Globalization has made website localization a necessity. But what does that mean concretely? This list is your guide.
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Adapting your website for new markets is critical for successful global growth, and this is where website localization becomes invaluable. After all, more than half of consumers only buy from websites where they can read the information in their own language.
Website localization isn’t just about translation. It’s about cultural, sociological and sometimes even technical adaptation. This goes way beyond language and can also be related to colors, images, and much more. If done successfully, providing localized versions of your website enables you to reach and engage your global target markets – and in return, increase revenue. However, if done poorly or not at all, customers will abandon your site or simply never find you.
So, if you’re about to localize your website for different markets, you need to check a few things off the website localization list.
Keep in mind, there’s no “one size fits all” approach here. Our guidance to clients depends on their company goals, the architecture of the website, their content management system setup and more.
Consider whether you need website localization testing
Is your website localization-ready? If you’re not sure, testing can be a good idea. For an overview on three types of testing, check out our Global software and website testing best practices.
Decide how much of your website you want translated
Prioritize your content for translation. Do this by first donning your detective hat and doing your research. Which product pages tend to get the most visits? Is activity increasing in certain markets? What are the most public facing, widely-read pages that are most closely tied to highest revenue? Answering these questions gives you a good starting point.
These are the pages you want fully translated and localized, in order to maximize their impact. This will ensure your investment into website localization doesn’t go to waste.
Check your graphics and layout
Not all graphics are suitable for all markets. For example, an image of a baby on a jar of baby food could cause serious concern in some countries, where residents equate label images with what’s inside the product.
Also important is the layout of your site. Be sure it matches how your audiences are accustomed to navigating a website. Not all audiences read a website from left to right. The Arabic language is read right to left, so adapting your layout to accommodate Algerian web users, for instance, would be a good idea.
Think personalized and responsive
Google’s latest efforts to penalize websites that aren’t mobile-friendly hits them where it hurts: their SEO rankings.
User experience matters for every audience – and it benefits you to consider how easy your site is to navigate for that army of mobile users. Here are some stats to make your ears ring louder than your phone at top volume:
- As of right now, there are roughly 3.5 billion smartphone users globally.
- In 2020, 66% of all site visits came from mobile devices.
- 72.9 percent of all e-commerce sales in 2021 are projected to come from mobile devices.
- In 2021, mobile commerce (m-commerce) sales could exceed $3.5 trillion USD.
With this in mind, it’s vital to make sure mobile device users can easily surf your site. There’s also plenty of information out there for companies who wish to learn more about the future of e-commerce and m-commerce.
Consider a localization assessment
If you’re not sure what's most essential for your business and could use some professional guidance, you may want to have a localization assessment performed. This is a great way to get insight into your current state and find out the best way to take your global website to the next level.
Figure out which website localization route you want to take
There are three different proven approaches to website localization. While equally effective in general, you may find one solution fits your needs and business goals better than the others do.
If you're prioritizing a fast and hands-free solution that doesn’t lack quality, our website translation proxy solution SiteSync may be what you’re looking for. The technology creates a mirror of your website and displays it in your target languages. It’s especially suitable for sites where in-house localization of the website is prohibitive, time is of the essence and when you want to outsource the localization setup and update management to Amplexor.
This is suitable if you have regular updates across multiple languages and have the expertise and time to carry out the website preparation yourself. A connector is an integration between your CMS and our translation management system, which automates file packaging and workflows for time saving efficiencies.
In this scenario, your internal team would prepare your site for localization and simply export a translatable file such as an XLIFF or Excel file which our expert localization engineering team can parse and translate. This option is suitable for sites rarely updated and where budget is a factor.
So, which website localization solution is best for you?
Checking off each of above steps can help you tackle the website translation process. However, the different approaches to website translation still raise questions: Which is best for your website goals? Which fits your company? What are the pros and cons of each?
You probably have many reasons for website translation, with a clear end goal in mind. Make sure you evaluate your options and choose the right approach that aligns with your organization and its overall business goals. Easier said than done? We're here to develop the right strategy with you – custom-built for your business needs.
Reach out to us today to have an Amplexor expert conduct a localization assessment for your website!
Connect with us for more information on all the technologies we offer to optimize your global and digital content experience.
About the author
Robert O’Shaughnessy is a Solutions Architect at Amplexor with an extensive background in web development, marketing and translation. Robert’s goal is to help clients arrive at the most cost effective and streamlined solution by leveraging Amplexor’s expansive technology and services portfolio.