Your website is your presentation and mirror image. Everyone from your competitors to your target audience will be checking it out to see who you are and what you do. The way you present yourself on your website will influence the way they think and feel about you. But, what if you want to go from local to global and expand your reach even further? Then you need to localize your website.
There’s a difference between simply translating and localizing your website. If you want to learn about the website localization process and why it’s always a better option, just keep reading.
● What is Website Localization?
Let’s start by defining what exactly is website localization.
Localizing your website means making it suitable for a target audience that is defined by a specific location they live in. It means adjusting different elements of your website so that it fits their cultural, national, or other characteristics.
It may sound a bit complex, so let’s simplify it. Website localization is:
- the process of changing certain elements of your website to respond and speak to a specific target audience at a specific location.
Simply put, if you want to reach people in Spain, you need to have a localization strategy so that your website offers a Spanish-language localized version. But, what exactly does it imply?
● Website Localization Process
Now you understand what the goal of localization is, so let’s talk about the process of localization. Here’s what it implies:
First things first, you want to translate the content of your website entirely into the new target language. You can do it yourself, or outsource some localization services. You need to make sure your international target audience can read the website in their native language.
- Cultural Adjustment
You want to ensure your localized website responds to the cultural standards of the new target audience. Cultural adjustment is important since it’ll prevent you from offending anyone, or leaving the wrong kind of impression.
For instance, a cow is considered to be a sacred animal in India. If your original website humorously portrays a cow, it may offend your new target audience in India.
– Time, Date & Currency
Changing the technical aspect of your website is also important. What’s the currency in your new target market? How do they write time and date? Is there anything else you need to change?
Colors and visuals need to be changed as well. Different cultures have different interpretations of colors, shapes, and visuals, so make sure you learn about it before launching the new design.
● Why is Localization Better than Translation?
Localization beats translation when it comes to conquering a new target audience, boosting sales, and improving brand awareness. If you just take your original website and translate every word into the new language, it won’t be as effective and powerful for the new audience as it was for the original one.
Because it will lack the specific details that speak to your new target audience. So, localization beats translation because it encompasses it all:
- cultural references
- transactional elements
It is more complex, but it’s also more powerful. And, if you need help with the translation part of the localization process, there are translation tools you could use. With localization, you’re making sure each member of your new target audience feels like the website is designed especially for them.
Website localization is a far more complex process than website translation. But, the results you achieve with it are far more powerful, so it is definitely worth your time and energy.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you realize just how important it is to localize your website and make it suitable for your specific new target audience.
Melony Hart is a marketing specialist and a blogger. She blogs about making your online presence strong and stable using simple but effective tips. She covers it all, from building a website to communicating with your target audience.