The process of website localization involves the adaptation of a website to meet the needs and preferences of website visitors. Specifically, visitors who are located in a different region than your own and/or speak a different language. At Latitude Prime, we are your premier provider of comprehensive website localization services for various types of businesses and organizations, no matter the size or scope.
Although frequently overlooked when it comes to website localization, the “back-end” technical side of the localization process is critically important. This part of the process can include everything from ensuring the payment processing system for the website accepts transactions in the required currency and territory, to ensuring that the website code can handle the different characters and symbols of other languages’ writing systems. These are the important details that go beyond simply translating the content on your website but are equally important for the website to function properly.
The linguistic side of website localization services involves more than simply translating the website copy from one language into another. The translation must account for the sensitivities, nuances, and other factors of the local culture and region into which the copy is being translated. For example, if you are targeting the French-speaking market in Quebec, you must ensure the translation uses terminology and jargon that is familiar to the local culture. Metropolitan French and Quebecois French are quite different in certain respects, and this would be reflected most visibly in the translation and could even alienate some members of your target audience. The same holds true for Latin American vs. Castilian (Spain) Spanish, Brazilian vs. Continental (Portugal) Portuguese, etc.
Images, Colors, and More
Website localization goes beyond the mere translation of content. Besides the technical and linguistic aspects discussed above, the appropriate use of images, graphics, and even colors should also be considered. Different cultures may perceive certain colors and images in a different way. For example, in Chinese culture, the color white symbolizes death (versus black in Western cultures) and red symbolizes happiness, celebration, and good luck. You may also want to consider changing any images of people on your website to reflect the appearance and even the dress of those in the target culture. In some cases, you may need video content that includes individuals speaking in the target country’s language or at least a proper translation or foreign language voiceover. These are the small details that make a big difference in the presentation of your localized website!
When to Localize a Website
Using website localization services is a good idea when certain goals are desired or being pursued. These include:
- Staying competitive with a competitor that has created a website localized into various languages;
- Launching a new product or product line with a likely large customer base in one or more foreign markets or non-English-speaking communities at home;
- Developing a brand with international appeal;
- Any other type of international business expansion;
- Changes in manufacturing, supply, or other logistical operations;
- New or modified legal requirements.
Improve User Experience and Boost Sales
Localizing a website enhances the experience of users and also the performance of businesses. Consumers are much more inclined to accept a website as useful and relevant to them if it has undergone localization, and research has shown that consumers are much more likely to buy a product or service if the content has been localized into their native language, even if they also understand English. Properly localized websites also become more engaging for users, ensuring they spend more time on the site.
In summary, by localizing their website, companies can achieve a significant increase in revenue through online sales in other countries and/or non-English-speaking regions/communities, as well as develop stronger brand exposure and recognition