Website localization: To take your website global you need to think local

To take your website global, you need to think local

I’m fortunate enough to have traveled to various parts of the world and wherever I might be visiting, the most recognizable global brands are always present. But how did they establish a successful presence in these countries?

Can’t I just translate it?

Whilst translating your website into the desired language may seem like the obvious approach (translation is still an essential wheel in the cog), understanding the culture, context, regional variants and much more, is crucial for your company appealing to a customer in their language. Did you know 75% of consumers would buy a product with information from their own language? (Common Sense Advisory)

What is localization?

Website localization should adapt your website to appeal to the local audience. This can include:

Product descriptions: for example, an online retailer who use trainers in the UK and sneakers in the USA.

Cultural differences: for example, shoppers in China often pay close attention to the quality of the stitching and the tightness of the fabric’s weave. To take advantage of this, online retailers could use the ability to zoom in on the clothing to be able to see the stitching.

Colors: choice of color is key. In Western culture, yellow has connotations of happiness, whereas in South America, it is associated with death.

Formatting: displaying the correct format of the date and time is important.

Imagery : think about what type of imagery resonates with your audience in each local market.

Website navigation: remember, not all countries read from left to right.

Translation and localization go hand in hand to create an experience on your website that people will not only enjoy, but convert on as well. As Nelson Mandela famously said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

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