For a website developer the main aim is to create a site that looks great, is user-friendly and carries out its purpose successfully. However, it can be hard to meet these criteria if your website is in a foreign language to a potential customer. Website localisation can be an imperative step to tapping into global markets and reaching new customers from around the world. Creating a brand online means that you are now accessible to the masses so why limit yourself to one language when you could reach a wider audience by localising your website.
Benefits of Web Localisation
The goal for any entrepreneur is to one day expands into a global corporation.
Every entrepreneur who develops a business plan has the hope that one day their business will grow into one of the largest companies in the world. In order for this to happen a business must take the appropriate steps to expand their brand internationally. Penetrating overseas markets through website localisation is one of the first steps you should take when starting a business. When growing your business, it is vital to strengthen your brand by gaining global traction and widening your customer base. This is required in order for your business to go from a local business to a global brand. Website localisation is one of the first steps into doing this. By having your website in more languages will mean that you are reaching a larger audience and thus increasing your potential customer base. More languages mean more customers and so this in turn will eventually increase revenue.
It seems that gone are the days where English is seen as the lingua franca of the corporate world. The European Language commission found that people 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.
72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language and 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. Statistics such as these show the importance of putting the customer at the center of their online digital experience with your brand. Website localisation will make your business appear more approachable, more customer friendly and an all-round more pleasant experience. This will undoubtedly give you a competitive edge over similar businesses.
Furthermore, multilingual SEO’s can also increase the online traffic to your website, which will result in a higher website ranking and more visibility to potential customers.
Localisation is more than simply linguistically adapting your website from one language to another, one would have to also consider the cultural norms and values of that particular language and change accordingly. This could also set your business apart from your competitors as you are taking into account your varying markets.
There are many ways in which website developers can go about effectively localising a website.
Make Cultural Adjustments
Even though the majority of web localisation will be focused on linguistic translation, it is important to make cultural changes to breakthrough cultural barriers and ensure there is a level of sensitivity. For example, the colour theme, different colours have different meaning depending on the culture so it is important for your website to be culturally sensitive in all languages.
Create a Flexible Web Design Format
When translating large amounts of information from one language to another it can often mean that the design of the website is compromised. When translating, it is rare that you can end up with same amount of words that you had in the starting language. This is because languages have different grammatical structures so what makes sense in one language might not in another. However, as a result of this, text might not be able to fit onto your website after translation. To avoid running out of space, web developers should consider having flexible website boundaries so that they have room for languages that require more space without compromising the entire layout of the site.
Pick your battles
Most startups do not localise due to limited funding, this is understandable and however you can start by localising the most important pages into the language of the first market you plan to reach. Important pages such as the homepage, product pages, order pages and contact page can be where you start and as your funds increase you can later think about localising additional content.
If nothing else, translate your testimonials
It is understandable if a small business cannot afford to translate and localise a whole website as soon as it launches. However, it is key that previous client reviews and testimonials are available in different languages so that new customers are able to read them and make an informed decision.
How Linguist Point can help
It may be tempting to use cheap translation services or machine translation software to localise your website, but this is not always effective and can be more costly in the long run. At Linguist Point we will work with website developers to provide a quality translation and ensure that your website is localised to an exceptional standard. Even if you have to start out small, setting aside a budget to localise your website in order to grow your business, is a smart investment and can pay in big dividends.
Linguist Point has expert developers in localisation at its fingertips to help you launch your start-up or expand your business. We can provide you with fresh insight into your intended consumers. We know how to connect with people.