In today’s digital world, websites are an essential marketing tool that enables businesses to showcase their services, make themselves present and attract potential customers. With social distancing being the new norm due to COVID-19 and restrictions in physical presence imposed, the importance of a successful website has been highlighted more than ever.
But what makes a website successful and therefore the business it represents visible and acknowledged to a wider audience? Apart from its well thought out design, its authentic graphics and images, its responsiveness and security features, a website needs to be available in the native language of the prospect customers and this is achieved through website localization.
What is website localization?
Website localization is basically a component of a website’s user-friendliness. It is the process of adapting the website’s content to the native language of the website users. Adapting is one step further than simply translating the content to a different language. Unlike translation, localization focuses on cultural aspects and particularities, such as a specific country’s jargon, its different currency and time zone, its customs and national holidays, its political system, etc. When it comes to product and services selling, localization helps consumers understand the products better, catering to their specific lifestyle, language and culture needs.
When a website is effectively localized it reads like it was created by a native speaker, words and phrases are suitably selected, marketing expressions are adapted to the target audience, giving it much more authority and increasing the chances of customer engagement. In one word, the readers will get the same clear message as the original website and will place more trust in what you offer.
What are the benefits of website localization?
Website localization can have multiple benefits for your business. Here are some of the advantages:
Better SEO ranking
A properly localized website can bring better Search Engine Optimization results. The well-written content along with the effective use of keywords means that your site will rank higher on online searches. This can only translate into higher visibility, increased website traffic and bigger accessibility to users.
Improved brand image
Localized websites convey your brand messaging in a more appropriate way, adapting it to the peculiarities of the target audience. Localization enables you to establish a trusted brand image locally and it enhances seamless communication with local customers and website visitors.
Wider reach of audiences
If going global is one of your business’s goals, then localization is the best way to expand your global reach. When trying to reach the portions of the market that speak a different language than the one in which your website has been initially set up, adding the language of the said target market allows you to better serve the market and make your products and services more appealing. You might think that English is the new lingua franca and that having a website available in English is enough, but facts show differently. Internet users who prefer English make up just 25.3% of overall Internet market share. That leaves nearly 75% who prefer to consume content in another language and plenty of space for you to penetrate.
A localized website is a tangible proof that you take your audience seriously. It means that that you have put extra effort into making your content fully understood by the people that you want to interact with. Instead of doing it on a superficial level, you make a serious statement that you care about their needs and you treat them as a unique group and culture. This will inevitably increase your website’s credibility and your audience’s trust in your brand. Relative surveys add to the validity of this argument; we know for example that regardless of their proficiency in the English language, native speakers prefer websites with content written in their native tongue (68%) and spend the vast majority of their time on them.
Higher customer engagement
Increased credibility, along with the positive customer experience that comes from a localized website can only lead to higher levels of customer satisfaction and engagement. When customers can easily find what they are looking for in the first place, they can easily return and even bring others with them through recommendations. As localization lowers the cultural barriers and improves understanding, it is more likely that users will spread the word and draw a more diverse clientele to your website.
For all the above reasons, it goes without saying that localization is a precious procedure that can give a competitive advantage to your website. It can help you stand out in a globalized environment that calls for higher differentiation and uniqueness. And although the task seems daunting, not without reason as proper localization needs special tools and in-depth know-how, you can always trust the specialists. At Commit Global, we have what it takes to bridge the language gap between your company and the audience you want to reach.