Everyone knows that a website is an absolute must for any company that wants to compete in today’s market. Now more than ever, with people all over the world stuck at home due to the pandemic, the internet has become the place to market your products and services.
This change is one that represents a huge opportunity for businesses to expand their market beyond their country of origin, with costs at a much more manageable level than before.
To succeed in attracting new clients, however, it’s important to go one step further by adapting your website’s user experience to potential foreign customers through a process known as localization.
Website localization is a complex process encompassing a number of different stages.
First and foremost, a company needs to carefully choose their target market. To do this, a company must do its own market research to assess which countries offer the best sales opportunities, based on a series of parameters including the nature of the company’s products and services, its development strategy, its budget and further interrelated factors.
Once the company has chosen its target market, it needs to translate the content of its website, adapting this to the wider context applicable to the target audience. This is what we call localization. The task is to translate the text while altering the linguistic and cultural references to suit the target audience, such as by eliminating any expressions that may be hard to understand or even cause offence. It’s also important to adapt things likes dates and times, units of measurement, currencies and visual elements like images and videos.
Last but not least, the final step is to optimize the website so that it can be found easily by search engines. This involves choosing keywords and phrases that are applicable to the target market, as well as translating and optimizing all the various elements that influence search engine ranking, such as meta description, alt tags and anchor text.
Contrary to what many people might think, localizing a website is no easy task – which is why it’s so important to turn to a team of professionals.
The importance of professional translation
There are plenty of online tools offering quick, free translations – but have you considered the real cost of these in terms of potential mistakes and lost clients?
Any company that decides to localize their website does so because they intend to expand their activities overseas. To do this successfully, companies need to present themselves professionally, optimizing their communication tools and content and creating a site that matches the company’s prestige.
We’ve already seen that localization is made up of a number of different stages, each with its own intricacies.
You need a team of native-speaking translators who are capable of conveying the message and values of your website in the target culture, ensuring that the content feels like it was created especially for them – not mechanically translated from another language.
As many people are now aware, it’s important to use native-speaker copywriters and SEO specialists who are familiar with the algorithms used by search engines, in order to ensure that your website is positioned correctly.
Behind every localization project is the work of a team of experts, each bringing their own specialized skills.
There’s no doubt that it’s more expensive to work with a professional provider than it is to opt for a do-it-yourself solution, but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s take a look at them together.
The advantages of localization
Most people want to look for products and services in their own language and thus steer clear of websites written in languages that they either don’t know or have limited knowledge of.
Localization enables companies to reach users who otherwise would never have visited their website. Communicating in a person’s native language brings you closer together and enables you to build a relationship of trust with the public.
The optimization process makes it possible to increase your coverage within the target market. Using the right keywords for the new target market enables companies to be positioned near the top of the most widely used local search engines.
Though Google is always one of the most popular, it’s certainly not the only one used. Baidu is used a lot in China, for example, while Yandex is a popular one in Russia. Each search engine works according to algorithms based on different systems – and these need to be taken into account if you want to ensure you’re ranked near the top of any online searches.
Once you’ve penetrated that new market, local growth opportunities become more accessible and diversified. We’re living in a period when it’s become routine for consumers to leave comments and opinions on products or services they’ve used. As such, providing a quality product or service is the simplest way to promote word of mouth and boost your reputation – a sure-fire route to new clients.
Localizing a website is an investment that brings countless advantages – and that’s exactly why it’s vital that you turn to a professional translation agency to get this done.
At Way2Global, we offer a specialist website translation and localization service that is constantly changing and improving to adapt to the dynamic nature of the internet. Thanks to our team of specialist native-speaker translators, copywriters and SEO specialists, we are the preferred vendor to many leading global companies, whom we work with to make their online communications strategies more effective, no matter where in the world they wish to operate.
As a Benefit Corporation with B Corp status, we ensure that our translation and localization services comply with the stringent social and environmental sustainability criteria, delivering tangible benefits for our clients and for all of the stakeholders involved in our supply chain.
Need to localize your website? Get in contact!