Once you put so many resources into making your website – spend months perfecting every page, thinking through every category, pouring your creativity into each word and image – it’s a shame to rob potential readers of the opportunity to fully enjoy your creation.
Website localization is the only way to reach people globally. Anyone who wishes their website to transcend local markets and affect people across the world must consider localizing their resources and content. But don’t let vague affirmations drive your decision – read this article and see for yourself why you should start planning your localization today.
Is Website Localization Necessary?
The short answer is “yes”, but let us walk you through it. You created a stunning and informative fashion website, plan to inspire a lot of people with awesome results of your hard work, but see that you don’t get as many views as you should. You don't understand why – after all, your designer is a creative visionary, your team worked day and night, your content is killer, your website – fully optimized. But there's one thing you still need to do – deliver your content in a way the audience will understand.
Many people believe that their website only needs to be presented in two languages – their native language and English. This way of thinking makes complete sense. Why wouldn’t you choose English for your website? After all, it's the world's “lingua franca” and the most popular language online. These reasons seem to suffice until you look at statistics that show how completely wrong you are.
Many people have already found out an unexpected truth – translating your website into English and calling it quits will not cut it. Multiple analysts share the same findings:
- Half of all people’s queries online are done in a language other than English. If you don’t know which languages to choose for your localization, view the chart below.
- 40% of web dwellers refuse to ever purchase from a website that is not in their native language;
- If we only count people who have perfect English, 65% of them would still rather consume information in their mother tongue;
- Whopping 76% of people prioritize resources that provide information in their native language;
- Over 40% of EU residents have an impression that they don't get all the necessary information if it isn't provided in a language they know well;
- Buyers who already made a purchase say that they are more likely to shop again on a website if they receive customer service in their mother tongue.
- You will lose over 40% of your potential readers if your website is not localized.
These statistics undoubtedly prove that website localization is something you should take very seriously. Get started now, put in proper time and effort, and the fruits of your labor will be ripe for the taking.
Information provided by Alconost
Guide to Effective Localization
Now that website localization is on your to-do list, let’s discuss the best way how to localize a website. This depends on your team as well as the amount of time you have.
If you have a regular worker who is proficient in your target language and has time and opportunity to do the necessary research, you might try doing localization with the resources that you already have. If you choose this route, we must warn you that it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride. The amount of time and effort you’ll need to invest in such an endeavor may not be proportionate to the quality of result you’ll receive.
One doesn’t merely need language proficiency to do localization well, but knowledge of culture, dialects, traditions, as well as other local peculiarities. For this reason, people often turn localization over to freelance translators or online human translation services, which specialize in such tasks and can guarantee a satisfactory result every time.
Dangers of Bad Localization
Companies must be very careful when performing website localizations – there are well-known examples that showcase how much trouble a business may be in if their website features culturally insensitive mistranslations, poorly handled design, or other mistakes.
One curious instance of poor localization happened with Pepsi Cola due to its design issue. When this company created their vending machine design for Southeast Asia, they changed a shade of blue from a deeper tone to a lighter one without properly doing their research first. It turned out that the light blue color is traditionally linked to mourning and death in this part of Asia. Naturally, their sales dropped, and brand loyalty decreased after such an incautious design choice. This is why you should always learn about the importance of design in website localization before any rebranding.
Another infamous case of poor branding has to do with Schweppes Tonic Water, which was mistranslated as toilet water. Although it may sound funny, such an error is incredibly costly to fix – the company usually loses sales and is forced to remove thousands of products from the market.
Be Wise and Localize
Website localization is the right step for anyone who wishes to attract visitors internationally, increase sales, and provide a better user experience. It requires substantial investments and dedication, but website owners who wish long-term success and consistent business growth commit to this process without a single doubt.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits of localization, you can make an informed decision that may just redefine the future of your brand! Also, you should know how to become a content creator to make a sure impact out there.
BIO: Carl Hill
Carl is a prominent content creator and online education enthusiast who chooses topics that interest many of his contemporaries. His tireless efforts and good knowledge of linguistics and marketing, received by working internationally, make his articles highly informative, but also interesting and easy to read. Besides work, Carl enjoys traveling and videography.