Why You Need to Consider Localising Your Website
With the internet continuing to take over everyday life, it’s becoming increasingly important to reach out to your audience online — especially if you’re looking to take your business global. On the topic of website translation, Global Voices highlight that only 28% of internet users are English mother-tongue speakers. Simply put, if you’re only focusing on them, the other 72% may not warm to your brand.
With huge numbers like this, it’s important for businesses looking to go international to consider the website’s target audiences. But simply translating the language isn’t enough to localise your website.
Think about what the local audience wants to see
Different viewers around the world will want to see different things, so it’s important to consider what’s trending in that country when localising your website.
Your homepage will more than likely be the first page users land on, so it’s important to captivate your audience with its content. The World Wide Fund for Nature changes content on its homepage according to country – in India the focus is on elephants and snow leopards, while the UK homepage focuses on climate change.
All the information on your site should be relevant to the target country and culture. Knowing what’s considered popular or more relevant in different countries can help you decide what your website users will be most interested in, but it’s best to consult with native speakers and local experts for information such as this, to make sure your business gets it right.
Consider the local culture, laws and languages
Knowing the local culture will be a big help, as users will appreciate the language used if it’s relevant to them. For example, ASOS makes little tweaks on its website according to the country — ‘jumpers’ in the UK becomes ‘sweaters’ in America.
The website design may also have to change depending on the translations. For instance, Arabic and Hebrew is read from right to left, as opposed to left to right, which can change the basic layout of a whole website.
Different dialects in language should be considered – for example, Japanese is written in four different dialects, depending on who is writing and who is being addressed. It’s also important to avoid translating a language word for word, as this could affect how a sentence reads.
And finally, you need to make sure your website adheres to the laws in the country you’re targeting, and that you understand how this can affect your marketing and shareability. For example, some of the biggest social networking websites are banned in China, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Our local experts can advise on the biggest social media channels used in these areas, allowing businesses the opportunity to expand and reach their target audience.
Keep the users happy and informed
Customer service is key for all businesses and organisations, so it’s important to keep all information fresh and up to date according to where the website users are in the world. General information you may take for granted include how you present dates and times — each country displays them differently. Similarly, businesses should consider changing the currency on the website, as well as any shipping information and prices.
When thinking about website localisation, it’s important to consider your customer services team, and any language barriers this can bring up. Having someone available to speak the different languages could be costly.
Please share this post...