Best Practices of Website Localization

The article explains certain best practices to make your website localization a success.

Expanding any business abroad is a major undertaking and often it happens that most businesses take a long time to touch a matured state in their approach to website localization. Often localization of a website is confused with translation. Website localization goes beyond translation and is a more specialized process of adapting web content and applications for regional (local) consumption. The process modifies the source language and other site elements, making it appeal to the customer’s preferences in their own local language. It is crucial for businesses to understand that website translation refers to the process of shifting an original language version of web content such as text, multimedia, e-books, or apps into a different language by simply substituting words from one language to another—in context. Experienced digital marketing agencies can help businesses with content localization.

Adapting localization strategies to the online content and deliverables for regional specificity help global brands to ensure a quality customer experience. Website localization is all about refining your message and curating your brand to meet the cultural, functional, and language expectations of your global markets.

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Here are a few tips for optimized website localization –

Consider Web Analytics –Along with selecting the right language set, make sure to align with your leadership, sales team, and to mine language insights of your global audience from web analytics data. Make sure to look at the geographic locations from where your visitors most frequently access your website, and also their browser language setting. These two data points can provide significant insights about the languages that your visitors use day-to-day.

Consider Basics –Pay attention to even basic details. Some of them such as punctuation formats, time and date, can have significant impact on how the user perceives. Make sure that your content matches the accepted standards of your target market. For instance, consider whether your target market uses names of months in alphabets or do they prefer numerals? Do they prefer 12-hour standard time format or 24-hour format? Displaying dates and times in the preferred local formats is also recommended as it avoids confusion and allows for an improved user experience.

Offer Diverse Currency & Payment Options –For online E-commerce website, it is really crucial to display prices in the local currency. When users arrive at your site, the last thing they will want to do is convert the prices into values that leads to further decisions. Users in different countries also have different payment preferences such as iDeal in the Netherlands, Alipay and Tenpay in China, while few prefer cash pay delivery.

Create a Style Guide –Creating a style guide will help throughout the localization of your website. Different languages require different fonts and styles.This framework will help the readers understand the written and visual presentation of a company’s content.

Use Advanced Coding and Software –Use Unicode to standardize your website structure. This universal character encoding standard is an ideal way to mix various scripts and languages in a document and exchange documents between people with different locales. . Also consider implementing a multilingual user interface, which helps to change to other languages.

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Use Global Design Templates –The need for global consistency will only strengthen, with more and more companies adding languages and local websites. It allows management of a lot of country sites by very few people. It also allows all content managers to use common tools and processes. The global template is easier to manage.For the end user, these templates provide a reliable interface that will help in usability and credibility.

Choose a Reliable Digital Marketing AgencyMake sure to benefit from the services a translator who knows the cultural differences between both the countries, that is your country and the one you’re marketing to. Reputable online marketing agencies provide services from expert translators who stay in or have lived in that country. Such native speakers can pin point the ideas that will work in your advertising campaign. They can assist you with the viewpoint of the local people.

With appropriate planning, an intensive localization strategy along with a skilled LSP partner can help you successfully execute your strategy.

Website Localization – The Future of Digital Marketing?


You may have a well optimized website with good search engine rankings and increased user visits. But the increasing competition makes it vital to ensure your digital marketing efforts are also focused locally. Consider website localization. Reports state that web users are more likely to purchase from a company that communicates in their own language.

Localizing a website will provide fruitful results such as-

  • Add value to your brand
  • Increase in site visitors
  • Increase the number of customers
  • increase the number of visitors returning to your website

Localization process of a website involves numerous technical and linguistic stages: preparation, cultural adaptation, translation, multilingual adaptation, integration of multilingual content, functional and linguistic validation, quality control, final validation and the final process of going online.

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Is it enough to translate your original website content?

A common mistake with localized websites is considering the translated content to be just another version of the pages in the original language. Translation isn’t everything. Of course, for the user it’s all about the content. The user will check whether the content is relevant and understandable and in line with the user’s cultural context. Therefore, winning consumers in these new highly competitive business markets will require companies to scale their global marketing initiatives and manage cultural diversity at a whole new level.

Localizing a website is an important business decision that will have a great impact on how well you achieve your business goals in certain markets. Before localizing any content, make sure to partner up with a digital marketing agency. This helps to better understand the target audience, and check whether your product meets local standards and is in line with the core cultural values of the audience. Understanding the basic differences in customs and practices between nations is important.

Translating a website (especially a complex one) can be a challenge. You need to decide on your core markets first and then choose the language version accordingly. Decision should be made earlier whether to display a language version based on the user’s IP address or on the browser’s settings. To be more effective in emerging markets, global brands must ensure that their content not only speaks to the culture of the audience but also reflects the intended brand message consistently from one region to the next.

What surveys indicate:

A survey conducted by Lionbridge earlier in 2015 revealed that

  • Many companies don’t have a localization strategy. Nearly 40 percent of respondents say they do not currently have a web content localization strategy and 13 percent of respondents handle localization requests on an ad hoc basis
  • When asked about the most important aspects of website localization, a majority (56 percent) of respondents identified quality and accuracy as the top answer, followed by customer experience (34 percent)

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Businesses will need to radically change their mindset about localization, as well as their translation processes and allocation of resources. It is very important for companies to focus on building a localization strategy to ensure the process is streamlined, consistent, and, most importantly, effective. By addressing the regular cadence of localization needs in a centralized manner, companies can ensure that translation quality and brand consistency are maintained across a number of channels, languages, and projects.

Few elements that you should keep in mind while localizing a website are – branding, culture-specific design and simple forms, lines, text and composition. An experienced digital marketing agency can provide comprehensive website localization services that can ensure that all content is addressed in an efficient and effective manner. It helps brands to stay engaged with customers and offer the best customer experience possible across all markets.