Website localization means, at its simplest, providing a culturally relevant digital experience to your customers by adapting its content to a specific target market. The aim of localization is to present a specific product to a specific target market, no matter their language, cultural preferences, or location.
How is website localization different from website translation?
Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to a specific local market. Translation is only one of several elements in the localization process. In addition to translation, the localization process also take into account that:
- Copy, content and brand voice should come through authentically in the target language
- Date and time formats, units of measure and local holidays should reflect those of the target market
- Phone numbers, local addresses, in-language customer support, legal notices should come as approachable to your customers
- Currency and payment options are key to encourage and properly handle an online purchase
- Design and layout should be adapted to properly display translated text in the language of the target market
- Content may be modified to suit the tastes and consumption habits of a target market
All these are aspects that a translation plugin just will not cover. Language and regionalisms, cultural elements of communication, transactional elements, and local communication and trust elements should make your customers feel at home and confident to carry transactions with your company. In other words, website localization can boost engagement and conversion rates.
Is it really necessary to adapt my website to a local audience? Yes, think global, act local.
A CSA Research study shows that 65 per cent of international consumers prefer content in their language; 73 per cent want product reviews in their language; and 40 per cent of international consumers will just not buy in other languages.
Online consumers prefer to buy products and services in their own language. They may not mind conducting research, or even browsing in other languages; but when it comes to a formal purchase where payment is involved, they prefer buying from websites that speak to them in their native language. Minimizing the investment in translation or localization—or not considering it at all—could lead to missing out on a significant percentage of international online customers.
International marketing encourages companies to have a consistent global strategy when selling to international consumers while adapting their local approach to the market they are targeting.
How does website localization increase sales and conversions?
Whether you want to expand your brand reach or you want to boost traffic and revenue, here are some ways in which website localization can help you capture more consumers and new markets successfully.
Reach a larger audience
Global users that cannot read your website will not find out about your business nor your products or services—let alone considering a purchase. Making your content available in different languages and the whole digital experience culturally relevant for your target market will attract new customers, boost your website traffic, and lead to conversions.
Enhance International SEO
SEO allows search engines to find and position your website, and consequently increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. International SEO is one of the most effective strategies to establish an international digital presence. Optimizing your website for multilingual SEO requires localization and search engine expertise.
Increase Conversion Rate
As the CSA Research study shows, 40 per cent of international consumers will not buy in languages different from their own. Conversions need not to only refer to online purchases. Non-transactional websites rely on micro-conversions such as view of category pages, completion of contact forms, downloads of educational resources and booking meetings or calls with sales reps. Still, 65 per cent of international consumers prefer to read this content in their language.
International digital presence is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching new audiences and capturing new markets. By making your website content accessible in different languages, you can reach new users, build trust and foster the increase in conversions.
Build trust in your brand worldwide
International consumers prefer to read this content in their language and are more inclined to invest their money in a brand that provides them with a culturally relevant experience. Putting customer experience at the center of their processes is one of the most valued assets in brands nowadays.
Website localization is an investment in your global business. Fostering global communication with international audiences and making information accessible and culturally relevant in their language, will allow them to consider your business and make the informed and confident decision of buying your product or service.
If you would like to learn more about the localization process and how it can push forward your business, get in touch!