In part two we look at location, culture and translation requirements.
In Which Countries Am I Planning to Operate?
Determine which countries you plan to focus on to pin down the extent of your localization plans that will be required. For instance, if you are a website based in the U.S. desiring greater connection with U.K. visitors, you need not worry about translating the site’s text. Whether color is spelled with or without the letter “u” will not ruin a visitor’s experience or cause a misunderstanding. For products and services offered for sale, you will want to show prices as pounds, but may not need to do a complete language overhaul. In contrast, these small details can be valuable if you are aiming for a deeper level of connection with users.
Is My Branding A Good Fit for the Cultural Expectations and Associations of Target Countries?
Examine the imagery and colors that you are currently using. For example, in the U.S., green has a positive association with good luck. In China, green is associated with regeneration and purity. It is frequently utilized in packaging to portray that the product as contamination free.
Localization sometimes requires alteration of your designs in order to avoid specific negative connotations, especially when the original design might be potentially offensive to consumers in certain international markets. While the thumbs up image is positive in the United States, it is viewed as offensive in many Middle Eastern and West African cultures. Therefore, be vigilant in deciding whether partial, full, or no localization is best for your particular website. One method is to research other brands within your niche to ascertain their localizing strategies. Also take into consideration what you may offer your visitors that your competitors do not. This examination may affect your decision on whether or not to opt for localization.
If you do decide to proceed with the website localization, here are some factors to help you start the process:
Localization requires a great deal more than translation, but it is one of the key components. Certain browsers do translate text automatically, but if you have ever used your browser for translation, you know how poor the results can turn out. Therefore, hiring a human translator is essential. Not only will a human translator choose the correct words and sentence structures, but he or she will understand both linguistic and cultural nuances. A skillful translator will produce readable and engaging copy that can significantly improve your connection with your target audience and avoid embarrassing gaffes.
SEO will also be boosted by having high quality, natural content on your site. It will help your website reach more people in your target audience. Although quality content is crucial for SEO ranking, it is not the only factor for higher site ranking. You will also have to work on using relevant key words while keeping your text sounding natural to rank higher on search engines. Hiring a professional translator is very helpful in accomplishing that goal.