How do you localize your website and use translation to make sure you reach your global audience?

Is your website ready for a global audience? In this article, we provide some tips on how to market your product or service to customers around the world.

What is it and why is it important?

Localization is adapting translated content to a specific geographic area. Customers like to be addressed in a way that makes them think the product or service was created specifically for them. Translation is very important, but it is not the only step. Other factors include context, colloquialisms, cultural association, religious preferences and local currency. By understanding your audience well and working with local experts, you have the best chance of success.

Understand your audience

To ensure that your customers purchase your product or service, it is vital that you understand your audience well. Don’t assume that potential customers engage in the same way as your home audience. For example, colors can have different meanings in different cultures.

  • One example is a campaign by Puma. To honor the 40th anniversary of the UAE (United Arab Emirates), they launched a limited edition athletic shoe. This shoe was given the colors of the UAE flag, a sacred symbol. However, in Arab culture, the shoe is seen as dirty and unclean because it is in contact with feet and the ground. Incorporating the colors into the shoe was seen as highly offensive and disrespectful.
  • In addition, it is important to differentiate between the products you want to stand out. If you own a sporting goods store, you are not likely to offer skis to countries where there is no snow. No one understands the culture better than the people who live there. They can provide a local perspective that you can then successfully capitalize on.

Decide what content you want to translate

It is rarely necessary to translate everything. Outdated news articles from 2015 will add less value than an article from 2019. Be careful not to cut corners by only displaying a page of products. Customers are also interested in information about the company, terms and conditions, and delivery and return options. A foreign purchase carries a bit more risk, so give the buyer as much confidence as possible.

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