A Guide to Web Localization: How to Prepare your Website for Localization

No matter what kind of business you have, localization is vital if you want to succeed in today’s global market. Localization is making your website relevant to a specific country or region. It means more than just translating your content into another language. It also includes adapting your images, videos, and overall design to appeal to your target market. In this article, we’ll show you how to prepare your website for localization so that you can make the most of opportunities in new markets.

Why Localize Your Website?

There are many reasons to localize your website. You may wish to perform localization yourself or use website localization services to assist you. Maybe you have customers in other countries, and you want to reach out to them in their language. Or you’re expanding your business into new markets, and you need to show your customers that you’re serious about serving them.

There are many benefits of localization, including:

  1. Increased reach: By localizing your website, you can make it available to a broader audience range. It can help you expand your customer base and grow your business.
  2. Improved search engine rankings: Localized websites tend to rank higher in search engine results, giving you a better chance of being found by potential customers. It happens as you use different keywords for specific markets where you can have fewer competitors or even not have them at all.
  3. Greater customer engagement: When people can read your website in their language, they’re more likely to engage with it. It can lead to more sales and loyalty from customers.
  4. Enhanced credibility: A localized website conveys that you’re a professional business serious about serving a global market. It can boost your reputation and build trust with potential customers.
  5. Competitive advantage: If your competitors aren’t localized, you could gain a significant advantage by being the only company in your industry with a website available in multiple languages.

How to Get Started With Website Localization

Whatever your reason, localization is a great way to improve your website and reach new audiences. But before you start translating your content, there are a few things you need to do before even beginning to prepare your website for this process.

1. Plan Your Translation Strategy

The first step is to plan your translation strategy. What languages do you want to translate your website into? Who will do the translations? Will you use human translators or machine translation?

It would be best if you also decided how you want to handle updates to your website. For example, will you translate all new content at once or only update the translated versions of your site periodically?

2. Make Your Website Localization-Friendly

Once you have a plan for localization, you need to make sure your website is ready for it. That means ensuring that all of your content can be easily translated.

One way to do this is to use simple, straightforward language in your content. Avoid jargon and technical terms that may not be familiar to your readers in other countries.

It’s also crucial to use proper grammar and spelling in your content. It will make it easier for translators to understand your ideas and produce accurate translations.

3. Choose the Right Translation and Localization Services

If you’re going to use translation services, it’s vital to choose a reputable company specializing in website localization. They should have experience translating websites into the languages they want and be familiar with the process of localization.

Be sure to get quotes from several different companies before making a decision. Moreover, if possible, ask for samples of their work so you can see the quality of their translations.

So, are you looking to take your website global? Let’s talk about the website preparation itself.

First, you’ll need to identify which pages on your site should be localized. It will usually include your home page and any pages that contain important information like your contact information, product pages, or blog posts. Once you’ve identified which pages need to be translated, you’ll need to create separate versions of those pages for each language you want to support.

Next, you’ll need to make sure that your site’s navigation is set up so that users can easily switch between the different language versions of your site. It can be done using language-specific URL patterns or a plugin like WPML.

Finally, you’ll need to choose a translation service or tool that can help you translate your site into the different languages you want to support. There are many other options available, so be sure to research and choose the best localization services.

Further, we will cover some vital details about some of the points. To know them – keep reading!

How to Choose the Right Target Markets

It’s no secret that choosing the right target markets is essential for any business. The same is true when it comes to website localization. But how do you know which needs to target?

There are some factors to consider, including your existing customer base, product or service offering, brand, and budget. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right target markets for your website localization project:

  1. Know your audience. The first step is to understand who your target market is. Consider age, gender, location, and interests when defining your audience. Once you know who you’re targeting, you can start to research potential markets.
  2. Research potential markets. Once you have a good understanding of your target audience, it’s time to research potential markets. Look for countries with a high demand for your product or service, a large population of potential customers, and a favorable economic climate.
  3. Consider your brand. When expanding into new markets, it’s principal to consider how your brand will be received. Make sure that your branding is culturally appropriate and will resonate with your target market.
  4. Factor in costs. Website localization can be expensive, so you need to start from the most valuable markets first and keep moving unless you have the budget to cover all destinations.

How to Create Localized Content

If you’re planning on localization – that is, making your site available in multiple languages – you’ll need to create content that can be easily translated. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  1. Keep your language simple and concise. It will make it easier for translators to work with your content and ensure that the meaning is conveyed accurately in other languages.
  2. Use familiar terms and phrases that are likely to be translated correctly. Avoid industry-specific terminology that may not be understood in other cultures.
  3. When possible, use visuals instead of text. Images, infographics, and videos can often convey information more effectively than text alone, and they’re less likely to be lost in translation.
  4. Make sure your content is well-organized and easy to navigate. It will help visitors find what they’re looking for, regardless of language barriers.
  5. Include a built-in translation option on your site. It will automatically give visitors the ability to translate your content into their preferred language.

How to Test and Launch Your Localized Website

You’ve worked hard to localize your website, and now it’s time to test and launch it. But how do you go about doing that? Here are a few tips:

  1. Do a final check of your content. Ensure all your text, images, videos, etc., are correctly translated and appear in the right place on your website.
  2. Test your website on different devices. Localization can sometimes change how your website looks on other devices, so testing it on as many as possible is vital.
  3. Launch your localized website in phases. If you’re launching a completely new website in a new language, it’s best to do it in stages. Start with just a few pages or sections of your website, and then gradually add more. It will help you spot any problems quickly and give your visitors a better experience.
  4. Get feedback from users. Once your localized website is up and running, make sure to get feedback from users to see if they’re finding everything they need and if there are any problems with the translation or functionality of your site.

You can do it yourself or hire localization testing services to do this. Most localization companies also have such types of services.

Conclusion

Localizing your website can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it if you want to reach a global audience. With a bit of planning and effort, you can ensure that your website is accessible to everyone, no matter their language. By following the tips in this article, you can make sure that your website is ready for localization and that your content will be translated correctly.