepreneurs overlook this crucial fact. There are still only a few websites that have gone localized into several countries. If you are clever enough, this can be your golden opportunity to grab the promising markets that your competitors do not even realize.