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    How to localize a website properly

    Юлия Венцковская
    CEO MK:TRANSLATIONS 23.12.2020
    How to localize a website properly

    We have mentioned many times that translation and localization are not the same thing. Localization is a broader notion, more connected with the adaptation of meaning than with the precise rendering as during translation.

    After deciding to scale, entrepreneurs are faced with the issue of translating all the business tools into a foreign language. At this step, business often chooses an easy way — uses direct translation instead of localization. And thus makes a mistake, which causes a loss of time, money and negative results.

    Today we will tell you how to localize a website properly.

    Where to start

    • Decide on the target language. Your wish to operate in the Australian market does not mean that translating a website into English is enough. Do you realize that English in the USA, England and Australia is not the same?
    • Take into account the multilingualism of the country (for example, English and French are considered official languages in Canada, while Hawaiian and Spanish are accepted at the local level in some territories of the USA). For these reasons, it is better to create a multilingual website.
    • Do some research on market of the country where you are going to operate. Get to know the peculiarities of culture, national idea, consider the nuances of consumer behavior, analyze competitors and the advertising market. So it is better to attract native speakers-marketing experts (native speaker and culture beam).

    Website localization milestones

    1. Translation and adaptation of the text on a website. It is important to consider language peculiarities and set expressions in a particular language. Do not forget about the translation of the headings and subheadings.
    2. Pay attention to the correctness of the text display. In some countries, people read from left to right or from top to bottom. Adapt text to the layout of the website.
    3. Selecting images. The same picture can be perceived differently by the representatives of different countries. If there is a capture on or under the picture, it should be translated and adapted as well.
    4. Do not forget about the translation and adaptation of currencies and prices on a website, date format, the correct conversion of the time zone and units of measurement.
    5. Localize the product return policy, shipping and payment information considering the legal environment of the target country. This issue should be handled by a specialized translator or lawyer with a good knowledge of the language.
    6. If there are instructions for the products on the website, you should translate them as well. It can be done by a field-specific translator (for example, technical).
    7. Setting up and SEO optimization of the website (the selection of keys that are popular in the search queries of a particular market).

    Website localization failed if:

    • There are no sales through the website;
    • Articles on the website are poorly ranked by search engines;
    • Low conversion;
    • Inadequate feedback from consumers.

    How to avoid mistakes

    Website localization is rather an important and complex process to rely only on your own efforts or random contractors. Approach the experts — in this way you will get a guarantee that the localization will be done properly, and entering a foreign market will be successful.

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