Website Content Localization: How To Be Strategic About It And Build Trust
Do you ever feel like your content creation efforts are a waste of time?
You pour hours of your time, and sometimes money, creating content – only for it to miss its mark with customers.
This can be especially damaging to your expansion plans if targeting people in another market is your goal.
Website content localization is an approach that is used to make website content accessible and relevant to customers, in different markets.
Read on to understand website content localization best practices, and how the changing nature of customer expectations impacts this practice.
Websites as a business tool
The goal of a website is to be of value to people visiting it. But the word value can be a little vague, right?
So let us expand on that and say, a website must give people the information they need – when they need it; through an easy-to-navigate web experience.
There is also a case for localizing website content because of the following:
- Localizing website content can help you achieve important business goals of increasing sales, brand recognition, and building trust.
- Localization can help you bridge cultural gaps by meeting people’s cultural expectations, through your services and products.
Localization and website content localization
Localization is the business process of adapting a brand’s content and messaging to match the cultural expectations of a group of people, in a market that a brand intends to grow.
Website content localization, on the other hand, focuses on adapting a brand’s website, and the content on that website, to reflect the market that said brand plans to enter.
Why do businesses localize their website content?
The goal of any localization endeavor is to gain traction in a new market by targeting consumers with localized messaging and brand experiences.
Companies localize their content to:
- Align their values with the values of a particular group of people.
- To aid effective communication and ensure they communicate a clear message at all times.
- Comply with country-specific laws relating to foreign businesses.
- To simplify the sales process by using the language of target customers.
Understanding customer expectations and needs
The latest research, on the expectations customers have regarding international brands that market to them, has important implications for how businesses use their websites, to connect with, and serve international customers.
The worst thing that brands can do is to treat savvy customers like numbers, and adopt a one size fits all approach to meeting customer needs.
Protect their data.
48% of people trust companies with their information. While 27% of customers understand how companies use their data; at least 86% want more transparency!
Looking at this data, it is the opportunity that exists to use your website to offer personalized – and digital-first engagement strategies, customers are looking for.
Website content localization best practice
Incorporate these best practices to avoid creating ineffective content that fails to engage potential customers.
- Stick to localization basics
These include the details of your content creation efforts.
Example? Make sure your time, date, and punctuation formats match the accepted standards of your intended market.
People of different cultures have different cultural expectations. This extends to the details and accuracy of the content that’s created to target them.
2. Improve load times of localized content
The speed with which your website loads, when users in different locales access it, is vitally important.
Not just from a Search Engine Optimization perspective, but as a brand, and how people perceive it.
Delays in website loading speeds can sometimes be caused by servers located elsewhere, in another country that’s not your target market.
A possible solution would be to use servers located strategically around the world, and nearest your potential customers, to push out content.
3. Automate translated content delivery
Another best practice of website content localization is adding a translation proxy to your website.
A translation proxy can be thought of as a layer, that exists on top of your website, that displays your website’s content in another language – should someone from another (non-English speaking) country access it.
4. Using translation software
This helps translators that are localizing your website content, to do so using the flexibility of translation software. This software makes collaboration easy, allowing translators to compare notes; while built-in translation memory offers content matches – speeding up the process.
5. Measure the impact of localization efforts
The impact of localization efforts, especially on sales, needs to be tracked consistently to understand their value for a business.
Also, understanding how people are using your site will help to figure out your content strategy, and what content to serve customers.
The practice of tracking and implementing changes quickly is an important localization practice.
You’ve made it all the way here…
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
It was created to offer valuable insights that you can share with your colleagues and co-workers.
We are Afrolingo
A professional translation and language services company in South Africa.
We use our knowledge of:
- Software localization
- Mobile localization
- Desktop publishing
- And website publishing
To create localized content and messaging that connects your brand to African audiences, to drive profitable action.