For many businesses, multilingual or website localization is a critical step to establishing or sustaining a digital presence across global markets. But while localization efforts can pay off in high growth, it does require strategic planning and implementation efforts. As an international business, website localization & multilingual capabilities can be essential to reach new audiences and drive growth.
Website Translation vs Localization
Website translation is the process of changing an original (source) language version of web content such as into a different (target) language by simply substituting words from one language to another—in context. This includes translating copy, changing visuals and images, and adjusting the layout to best suit the target audience. Website localization is a more specialized process of adapting website content to a specific language, culture, and local market. This goes a step beyond multilingual translation services to be tailored for regional or local consumption. Both share a goal of making a website look and feel like it was designed for the target audience, no matter their geographic location. This can go a long way in creating connections with users and encourages further website interactions.
Benefits of Multilingual Websites
Multilingual websites can often be smaller than a company’s main website and focused on one goal; they are usually in less than 5 languages options, and are designed to serve users of these languages with just enough information to help achieve that goal. For example, a startup company that wants to expand into a new country would develop a multilingual page on their website to get the word out about their product, or a business that wants to hire international employees might have a small multilingual section on their career page.
Website localization can provide numerous benefits for businesses. Here are some of the key advantages:
- Reach new markets: With a localized website, businesses can engage with customers in different countries and tap into new opportunities.
- Increase sales & conversions: By providing content in the target language, businesses can improve their website’s usability and make it easier for customers to get in contact with sales teams or purchase products and services. This can aid in conversions or lead generation goals.
- Improve customer experience: By providing content in the local language, businesses can make it easier for customers to find relevant information and interact with their website. This can lead to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Enhance SEO performance: Localizing a website can also help enhance SEO performance by accounting for cultural nuances. By optimizing content for the target language, businesses can improve their website’s visibility in search engine results for gloabl audiences.
- Build trust: Website localization can also help businesses build trust with users by showing they understand their needs and values. This can help increase customer loyalty and trust.
Tips for Successful Website Localization
Localization is when content is translated into other languages and then adjusted for cultural differences in order to better serve multiple markets within that language. For example, a website that serves both American English and British English. This is different from a simple translation because it takes into account the language needs of different cultures and nuances unique to each country/culture. Successful website localization requires careful planning and execution, but here are some factors & tips to help businesses get the most out of their website localization efforts:
- Audience: It’s important to research and understand the target audience and their language, culture, and local market. This will help businesses create a website that is tailored to their needs.
- Content: Content is key when localizing a website. It’s important to create content that is engaging and relevant to the target audience.
- Design: The design of the website should be tailored to the target audience. This includes using visuals, images, and colors that are appropriate for the target culture. For example, perhaps your website imagery reflects the popular cities or cultures of Asia if you are trying to reach Asian markets.
- SEO: It’s important to optimize content for the target language and local market. Consider spelling differences or slang phrases to improve website’s visibility in search engine results.
- Testing: It’s important to test the website in the target language to ensure that it works properly. This will help businesses identify any issues before the website goes live.
Multilingual Website Development Services
Businesses can benefit from multilingual website development services to create a website that is tailored to their target audience. These services can help businesses create a website that is optimized for the target language, culture, and local market.
Website translation involves multiple steps and tools. Here’s a brief overview of the website translation process and the tools used:
- Content extraction: Content is extracted from the source language and prepared for translation.
- Translation: Content is translated by a human translator or automated translation tool.
- Editing and proofreading: Content is edited and proofread to ensure accuracy.
- Localization: Content is localized to suit the target audience.
- Optimization: Content is optimized for SEO in the target language.
- Testing: The website is tested in the target language to ensure that it works properly.
The tools used for a website translation process can include translation management systems, automated translation tools, and content management systems. Some of the most popular are WPML for WordPress or GTranslate for Drupal. Automated translation tools are usually the cheapest option, but they may not provide the accuracy and quality of human translation. A website development agency can implement and test automated translation tools, but human eye for editing and refinement by translators is always the best path.
For many growing businesses, multilingual websites & localization options are becoming to reach new markets and drive growth. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from multilingual website development services to create a website that is tailored and optimized to their target audiences. If you’re looking for help with website localization, contact Bluetext. Our team of experts can develop a website that is tailored to your target audience and optimized for success.