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Did you know that online customers are 4 times more likely to buy from a website in their native language, so companies who have multilingual websites are already reaping the rewards? The reason behind this is that more than 95% of the global population simply won’t fully understand what you are talking about on your website in the first place. Therefore, please fasten your seatbelts and let`s investigate how you can boost your sales by localizing your website into other languages to reach global audiences!
What is Website Localization?
Website localization refers to the method of adapting your website to satisfy the requirements of people around the globe, as there are nearly 7,151 languages spoken today in the world. Internet users who prefer English make up just 25.3% of the overall Internet market share. And nearly ¾ of the world needs to have localized content into their own language.
For this reason, localizing your website into other languages is very important. But there are some steps you need to follow to make sure you do it right. Let’s explore them!
Step 1: Website Content Check
You need to make sure that your original website content is issue-free, finalized and signed-off. Issues may include grammatical errors, numerical errors, inconsistencies, spelling issues etc. Make sure no extra rounds of revisions and additions are needed to avoid back-and-forths that cost extra time and money. Once you ensure that your content is ready to translate, you can move to Step 2.
Step 2: Website Domain Check
In order to translate your website, your website domain should be eligible for multilingual content. For instance, if you want to localize your WordPress website, you should have a WordPress plugin such as WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin) which allows you to translate WordPress pages, posts, tags, categories, and themes.
Step 3: Find a Trustful Localization Service Partner
Now that your source content is ready and your website domain is eligible for localization, it is time to collaborate with a professional localization service provider. Using raw MT translation via free Machine Translation platforms such as Google Translate or Yandex might sound good at first. However, these platforms don’t guarantee the quality of translations and you will have nobody to follow-up with in case of any updates or issues. Eventually, it is very likely that you will end up with a poorly translated website which will affect the credibility of your services or products. Therefore, working with a localization company offering professional localization services is an investment that pays off.
Step 4: Translate your website including visuals
When you get professional localization services, the cultural differences, specific usages and/or preferences of the target audience are also taken into account in the translation. The language professionals make sure that the message of the original content is conveyed into the target language. That is a very important aspect that should be taken into consideration while localizing your website.
Also, many websites include images and videos to enrich the pages and increase the number of visitors. It is commonly known that pages full of texts might cause readers to lose concentration while visual content makes the website more user-friendly. For this reason, your website visuals should also be localized for the different target audiences during website localization. There are various methods to do so. Images including text can be re-created in the target language, subtitles could be added into videos or voice-over can be used, depending on the needs or preferences of the website owner and/or the target market.
In conclusion, the role of localization cannot be underestimated when it comes to reaching out to new international audiences. If you want to serve your products and/or services to foreign markets, talking to your potential clients in their own language is a one-way road.