Who needs site localization and why
What is website localization
Website localization is not just a translation of a site into another language, but a step-by-step creation of a copy of a project, taking into account the characteristics of a particular region. During the website localization process, the website has a new language version in the form of a subdomain or subfolder.
The main task is to adapt the project as much as possible to the cultural and behavioral characteristics of the target audience.
What tasks does the website localization process solve?
1. Expands the target audience.
2. Allows you to increase your income.
3. Reduces losses from search engine sanctions if the language version is made on a subdomain.
4. Strengthens an emotional connection with representatives of the target audience.
5. Provides advantages over competitors.
Tips for localizing your Website
We have collected answers to important questions that will help you better understand the problem and give a clear idea of where and how to move.
The first task to be solved by the project owner is to choose a domain to host the new version of the website. This can be a domain name in a different zone, a subdomain, or a subfolder. Each option has pros and cons.
2. Ways to translate a website into a foreign language
There are two main ways to translate the content: machine and manual. In the first case, the costs will be minimal, and the task execution speed will be several times higher. The cost and terms of creating manual website localization depend on the volume of content and the specifics of the project.
Suitable when you just need to make language versions and the quality does not matter. Or the translation is carried out into a related language group.
- Large selection of services
- Cost savings
- Fast solution of the problem
- Poor website translation quality
- Impact on the image of the project
Ideally, it should be performed by native speakers who have at least a little understanding of how a niche works. In the case of travel, almost anyone who knows the language perfectly can adapt content for an English-speaking audience. Website Translation of complex technical texts requires specific knowledge, and the cost increases several times.
- High quality
- Positive image of the company
- Increased trust of the target audience
- High cost
- Difficulty controlling work without knowing the language
3. Names of images
Website localization services mean translation into another language of all content that people see in the admin area and public access, as well as tags for robots. Metadata is not available to users, but Google spiders crawl pages, determine the quality of optimization and, depending on this, decide the fate of the content and the website.
Images have two important attributes that partially influence SEO: title and alt. The first is displayed when you hover the mouse over an element, and the second helps robots understand the content of the image and is taken into account in the ranking of Google Images. Google is actively working on Google Vision recognition technology, but attributes still play an important role.
4. Important little things
Different countries use different models for presenting data in everyday life. Before website localization, you need to carefully study the features of the selected region so as not to lose sight of important details and at the same time check the competence of the translator.
It is important to know how to write correctly:
• date and time;
• phone numbers;
• language codes (ISO);
In the United States, temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit, and in European countries, the Celsius scale is used. There are even more differences in the spelling of postal addresses. Translators and proofreaders know these features intimately. Even such little things can affect the user experience.
Many owners of Internet projects believe that a harmonious color scheme is enough to create a pleasant interface. However, people in different countries perceive colors differently.
Colors affect the user experience, but if you can't choose a gamut for a new language version for a long time, then postpone this task. Just leave the colors of the base website if the behavioral factors are in order.
A dialect is a type of language that is used in a certain territory. The United States, Great Britain, and other English-speaking countries have their own dialects, which are culturally dependent. A dialect is not just unique words and phrases that are common in certain regions, but a whole system of verbal communication.
For example, if you want to enter the Chinese market with your products and have chosen a certain region, analyze what dialects the local population uses. In the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, Cantonese is widespread. In North and West China, North Chinese is used, but Cantonese is not understood. In this case, the website localization in accordance with the peculiarities of the dialect is critically important.
Translating a project into all dialects used by representatives of the target audience is costly and not always advisable. You will have to find a medium for each variety, adapt the website and publish the content regularly.
7. Line length and spelling differences
One of the main problems with localizing your website is related to the concept of "average word length". The same sentence may look different in different languages. Due to difficulties with translation, sometimes it is necessary to change the layout, therefore, simply deploying a copy of the website on another domain will no longer do the localization process. It is necessary to involve designers, programmers, establish contact with translators in order to find a solution through joint efforts.
What is important to consider:
1. Some concepts are not translated into another language in one word.
2. There are fonts that support only Cyrillic or Latin only.
3. In Chinese or Korean, a long-phrase becomes a concise hieroglyph.
4. Some languages are read from right to left or bottom to top. For example, this is the case with Arabs and Jews.
Before website translation and adaptation, it is impossible to understand in advance how the layout of a specific project will look. Look at competitors' sites for a rough concept and learn to perceive your resource differently.
8. The importance of SEO optimization for the chosen language
If you're counting on search traffic from Google, quality localizing your website isn't enough. Get ready to start a new project almost from scratch. At the start, there will be only the basic design of the client-side and the admin panel. It's easier with the admin panel: most CMS are translated into the main languages by default. Activate the switch in the admin panel and use it.
Relevant factors for the search engine:
1. Unique content that solves the problems of users.
2. High-quality link mass from authoritative domains.
3. Relevant search queries.
4. Expertise, authority, and reliability of the resource.
5. Convenience of the mobile version.
9. Local link building
Backlinks are still important to Google's success.
Local link building conditions:
1. Good reference weight of the donor.
2. The minimum number of outgoing links.
3. Georeferencing to the region of the promoted project.
4. Partial intersection by topic, so that mentions bringing live transitions.
5. Maximum variety of link sources.
Backlinks from various resources are suitable for local link building: forums, social networks, Q&A services, catalogs.
10. Localization of all channels of communication with the user
Website localization services do not end with content translation and layout adaptation. It is necessary to build an effective communication model with the target audience. For services, a support service in their native language is important; visitors to information sites expect a competent response in comments, social networks, and other platforms.
Content marketing needs to be built taking into account the characteristics of the region. It is important to monitor news feeds, keep your finger on the pulse of a niche, and respond promptly to important events.
11. Unique local content
Sometimes it makes no sense to translate materials into another language. For example, analytical articles on the condition of roads in Yekaterinburg will not be of interest to the Spaniards.
Instead of wasting money on translating useless content, get an editorial staff of experienced writers who can create relevant articles for a specific region. So, if you want to make an English localization of the site with instructions for setting up Xiaomi smartphones, find a person who can properly adapt the content, taking into account the peculiarities of the language. It is also important to check that the sequence of actions does not depend on the region. For example, the mechanism for blocking an account may differ from country to country.
Main thoughts of the article
1. Content translation is only one of the stages of website localization. Creating an additional language version is a large, expensive, and difficult task that helps open up new markets and expands the audience.
2. If you want to promote in other countries, do not skimp on translators and proofreaders. These costs will pay off in audience loyalty, conversions, and revenue growth.