No matter your company or industry vertical, developing a well-thought-out website that is perfectly localized in your ideal target languages is the only way to expand international reach strategically.
There’s a key difference between website translation and website localization, and it’s important to consider when building your strategy. Translation of a website comprises of simply replacing the original text with text in a new language. Localization, on the other hand, is a far more complex process that includes in-depth planning, preparing and designing for the language being implemented.
While intimidating at first, building a fully localized website in your target languages can yield many benefits, especially for startups and technology companies.
1. Expand your global audience.
Perhaps the most sought-after, and obvious, end result of localizing your online presence is the increased reach into newer audiences. After all, tapping into the language of new customers naturally leads to an increase in awareness, understanding of your brand and overall sales!
Currently the entire global population consists only of 6% of native English speakers; correctly translating not only the words, but the context of your company and its branding online, is incredibly important to accurately cater to your global audience and expand effectively.
2. Improve customer satisfaction and relationships.
Expanding into new territories is one thing, but ultimately you must also tend to the individual customers behind the audience as a whole. Studies have shown that international customers want to shop and make decisions online in their native languages. Localizing your website will make it easy for these people to find your company, and understand and trust your product/service.
Another aspect of the process that’s often forgotten is setting up localized ways to service your new international customers; it’s key to have a team to provide customer service in newly adopted languages until you can set up localized customer service.
Taking the time to accurately localize your content, as well as your customer support, shows the global community that you’re willing to step it up for their benefit, and that you respect their culture.
3. Boost marketing efforts and reduce risks.
Having a solid marketing campaign is ultimately rendered useless if your audience doesn’t speak your language well enough to understand your message. Localizing your website and campaign content will always trickle down into the effectiveness of your global marketing overall.
Accurately translating your content and other marketing efforts can dramatically reduce the risk of public embarrassment, as well. Many brands have had to learn the hard way, like Pepsi’s blunder entering the Chinese market in the 1960’s. Taking the time to correctly understand and research the culture and language is key to reducing this risk.
4. Reduce costs and other resources.
The up-front cost of developing a fully localized, culturally accurate website and other customer-facing materials is minimal compared to the potential return on investment. By integrating localization as a part of your website development process, and hiring a seasoned team of language experts, you’ll be able to save valuable internal resources and save money in the long-term.
At Language Department, our experts will work with you to develop and localize an optimized website to reach your target audiences, as well as set up how you’ll communicate with them, without wasting company time and resources.
This article was originally published April 5, 2016, but the information included is timeless!