Adapting your website for new markets is critical for successful global growth. After all, more than half of consumers only buy from websites where the information can be in their language.
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 checklist.
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.
Is your website localization-ready? If you’re not sure, testing can be a good idea. For an overview on three types of testing, see our blog "Global software and website testing best practices”
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 place.
Not all graphics are suitable for all markets. For example, an image of a baby on a can 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.
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:
With this in mind, it’s vital to make sure mobile device users can easily surf your site. See our blog “Ecommerce localization: Keeping up with your global customers’ demands” for more.
If you’re not sure what you need 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.
There are three different proven approaches to website localization. While equally effective, you may find one solution fits your needs and business goals better than the others do.
If you are 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.
The translation connector may also be an option. This suits 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.
The third option is the manual or traditional option. 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.
Are these items on your website localization checklist? Checking off each one of these steps can help you tackle the website translation process. However, the different approaches to website translation raises questions: Which is best for your website goals? Which is right for your company? What are the pros and cons of each?
You probably have many reasons for website translation with an end goal in mind. Make sure you evaluate your website translation options and choose the right approach and strategy that aligns to your organization and its overall business goals.
Would you like our help evaluating the different proven approaches for website localization (traditional, connectors and proxy) and discover which strategy is best for your global website? Then take control of your approach to website localization with our free webinar coming up 25 June, 2019.
Connect with us for more information on all the technologies we offer to optimize your global and digital content experience.
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.
Paul McCrory 4min read 26/09/19