What is Website Localization?
Localization, also referred to as L10N, is much more than simple translation, as the context and cultural differences of your target audience are always considered in the process. A true website localization specialist has the local knowledge of web practices and knowledge of the local culture, as well as just the language.
To successfully localize your content for international markets, it is important to:
Localize all the images and graphs to appeal to local audiences
Update units of measurement, date and time formats
Make sure to avoid certain language or references that can be regarded as disrespectful in the target culture
Make the language versions of the website easily accessible
The primary goal of localization is to ensure that the product or service content that you show in your website looks and feels like it was originally created for the audience it is localized for.
Only 1 out 4 Internet users speak English as a first language, although it is true that many more can have a certain degree of understanding of the language. If you want to be noticed online and attract international clients, you need to be prepared to offer your content in a way that they can understand.
Being able to read and understand your website in their own languages —as if it had been specifically created for them— will create trust among your customers, and trust will lead you to a higher number of sales.
Website localization is a long term investment, but it provides good results and a strong competitive advantage when it is done the right way.
That really depends on your business objectives and your target audience. You are the one who knows where you want to market your product or service and that decision should be a clear indicator of the languages you should translate into.
It is important to consider both the languages your online visitors speak and also the and the languages (or markets) that can bring a stronger buying power.
There are different solutions available: Automatic Translation Plug-ins, Website localization in Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress Multilingual Plugin or Prismic, Localization Platforms like Transifex or Crowdin.
However, you can always export your data directly in different files .json, .php, .html, .yml, etc. and later import or load the files in your site again.
Never underestimate the importance of choosing the right tool, as it has a significant impact on the success of your website localization project.
Every localization project workflow should be tailored to the specific needs of your project. However, full completion of the 7 main stages will ensure a successful localization project.
If you want to know more about the process we follow at Kotoba Translation, check out our blog post.
SEO can be different in each country .If you want to optimize your language sites, defining a clear keyword strategy and SEO from the beginning is essential. This way, the translator will be able to incorporate the chosen keywords in the target text. If you wait to take decisions on multilingual SEO until the translation of the website is finished, it can take a huge amount of time and efforts to update it.A very important tip for multilingual SEO: Respect the most used engine in each region and do your research accordingly.
Linguistic testing ensures that all the content has been adequately translated. At Kotoba Translation, we always do one live final test for all our clients to make sure that all the language versions of the site are functioning correctly.
If you want to know which are the things that you can easily miss if you don’t do localization testing, check out our post here.