For many business owners, expanding their reach overseas is their dream. It’s a sign of success and stability and it’s a huge step forward in their career. If you leap before you look, though, your expansion won’t go as smoothly as you think.
Adding a new geographic area requires serious adaptation efforts. To make sure your new customers can relate to your site, consider these important priorities about website localization.
1. Website Localization Isn’t Just About Sprinkling In Location Names
Some businesses confuse “website localization” with “local search engine optimization.” For example, they believe that changing “plumber” to “plumber in Milwaukee” will make their site relatable to Milwaukee customers, but that’s not the case when expanding overseas. True content localization involves much more. You need to adjust your content to make it truly relevant to audiences in that location so that it feels like it was written by their neighbor. This isn’t an easy process, and it’s the reason website localization companies are in such high demand.
2. Half-Rate Translation Services Won’t Cut It
When you expand your website location to an area with a different language, quality is critical when it comes to your translation. You need to localize the translation to make it feel natural and conversational. If the content is worded awkwardly or if words are used in incorrect contexts, users will instantly know you’re an outsider. When users don’t feel that you relate to them, they’ll choose your competitor instead.
3. Details Can Be Deal-Breakers
With website localization services, sometimes the smallest details can give away your status as a non-local. This includes issues like formatting dates in the wrong way or using the wrong units of measurement. These types of details send the message that you aren’t a local company, and they make it look like you’ve put no effort into relating to your new audience.
4. Website Location Customization is Never Finished
Website localization isn’t something you do once and crosses off your list. Think briefly about how different your interactions are today than they were a few years ago. In the same way, we develop new buzzwords on a regular basis, your localization strategy needs to include updates, too. You can do this by getting rid of outdated slang, references, or content. Keep in mind that topics may become obsolete in some regions sooner than they do in others. It’s also a good idea to include references to events and topics that are well-known among your new audience. This helps them feel like you understand them and their frame of reference.
5. Images and Graphics Matter Too
As crucial as content localization is, it isn’t the only factor in localizing your website. Your images and graphics play a part, as well. Make sure your images are relevant to the local audience. For instance, for a new website in Japan, make sure your images have at least some Japanese people in them. Seasonal images can also throw a wrench into your strategy. If your website’s audience is in Australia, don’t use images of snow in December, because December is summer in Australia.
Choosing Your Localization Service Provider Carefully
In today’s world, people want to buy from companies that care about them and understand them. Regardless of your website location, your website localization efforts will either make or break this image for you.