If you are considering expanding your already successful product, the first step is to have your website localization strategy in place.
A successful website localization process is the key to unlocking the potential of your website and expanding your business opportunities.
In this article, we will walk you through 14 website localization best practices that will help your website reach visitors from a new region.
The Challenges and Benefits of Website Localization
There are various challenges businesses or organizations face while preparing their website for localization.
Website Localization is a complex process for companies to adopt because of the collaboration between the development side and translation services for your websites.
Website localization is not just translating the text. It is about transforming your whole website for a different region by converting imagery, tone, visuals, videos, units of currency, and more to adjust to the cultural and regional nuances.
Localizing your website creates culturally driven and appealing content that provides an intuitive website browsing experience for your target website users.
The challenges with translation, design, functioning, SEO, and cultural adaptability must be dealt with.
After all, study results have shown that successful website translation can significantly boost search traffic by 47% and conversion rates by 20%.
14 Website Localization Best Practices
Localizing your website is everything you need to uplift your business in a new region.
To make your website more accessible and appealing to a global audience, you need to follow some website localization best practices.
Therefore, Let’s go through 14 of the best practices for website localization.
1. Choosing a Professional Translation Services Vendor
One of the best ways to localize is to choose a professional website translation service that will take care of all your localization needs. It becomes practically impossible to assign work related to website localization to your team who has no concern to deal with website localization strategies.
Here’s where a professional translation service plays a part in localizing your website.
If you want your website localization projects to go swiftly, hiring a Translation Service that specializes in website localization will allow you to benefit from their experienced translators and local experts.
A Translation Service that offers localization provides you with accurate translations that have in-depth knowledge of the local culture, languages, and preferences of the locals.
Website translation management systems such as Wordspath, have a great experience in site localization and are equipped with the latest CAT tools.
Wordspath is the fastest-growing translation service that can help you with integrating your CMS directly with their translation tools, or build a new one to optimize your localization process.
2. Optimize Keywords for Localized SEO
You can target local consumers and reach a wider target audience by optimizing your content with language specific local terminology.
Optimizing your website for local keywords will help you rank higher in localized search engine results, which will positively impact the traffic on your website, and can result in higher conversions.
Localizing SEO strategy can also lower website bounce rates and improve the overall customer experience helping you reach a wider customer base.
3. Allow Website Integrations with Translation Tools for Easier and Cheaper Localization
A diligent and quick solution that ensures you add multiple languages at once is integrating your CMS directly with your translation service provider’s software.
Most Translation services do not only employ professional human translations but also make use of sophisticated softwares and CAT Tools that allow faster, more accurate translation results. The CAT tools divide the original content into smaller chunks called segments and store them in a Translation memory.
You might require a new product to be launched and its description similar to already translated products. The translation team will translate the new words and reuse the already translated words.
However, with integration, you have code control over the updates. As there is a connection with the back-end and translation and translation memory, which will allow you to view the percentage of content that’s reused.
4. Launch Your Multilingual Website and Make it Easy to Update
Translating the content of your website is the key to localizing your website. You don’t have to launch your website in Turkish if your Japanese version is not ready. Whilst your website is translating its components into other languages, connect with your viewers to keep them interested.
Continuously letting your users update on your product is an example of a great web content localization strategy.
It is also important to note that once your Multilingual Website is launched. You might need to add latest updates , new services, or news to your website too that all need to be translated.
5. Adapt to the Local Culture
This is the most important practice to consider when adapting an existing website to the local language and culture of the target market. This is where you can gain a head start on everyone by learning how the local browsing habits and culture affect how users interact with websites.
Make sure to be aware of how people from different regions should be approached. The fashion and shopping habits of customers in the United States and India vary significantly. Customers in the United States lean towards modernist fashion, while customers in India prefer traditional attire. Moreover, customers in America usually read the specs before buying, while customers in South Asian countries often check for discounts on items.
Whereas, when it comes to languages and Contexts. German, French, and Japanese are different from one another. Something familiar might come off as a sign of disrespect or rudeness.
Furthermore, different holidays are worth keeping in mind if your website sells products. There are national holidays in every country and other holidays that are important to know.
Example of McDonald’s Localized Website
6. Keep Your Website Content Clear and Concise
Follow the basics when it comes to keeping your website Content clear and concise. There are many website localization techniques however, it all comes down to how you present them on your website.
Research the preferences of your target users: do they like simple or informative web content? Then, leave out any content that is not necessary.
7. Graphics and Video Localization
When it comes to translating text into different languages it might not be a difficult task. However, modern websites that are often packed with various visuals, graphics, and videos also require to be localized.
Graphics and video localization is the process of converting a graphic or video produced in the original language to another language. It is done by editing by making it more accessible in a specific locale.
The same website localization service that helps you with text translations can help you with translating captions on your videos. You should go for the services that can record your videos with a narrator who speaks the language you need.
Additionally, for a better experience, choose to dub over voice-over because dubbing is more precise and maintains the emotive, tonal, and technical richness of the original voice.
Example of Nike Localized Website
8. Flexible Formatting Design
This might surprise you a bit but the number of characters per word and the number of words per sentence is different for the same text in every language. It might be much lengthier, shorter, or just the same length.
Therefore, you will need to be aware of where there are changes needed to the font size or what information is required to be formatted differently.
Not to mention, to ensure that your website localization strategies stay on top you need to make sure that the website supports local special characters so that your web content reads well.
Design your website with localization in mind by incorporating special characters with diacritical marks for Polish, French, Arabic, and logograms for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
9. Localize Pricing
Don’t forget to localize currencies. Convert your prices into the currency that your buyers use. For example, it will be the Euro for most European countries, the Saudi riyal for Saudi Arabia, and the Australian dollar for Australia.
Most importantly, if you are an e-commerce seller you should consider some of the important factors such as payment methods that can affect your online business, such as setting up credit card or PayPal payment features for international users.
That said, make sure that your website ensures a safe and hassle-free buying experience for buyers from all countries.
Example of Bluehost Website Localization
10. Keep Your Voice Unique
To maintain a consistent layout while localizing your website, you need to balance the uniqueness and the uniformity of your design. How do you achieve this balance when you localize your site?
Moreover, for a seamless website localization process , translations must be in a clear, global, and internalized English version of the text.
Your content should be easy to understand for a global audience. That means you should not use humor, idioms, and informal language in the original language.
11. Contextualize Your content
When it comes to website content, context is everything. Your web content should portray the purpose of your website.
For example, whether the word “book now” refers to a label or button? How do translators understand in what context it’s used on the web page?
It is important to provide context and alternative phrases to the website translation team for a clear website localization strategy.
12. Access to Software and Reference Materials
To reduce the chances of errors and mishaps in the localization process provide your company’s software and reference materials. Translators should refer to the product or software being developed.
However, if it’s not feasible to provide the product to the translators, you should supply them with reference materials such as screenshots or mockups so they can have an idea of the product or software.
13. Create a Glossary of Terms and a Style Guide
If you are a software company you would use words used in the software industry.
When opting for translation services make sure they work in your niche, and make sure to provide them with a style guide so they have an idea of how the content should be translated.
As an example, you could define words that are commonly used in the medical or finance industry.
14. Frequently Test and Run Your Website
How do you make sure that you have successfully localized your website? There’s no better way of running frequent tests on your website.
Test your translations by working out with a native, and you won’t have to deal with dozens of bugs in your website.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Forget to Proofread Your Content
Many companies ignore the importance of proofreading the content. For your content to be fully localized, from translations to media everything must be accurate.
No matter how competent a Translation Service you have employed, there is always a possibility of lapses, thus it’s critical to carefully review the content to prevent any blunders.
Finally, we have come to the conclusion of this comprehensive guide on the 14 website localization best practices for website localization. Following these best practice tips will ensure that your next website localization project will be highly effective.
By enabling these website localization practices, companies can effectively localize your products and services to meet your desired goals.