In this interconnected and globalized world, broadening your horizons is key to understanding, success, and prosperity. Nowadays, life is about building bridges and connecting with people worldwide.
This equally applies to businesses.
Are you thinking about expanding to other markets in different countries with different languages?
You don’t need to create a whole new product or service to successfully tap into a new market. You just need to adapt it correctly, or more specifically, localize it.
Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to meet the needs of a specific target market, taking into account different facets in language, culture and esthetics.
The more you make your product relatable to your target audience the more likely it will be consumed. A lot is decided by the first impression your product or service leaves. So in a sense you could compare your website with the handshake when you first meet someone.
Nothing like a flawless website localization, where you wouldn’t even expect the website was originally designed in another language or for a different target market. This sets you apart from your competition that often has clunky translations and designs that just don’t feel right.
Having your website perfectly localized in multiple languages additionally generates trust, a sense of reliability and quality.
What are the Challenges of Website Localization?
Even in the same language, there are differences such as idioms, slang, homonyms, and concepts that can affect your message and what you are trying to communicate.
Remember: a successful user experience is when the audience is taken into account. Speaking the same language is just as important, but creating a sense of locality will be a complete game changer.
Imagine walking down a street in a foreign country where you don’t understand a word and suddenly you hear people talking in your language and local accent. If you ever experienced that, I am sure you would agree this immediately sparks a feeling of joy and connection.
That is precisely the feeling a sound website localization could create for your new target market.
Benefits of Website Localization
Taking a product or a service and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate for a foreign market has multiple benefits like:
- Conquer new markets
- Increase traffic on your site
- Create various sources of income
- Benefit of niche markets your competition is not able to reach
- Enhancing your brand image
- Improve customer loyalty and relationships
- A significant increase in revenue
- Reach a growth potential that is only limited by the world itself
Not convinced yet? Here some hard facts:
- More than 70% of global consumers spend most of their time on sites in their first language.
- Only 25% of the world’s population speaks English, while only 8% are fluent enough to enjoy content to its fullest.
- 79% of all marketing leads are never converted into sales, so how can you hope to succeed with a funnel that is anything less than perfect?
The 8-Step Process of Website Localization
Your website localization process order may vary depending on the company you are working with, but here are some essential steps towards a successful localization:
1. Define your strategy
You can only reach your goals if you know what you are aiming for. This step is about defining your objectives, timeline, and tools, but more importantly, it is about research.
Understanding your target market’s culture, purchasing behaviors, and other local and regional factors such as payment methods and currency is a crucial factor.
Also, it’s an excellent time to build the team and set objectives, KPIs, and deadlines.
2. Project management
Any successful project needs a leader supervising the entire process to ensure the desired goals are met exactly and to their full completion.
A localization project can be very demanding and complex in many ways, so it requires well trained and experienced personnel to successfully complete a project under strict guidelines. And a project manager is a key factor to this.
3. Content Extraction
This is a vital part of the process because you don’t want anything missing in the end. It’s time to extract all the info and make an inventory of all the content to be localized.
4. Localization Engineering
Before you can put your expert linguists to work, there is a certain step to take: localization engineering. This phase aims to plan and execute a workflow that allows all the translated content to adapt to the website to make pertinent updates successfully.
It basically prepares the site to be localized; it involves tasks like validating content, ensuring all code is ready and receptive and adaptive to the translation so it will show correctly on the site, and much more.
This process can be run along the content translation, depending on the workflow and client needs.
Time to put the translator muscle to work for all kinds of text and multimedia. Without a proper translation that suits your specific market needs and cultural features, you can’t have successful localization.
Besides, remember that localization is also about creating a sense of locality. That’s why native translators are important. Words and their meanings vary from language to language and there are hundreds of different ways to say something – but only a few ways to say it perfectly.
Have you ever heard the expression “2 heads are better than 1”? It is very true and really important when it comes to localization. Any text and content must be double or even triple checked before publishing, exactly like newspapers do.
This is what a proofreader does . At the end of this process everything is orthographically correct,phonetics and pronunciation are taken into account and the appropriate and correct vocabulary is used for each special field. If the job is done right, your website will look spotless.
7. Design and Visual Adaptation
Language is not the only aspect that needs to be adapted during localization. Design and every visual element of a website must be adjusted to suit the target audience’s specific cultural needs.
For example, certain colors and symbols could be received as inappropriate in a different cultural background. It’s important to be extra careful and do in-depth research and preferably consult with natives of that culture to detect these sutil aspects that can distort your message.
8. Testing and Validation
This is the stage where the single pieces are combined, and it’s the right time for final changes, updates, and other adjustments.
At this stage, it’s essential to import all data and merge it with code, but also perform tasks like source validation, SEO, quality assurance and general testing to see if everything is exactly up to the clients expectations.
When is the Best Time to Implement Website Localization in Your Business?
What’s a perfectionist’s worst trade? Never finishing. You might think your flagship product is not ready for expansion because it still needs some adjustments and other little refinements. However, chances are you are simply overcritical and are hugely underestimating your probabilities for a huge success.
Let us tell you something: There is hardly any product that is ever really “finished”. Besides, the sooner you start this localization process, the sooner you get feedback on your product or service from an experienced team of experts. This allows you to identify areas for improvement and new business opportunities.
Having an accelerated expansion or a new feedback loop from new audiences are significant problems to have. So here are a few questions for you.
- Are you about to launch a new product or service?
- Are you looking for new sources of revenue?
- Do you want to take your company to the next level?
- Have you recently updated your website? Did you just recently add features to your website?
- Is your info product that good that you simply have to share it with the world?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to start looking for Website localization services.
Examples of Companies and Their Website Localized
One of the best examples of excellent website localization is McDonald’s. The giant fast food chain with more than 38,000 locations worldwide has done a spectacular job localizing its website, considering language, design, colors, and even the prices and menu.
Coca-Cola is another titan who has done quite a perfect job with localization. Coke’s international websites adapt as brilliantly to the culture as their advertising to the market.
Remember that iconic Coca-Cola TV ad from the seventies? The one where people from different cultures sang with a bottle in hand and the logo translated to multiple languages?
It’s from the last century, but that’s Coca-Cola at its finest, taking localization to the next level since time immemorial.
Specifically for infoproducts, we have Mindvalley.
If you don’t know Mindvalley, it’s one of the biggest companies in the self-development niche, and we helped it localize its website in many languages.
We made for them different websites in different languages, adapting content and design to keep Mindvalley’s essence while making its mission understood by different locales. Then, we integrated those websites under one domain.
For example, if you search Mindvalley in Google from France, you’ll see that the top 1 result is mindvalley.com, but when you click on the link you’re redirected to mindvalley.com/fr. The same happens with other languages like Spanish or Italian.
What Would Happen If Your Company Doesn’t Take Advantage of Website Localization?
It just limits your business in the long run. Period.
Not localizing your website while trying to tap into foreign markets is like running head first into a concrete wall. Not even the most prominent companies could pull that off.
You might ask how not localizing might be bad for business? Well, not only will your growth potential be very limited, but even more dangerous: your brand message could be distorted by the translation of search engines and damage the image of your business.
So you are not only missing out on potential customers on a daily basis but you might even lose some potential clients for ever… clients that won’t come back even if you decide to localize at a later stage. Remember: first impressions count and usually stick with us for ever.
It’s time to go global
Whether you are a content creator, fitness trainer, artist, or entrepreneur and have a great info product you want to share with a foreign audience, website localization is the best way to start.
At InfOhana, we specialize in every aspect of localization. Your website is the face of your business and like the first handshake with a potential customer, you simply have to get it right the first time. It is the bridge from your country to the rest of the world.
That’s why we offer an all-in-one localization solution. We have a highly specialized and experienced team of native linguists, designers, video editors, copywriters and a big network of trusted voice artists to help you cover every aspect of your transition effortlessly and smoothly.
You can’t wait to take your product or service to the next level? Make Website localization your next milestone and start building your bridge to the rest of the world.
A free 30-minute call is all it takes to get you started.
Your success is our success.
Our team can’t wait to help you succeed with your business goals.