Perhaps you’re looking to expand your brand. Perhaps your site isn’t performing so well internationally. Or maybe you’ve started getting more global traffic and want to optimise for this influx of traffic. That’s when you need website localisation.
In this article, we’ll explore what website localisation is, its benefits, and what to look out for when localising your site.
So, grab your favourite beverage, get comfy, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of website localisation!
What is Website Localisation?
Simply put, website localisation is the process of adapting your website’s content, design, and functionality to suit the language, cultural preferences, and expectations of your target audience in different regions. It’s more than just translating your content. It’s about providing a tailored experience that makes your users feel at home, regardless of their location.
Whether you’re running an e-commerce store, a business website, or a blog, localisation will make your message resonate with people from different cultural backgrounds and provide a more user-centric experience for all your visitors.
Benefits of Localising Your Site
Okay. Now that we’ve covered what website localisation is, let’s look at some of the benefits of localising your site:
Increased User Engagement
Offering content that’s adapted to the language and culture of your users makes it easier for them to connect with your brand. A localised site ensures that your audience feels valued and included, which in turn leads to higher user engagement and satisfaction.
Expanded Market Reach
The internet connects people from all corners of the world. By localising your website, you open up your business to new markets and demographics. Catering to a global audience helps you reach customers that you might have otherwise missed out on.
Search engines like Google prioritise locally relevant content. Localised websites have a higher chance of ranking well in local search results, making it easier for users to find your site when they search for products or services in their language.
Higher Conversion Rates
Localising your website can lead to higher conversion rates, as users are more likely to trust and engage with a site that speaks their language and understands their needs.
According to research firm IDC, web users are four times more likely to purchase from a company that communicates in their language.
Another study by Common Sense Advisory found that 76% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language, and 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites.
So, by localising your site, you can effectively increase your conversion rates and boost your sales.
Localising your site can give you an edge over your competitors who haven’t invested in localisation. By offering a tailored experience for your target audience, you stand out from the crowd.
Enhanced Brand Image
A well-localised website shows a company’s commitment to understanding and catering to its customers’ needs, regardless of their location.
This not only helps build trust with your audience but also enhances your brand image in the eyes of potential customers.
Key Components of Website Localisation
As we’ve already mentioned, website localisation is a multifaceted process that goes beyond simple translation.
To truly resonate with your target audience, your website must be adapted in terms of language, culture, design, and function.
- Accurate translation that reflects brand message and tone.
- Adapting design to cultural preferences.
- Adjusting layout and design for text expansion (words being longer when translated) or languages that are written right to left.
- Using the right formatting for dates, times, currencies, addresses, and names.
- Checking that your website complies with any local laws and regulations.
- Optimising for multilingual SEO.
(p.s If you want to know more about adapting your content for different cultures, I’ve written a guide to multilingual content which explores the different types of cultures and their preferred communication styles. You can read it here.)
Some Tips for Effective Website Localisation
In this section, we’ll have a look at some useful tips to perfect your localisation strategy.
Define Your Localisation Goals and Priorities
Start by identifying the specific markets you want to target and establish clear objectives for your website.
Consider factors like potential audience size, growth opportunities, and the level of competition in each market to prioritise your localisation efforts effectively.
Craft a style guide and glossary
Create a style guide and glossary for your website that outlines your brand voice, tone, and terminology guidelines. This will allow you to remain consistent and maintain your brand identity in different languages.
By providing guidelines on language, grammar, punctuation, idioms, and formatting, as well as a list of approved translations for industry-specific terms, you’ll make it easier for your translators to create content that embodies your brand.
Use a CMS with Localisation Support
Using a CMS (Content Management System) that supports localisation can streamline the process by enabling easy creation and management of all your localised content.
Look for a CMS that offers features like multilingual content management, user permissions, and API integrations to connect with third-party localisation tools.
Leverage Machine Translation with Post-Editing
To speed up the translation process and reduce costs, consider using machine translation followed by human post-editing. This approach combines the efficiency of automated translation with the nuance and cultural understanding of a human translator.
Optimise for Multilingual SEO
Research and implement localised keywords, meta tags, and URL structures to improve search engine rankings and increase organic traffic from users in different regions.
In today’s globalised digital landscape, the ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences is paramount.
As we’ve explored in this guide, website localisation goes beyond simple translation, encompassing cultural adaptation, technical optimisation, and a deep understanding of your target markets.
With the right localisation strategy, you can create a powerful online presence that resonates with customers around the world.
And if you want some really next-level website localisation, then it helps to have a team of expert developers (that’s us) to handle it for you. Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help you achieve your localisation goals.