Your website is the online address of your business in the vast digital space ─ amidst thousands of competitors. So, will you speak to your multiple foreign audiences across the world through content published in your local language and taking account of your local culture only?
If the answer is No, and it should be, so what is the key for your company to compete and thrive in the global marketplace? What’s the magic power that will unleash your digital potential?
Website Localization Services?
Let’s speak frankly. Take this: [https://csa-research.com/More/Media/Press-Releases/ArticleID/31/Survey-of-3-000-Online-Shoppers-Across-10-Countries-Finds-that-60-Rarely-or-Never-Buy-from-English-only-Websites]. When they shop online, 77% of your potential customers prefer to shop on websites that offer products and services in their native language. Yes, that’s it. People would rather see everything ─ from text to images to video ─ in their mother tongues.
So, here we go! Website localization services are the process of adapting and tailoring everything in your website ─ language, appearance, and functionality ── to foreign audiences in overseas markets. Therefore, you will have to partner with a website localization company that excels at doing three things for your website at the same time:
- Pay full attention to the linguistic, cultural, and technical differences.
- Keep the original intent of the source text as is.
- Ensure that the localized versions of the website have the same look and feel as it was originally in the target language.
After all, is said and done, let’s say that website localization is a great method to connect your message with your customers in global markets in their mother tongue, from their viewpoint, and in the way they’re used to seeing. Put differently, it’s the key to infusing your brand with global relevance.
The Difference Between Website Translation and Website Localization Services
Still, some important questions usually pop up. Shall we use the two terms of website translation and website localization interchangeably? Are they the same thing?
Big No is the answer. Even though both services go hand-in-hand so that your site can’t have one without the other, yet, there is a clear difference.
Website translation is done when you convert a text from a source language into a target language while keeping the original meaning and using the proper grammar rules. In this sense, translation centers on language itself and language exclusively!
Website localization, on the other hand, is an integrated, all-inclusive solution that adapts the entire website content for consumption by a specific audience. Translation, therefore, is just part of the process! So, what on earth does this mean?
It means that when you partner with a professional website localization company, they would deliver website localization services that go beyond translation to involve such areas as units of measurements, currencies, religious and historical references, imagery, software systems in addition to all other cultural characteristics that are relevant to the target audience(s). Overall, website localization adapts, adjusts, and transforms the whole “online experience” for your specific audience(s).
Why Do Businesses Outsource Website Localization Services?
Companies invest in the localization of their websites in return for several advantages. Let’s dive deeper to look at some of these benefits.
1-Improve user experience to increase reach
Though about 60% of websites are in English [https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/content_language], yet just 25% of the world understands English [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_English-speaking_population]. Further, 64% of people do not shop from English-only websites. Interestingly more than one billion internet users do not understand English and happen to live in the huge continent of Asia!
Fact is, only by localizing your website content will you be able to catch and keep the attention of global customers!
2-Boost credibility & decrease risk
Giving your site users fully localized content will boost Google’s E-A-T factors ─ expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness ─ for your brand in your target market(s). Moreover, your professionally localized multilingual content will actually reduce any client misunderstandings and misrepresentation of your brand in foreign markets.
3-Increase global sales
According to millions of businesses all over the world, their companies are seeing huge increases in their sales volumes after they’ve localized their websites. This is, definitely, because establishing a global presence through professional website localization services is the key to expanding into new markets and gaining new buyers across the globe.
What is the Process Used by Website Localization Services?
Site localizing is a complex process that comprises three separate phases. Let’s have a look.
First – Planning
This phase should be carried out in full collaboration with the website localization company
that you partner with. Together, you’ll come up with a project plan that caters to your business’ needs and expectations. This stage involves a number of things that include:
- Taking out all translatable text.
- Estimating costs and turnaround times.
- Creating a term glossary and style guide.
- Establishing a translation memory TM that is specific to your company.
Second – Implementation
When it comes to the execution phase, we’d go through the following steps:
- Language translation: The content is professionally translated (ideally by native speaker translators) with the target audience’s cultural individualities taken into consideration. Then, the translated content will be proofread, edited, and reviewed to ensure it is linguistically and culturally appropriate for the new market(s).
- Visual Content: images and videos will be replaced or tweaked so they become culturally suitable
- Search Engine Optimization: multilingual SEO is conducted to boost your website’s visibility in the target markets.
- Design: This area includes adapting for right-to-left languages, language switcher placement, and other related things.
Third – Quality Assurance
At this stage, linguistic and functional quality assurance (QA) should be done to optimize quality before launch.
Which Languages Should You Localize Into?
Yes, we’re now confident that localizing your site means attracting thousands, and probably millions, of customers who speak specific languages and have specific cultures. Yet, we still need to ask: Which languages should a business localize into? In fact, the answer to this question depends on several factors. Let’s dive deeper to have a look at each of them.
First – Which Markets to Target?
It’s important for you to identify which countries have good demand for your services, which areas in the world have the most purchasing power, and which countries are projected to witness economic growth. The three keys to success in this area are research, research, and research.
Second – Your Site Traffic
Information about your existing customers is a treasure for you. If you have data about your existing audience from Google analytics [https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/] or WordPress [https://wordpress.com/] for example, it would be great. Information ─ such as which languages your customers browse in and where they are located ─ is essential for guiding you to create a workable business growth plan.
Third – Site Design
Some languages, such as Farsi and Arabic, go from right to left. Korean, Japanese and Korean are character-based languages and thus require less space than Roman alphabet languages. So, the target text may turn out to be shorter or longer than the source version. Therefore, parts of the website might need to be redesigned to make room for the text.
Therefore, you’ll have to ensure that your business has the required engineering expertise, or you might resort to outsourcing the web design.
Fourth – Competitors Matter!
You need to have a look at which languages your competitors are localizing into to gain a bit of insight into where their businesses are heading for. This will definitely help you decide whether you’ll be doing like them or act differently.
Fifth – Project Cost
Widely spoken languages, like English and Spanish, usually don’t cost much because there is a large pool of translation talent available everywhere. African languages, on the other hand, are more expensive due to the small number of qualified translators in this area.
Moreover, geography affects translation costs. Translators who live in countries with a high cost of living ─ such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Korea and Iceland ─ typically charge higher prices.
Widely Used Languages on the Web
Frankly, you shouldn’t build your decision primarily upon this factor. Fact is, you need to localize into the languages that your audiences speak and understand. That’s it.
However, for those who believe that they may expand their footprint into global markets by localizing their websites into global languages, let’s admit that English [https://www.visualcapitalist.com/100-most-spoken-languages/#:~:text=Which%20Languages%20Have%20the%20Most,round%20out%20the%20top%20five.] is the top language worldwide, followed by German, Russian, Spanish, French, and Japanese.
Important Things to Consider When Localizing
Since website localization services are a big deal, you need to ensure that the website localization company you partner with will pay attention to a number of things, including:
- Both images and text should have a natural look and feel.
- The differences between the source and the target languages, in terms of language and culture, should be taken into consideration.
- The whole process should start with thorough market research.
- Using the appropriate translation management software TMS is the best route to remove the hassle out of the website localization process.
The Languages We Support
When it comes to our website localization services, our network of subject-matter, country-specific experts ─ linguists and engineers alike ─ help our company to support almost all African and major world languages.
Whether in the emerging markets of Africa, the expanding Chinese market, the promising markets of Latin America, and almost everywhere across the globe, we’re here to help.
Why Partner with AfroLingo as Your Website Localization Company?
At the end of the day, we still have to answer an important question. Why do top companies across Africa and the world trust AfroLingo as the website localization company of choice that manages the process of globalizing their sites?
The short answer is because we empower them to excel in the global marketplace. Yet, there’re more details.
At AfroLingo, website localization goes beyond the mere job of website content translation. In fact, we’ve got the expertise and technology to adjust all elements of your website so that they fit the cultural needs of each new market. From web software systems to graphics, color scheme logos, and the content management system CMS, our experts embark on localizing each and every element of your website to adapt it for new overseas markets. They localize the back-end and front-end features, including page layout, domain, logo, and content (both text and audio-visual).
Also, we do it for all! Our experts are versed in localizing all kinds of websites ─ from official corporate websites to e-commerce sites, e-learning platforms, and personal blogs.
Further, AfroLingo delivers website localization services for a broad diversity of industries including Finance, Legal, Medical, Media, IT & Technology, Consumer Electronics, Engineering, Agriculture, Education & E-learning, and many more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Website Localization Services
We’ve collected several frequently asked questions about our website localization services, hoping to make things easier for you. Here they are.
Q: What is Website Localization?
A: It’s the process of adapting the content of your website into your language and culture. We aim to provide your audience with a content browsing experience that resonates and at the same time delivers your message plainly and lucidly in the native language of your clients.
Q: What is website translation?
A: Website translation is just part of the website localization solution. It’s the process of translating the content of your website into the various languages spoken by your target audiences.
Q: What are the benefits of localization?
A: When you localize your website, you have the opportunity to reach a larger audience, create targeted SEO campaigns for multiple markets, improve your brand image and online presence, as well as leverage tailored content to boost conversions.
Q: What are the major steps of website localization?
A: Here they are:
- Language: a fully translated website with cultural nuances taken into consideration
- Images: images and even videos should be replaced to be culturally appropriate
- SEO: multilingual SEO will help you get found in your new markets
- Design: such as adapting for right-to-left languages, language switcher placement, and taking into consideration text expansion
Q: When should I start my website localization project?
A: Preferably, you should start the localization at the startup of your business. If you localize in the beginning, this will make it possible for you to get seen by multiple audiences from the start. Further, this will provide your business with a competitive advantage.