How to Prepare Your Website for Localization?

How to Prepare Your Website for Localization?

If you want a global business, having your website only in one language will not be enough. Besides, a study indicates that 40% of consumers will not purchase products from sites that are not written in their native language. Thus, you will have to localize your content to expand your business and conquer the world.

To localize your website, you will need to find reliable website localization services. But of course, there is more to website localization than merely hiring web localization services. After all, you will also have to take the necessary steps to prepare your website for the localization process. And here are some of these essential preparations below.

Research stage

First of all, you need to know what you want and what will help your business grow. That is why you will need to do some research before localization. Thus, you will save money and not waste it on unnecessary trials of markets that do not suit your product or service.

1. Define Your Target Market

Before reaching out to localization services, you should define your target market first. That is how you can easily pick relevant languages, cultural inclinations, and other helpful components necessary for successful website localization.

One way to help you define your target market is to develop customer personas for countries you intend to expand. These customer personas will include information such as their spending habits, salary, and trends that they follow in their area.

In addition, make sure to do specific research for your international buyer personas work. General information about a continent is not always helpful, so you will need to dive deeper into country-specific information to help you out.

2. Do Some Necessary Keyword Research

When you finish identifying and picking your international target audiences, it is time to do your keyword research for these markets. After all, you will also want to rank well in search engines in your different target markets abroad. And you may have to go beyond using and understanding Google when preparing your website for localization.

For instance, China’s widely-used search engine happens to be Baidu. On the other hand, Russians primarily utilize Yandex. Meanwhile, Korea uses Naver to get around. Anyway, you probably have the picture by now. So, besides doing the necessary keyword research for different countries, you will also have to find out what search engines they use and how SEO works there.

And other than looking at language differences, you will also have to consider languages with different vocabularies. After all, chips for Americans mean something else to the British. So, you will also have to take note of that when generating your list of keywords!

Website preparation

Since your website is the very base of your website localization project, it is only necessary that you also prepare it for internationalization.

Once you set up your site for internationalization, your project should go smoothly. Although there are many things to consider when doing this, here are vital parts to take note of for this step:

– Ensure that your developers know and utilize Unicode: Unicode is needed as it offers support for all languages used worldwide. In addition, Unicode has an assigned symbol per character in the numerous languages spoken globally.

– Ensure that your site can accommodate various text lengths: Different languages will take up more or less space when translated. You will have to ensure that your website text boxes can accommodate both.

– Keep your site’s high-end graphics and flashy animations to a minimum: Not all countries have the same internet speeds. So, you may need to limit the number of high-quality graphics and flashy animations on your screen to ensure that your site loads quickly no matter what your users’ internet speeds may be. After all, a slow-loading site packed with those elements means losing potential customers.

– Ensure your site is optimized for access to a wide variety of devices: In particular countries, users will favor using a mobile device over a tablet and vice versa. So, make sure that your site is optimized for viewing on different devices.

Choose a team and the tools

Now you know what markets you want to target, you know who your future clients are, what they want, and what they need. You found out what languages you will use and prepared the list of keywords for a successful SEO strategy. Now you need to find who will help you localize your website and choose the best platform for this.

1. Create an Excellent Localization Team for Your Site

An excellent localization team for your site ensures you make no mistakes in your website localization campaign. After all, the last thing you would want to happen to your site is for it to have translation errors. Note that even the tiniest mistranslation could easily ruin your business reputation.

It is vital to recruit the best people for your localization team that understands your target audience. With a localization team that knows how to navigate your international target audience, you would have no problems publishing your content in different languages. And this is while ensuring that the message intent stays the same.

Roles in a localization team will vary depending on the type of business. But most of the time, it will usually include the following people:

  • Project manager: Your project manager will oversee the localization of your website and make sure everyone in the team knows their tasks and has the resources to get them done. Overall, a project manager delegates functions to team members, manages the budget of your localization project, and constantly communicates with everyone in the group. As you understand, this person makes life much easier.
  • Project manager: Your project manager will oversee the localization of your website and make sure everyone in the team knows their tasks and has the resources to get them done. Overall, a project manager delegates functions to team members, manages the budget of your localization project, and constantly communicates with everyone in the group. As you understand, this person makes life much easier.
  • Developers: Yes, you read that right. An excellent localization team needs great developers who know how to work their way with translators. Your localization team developers are also in charge of setting up your CMS correctly, creating the proper tags for your content, and inspecting if all translated pages are routed automatically. Also, sometimes UI/UX should be corrected. For example, if you target the Asian market, the visual components should be more colorful. One more example is when your website is left-to-right, and you need it to be right-to-left, which means you will need to change the location of the menu, pictures, buttons, etc. Usually, the website localization services do not provide developers services. Thus, such changes will be on your team.

If your budget permits it and you figure that your localization team requires more roles or people, go ahead. It is the list of the required team members, of course, you may make your localization team much bigger. For example, if possible, you can also visit the country of the market you want to expand to and connect with a local consultant for the job.

2. Make Sure to Find Correct Translation Management Software

It’s highly recommended that you get the correct translation management software to make your website localization tasks easier to manage. After all, one of the perks of getting translation management software for your website localization project includes the ability to automate your tasks with a valuable API.

Besides, an API feature aids your programmers in easily integrating various projects, importing local files, and interacting with the data. Another notable feature of this software includes collaborative functionalities that help you connect with the rest of your teammates as you work on the project.

And to further accelerate your website localization project, having direct website translating features will also aid your localization team. This feature helps localization team members work and communicate in one software with ease.

Overall, fantastic translation management software ensures that your project is being managed properly. It keeps all your project-related things in one place, serves as an excellent medium for communicating with members, and efficiently accelerates your project. Website localization services usually have platforms they prefer to deal with but you always have the right to compare localization and translation management platforms and choose the one that fits you the most.

Post-Localization stage

We decided to go further and give you some more tips on how the process will look after preparations. The localization process itself will depend on your website and your product. Thus we will skip this part, as there is nothing universal. Let’s move to a post-localization stage that you need to consider as well.

Do the Necessary Testing Before Your Site’s Official Localization Launch

When the localization process is done, you will have to conduct both localization and linguistic tests before launching your site’s official website localization. Localization tests involve inspecting hyperlinks, hardware compatibleness, the functionality of forms, suitability of the content, etc. On the other hand, linguistic tests include reviewing grammatical errors, wrong usage of words/phrases, translation errors, etc.

Doing these tests makes sure you can correct these mistakes before launching them to your international audiences. Even the tiniest mistranslations could ruin your brand reputation, so you must thoroughly inspect for these errors. And naturally, other errors will also negatively affect your customer experience with your site, so always be on the lookout for them.

Wrapping Up

Preparing your website for localization may seem like a daunting task. You will have to do plenty of research, look for the best web localization services, and find ways to get the job done efficiently. On top of that, you will also have to consider your overall budget for the project.

But as long as you diligently follow the necessary steps, you should have no problem finishing your website localization project. If you can get things done correctly, you will get a brand new customer base that will enjoy your business.