First things first, website localization is NOT website translation. It is much more than that. Localization refers to the process of determining your target market and adapting your website and/or mobile app not only to the local language but also the culture.
One of the elements of localization is thus translation. But it is not the only element here. The overall message, the color schemes, the design, and the images should reflect the specific language and cultural preferences of the given target market.
So, if you are trying to localize a website, make sure to not only translate the web copy but also make it fit the context from the perspective of both language and culture.
Let's take the example of Starbucks. You remember when in Saudi Arabia they changed their logo because "the original showed too much naked female flesh?" People perceive your brand not only physically but also digitally. So it's key to fit their expectations both offline and online.
In this respect, website localization can have a ton of benefits for a business. It is basically the process of speaking your customer's or client's language: both literally and figuratively. Let us examine the benefits of website localization one by one:
Most probably, your business is not the only one in the market. You should have competitors whom you are trying to beat every single day. That's fine. We all have our struggles. And a lot of websites can use language as a competitive advantage.
If your competitors are only targeting English-speaking customers, you could gain an advantage with Spanish speakers or Russian speakers by localizing your website and offering your services in these two languages too.
One more thing here - as soon as you use a website plugin to localize your web copy in one language, you can do that for other languages too. GTranslate allows you to have a ton of languages for one website. You can check the full list of supported languages in the website's FAQ section.
GTranslate's Editor allows editing automatic translations, as well as it allows changing the links of images, videos and PDF files so in translated versions you'll have localized versions of your files. You can learn more about all the possibilities of the GTranslate's Editor in this article.
A cost-effective alternative for a global business
Expanding globally does not necessarily mean opening a branch or a shop in different countries. It is not the best option to get a larger market share. First of all, for an e-commerce business, a simple shipping option could do the trick. Also, if the business model still requires some kind of a physical representation somewhere, you could start with "testing the waters" first. With as easy as localizing a website, you could see how the target market reacts upon your marketing efforts or your ads. This way you will cut costs on investing in new offices, hiring new people and much more. Once you see that your digital marketing efforts succeed, you can go on with expanding your business physically.
Happier clients all over the world
Has anyone already told you that you cannot please all the people all of the time? Well, not exactly. You can please your customers all the time if you speak their language or more precisely if your website localization is done good enough to make people feel at home when visiting your website.
We are all humans, we all prefer seeing our native language in printed materials, on ads, or websites. That's normal for us to feel that way. So, you will be pleasing a really big number of people by localizing your website to their language.
Website localization has its SEO benefits too. You might know that SEO is mainly about the right keywords. While the keywords are the most competitive in English, keywords in other languages can be good for targeting international markets. In fact, a lot of businesses overlook foreign language keywords. So, using these keywords in your web copy can bring you the desired results in terms of search ranking.
In addition, if you are ranking well for foreign language keywords, you are also more likely to see an increase in Domain Authority. This one could help take your SEO efforts to the next level.
Where should you get your website localized?
There are a variety of ways to localize a website. First of all, if it is a WordPress website, or a site built on Joomla, or a Shopify e-commerce website, make sure to add a compatible plugin for making your website multilingual.
The good news for you is that GTranslate is compatible with all these platforms and can be easily integrated. Should you have any problems or questions while connecting it, just make sure to contact the support team through the live chat.
Your second step could be customizing each platform based on a specific set of elements such as images and design. For example, for the Asian target market, brighter colors are more acceptable. While in the US, the colors depend on the products/services you are trying to sell. In certain cultures, there are taboo images which you would not want to use. So make sure to do your research.
Localization is an essential step in taking your online business to the next level. A lot of your business success will depend on how you present your products and services, how you communicate with your target audience, how you display your brand and how you position it. If you do it using the right tools at the right time, then the chances are high that you will eventually increase revenue and boost your sales as well as increase customer retention rates.
And keep in mind that translating your website is one thing (an important thing by the way), but website localization is a whole process which takes time, resources and dedication. However, you can do it once and rest assured that you have gained a competitive advantage over a lot of your competitors. Considering the above-mentioned benefits of website localization, it is not a big deal to spend some money and try it out yourself. You don't risk anything!
Just make sure to do it correctly and with class.
A lot of your success depends on how you communicate your ideas and present yourself!
Go multilingual and multicultural. Try website localization!