Why Is Localization Vital?
Did you know that in a world where English is termed as an international language it is only about 40% of the people who can actually speak the language and understand it fully while the other 60% is for individuals who don’t really speak it but understand a few vocabularies here and there? With this kind of knowledge, you should be aware that, having your business and company websites exclusively in one language means that 60% of the world population will not be able to interact with your business because clearly, they are not your target audience.
The sole purpose of starting something like a business is so that it can grow beyond the borders to an international level and bring in more profit. If this is not your goal as a business person then you are doing this whole business thing the wrong way. You might be wondering, how exactly you would make your business relatable to an audience that doesn’t understand the English Language, and that’s exactly what we will be looking at today.
Business owners have been able to take their businesses to the global market through a process known as Localization. Localization according to Wikipedia is: “In computing, internationalization and localization (…) are means of adapting computer software to different languages, regional differences and technical requirements of a target market. Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can potentially be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes.”
So basically, what this means is that localization is the process in which you can localize your website into a local language by considering the linguistic, cultural, and technical aspects of your target language in comparison to your source language. In the business world, marketing and advertising are the two main factors that Localization tends to work on more. It is a way of making sure that a company’s marketing and advertising strategy smoothly adapts to a specific locale and its expectations. This is why marketing localization is more specifically analyzed in context of the four Ps (product, placement, price, and promotion). But in terms of digital media, and more specifically the web, localization entails adaptation based on cultural, linguistic, functional, technical, and other locale-specific requirements.”
- Localization is vital in global marketing if you want to increase sales, broaden brand awareness and boost your SEO. … Your website is the very cornerstone of your global marketing strategy. Failure to localize it for different regions and your global marketing will have little success.
- But, though you may have heard the term used a lot, can you say in absolute confidence what it actually means? Many people get confused between translation and localization, and it’s not hard to see why. But, while translation takes care of the words and maybe even uses a little creative license with the copy, localization goes way deeper.
- Your global marketing strategy should be thought out beyond getting your website translated into different site versions and locales. After all, you want a marketing message that speaks to the heart, not a diluted version of your company values that barely makes sense. Your website is the very cornerstone of your global marketing strategy. Failure to localize it for different regions and your global marketing will have little success.
Reasons Why Localization is Vital For Your Business
Capturing your target audience
- The Common Sense Advisory found that as much as 87% of consumers who can’t read English won’t buy products from an English website. Just think about it. Would you buy a product from a Polish website that you couldn’t understand? In a currency you don’t use and with unfamiliar processes? It’s one of the biggest myths in the world that everyone speaks English. In fact, only 9% of the world’s population speaks English. This means, if you’ve got global marketing in your sites, localization of your materials is essential.
- It’s true that global tastes are merging. But, you’ll still need to break through that language barrier if you want to capture your target audience. When you invest in quality localization of your website, mobile app and marketing materials, you’re investing in extra sales and increased adoption of your brand. What works well for one country won’t necessarily catch on in another. Each new market you enter will need careful research. Images of a happy blond family playing at a beach won’t be appreciated in China or the Middle East.
- Some countries display dates and times differently and weight in grams and kilos, instead of pounds and ounces. You’ll need to make sure that your shopping cart and quote forms display in the local currency. You’ll need your content optimized for SEO. Spanish may be widely spoken throughout twenty-two counties, but that doesn’t mean they all use the same vocabulary or colloquialisms. Your local marketing campaigns need to vary from region to region. People celebrate different holidays and share different calendars and seasons.
Enhancing your SEO
- If you haven’t heard about it yet, search engines are becoming increasingly local. This means that no matter how great your SEO is at home if you aren’t localizing your content, your SERP ranking will fall. And that’s a pretty good thing, really. Users used to have trawl through pages of search results that were totally irrelevant to them. Now, major search engines like Google understand that customers want access to local businesses. You know, ones that they actually have a chance of going to. If you’re selling your clothing line in France and your website is still in English, you may as well say “au revior.”
- It can be hard to compete when you don’t have a local presence, a local office or phone number. But, you can still boost your SEO through content localization. And here’s where marketing localization gets really cool. Instead of just translating your website and marketing promotions from one language to another, you’ll work with carefully studied local keywords and search terms. You’ll collaborate with a team of local experts who can advise you on the right tone and how to optimize your on-page content and marketing copy. You’ll pepper your site with local words and get noticed in search engines. Better yet, you’ll craft a message that resonates with your audience and target your promotions to the right people in the right places.
Gaining a competitive edge
- With over 7.5 billion people in the world and more than 3.7 billion internet connections, , that’s a lot of potential clients for your business. But that also means that there’s a lot of competition. It’s hard competing in foreign markets when you don’t speak the language and aren’t in the know about purchasing preferences and cultural norms. Localizing your communications as well as your global marketing efforts will give you a competitive edge like no other. Not only will you be top-of-mind compared to that “other” international company that isn’t localizing. But, you’ll get a leg up on the local competition as well.
- If you do your job well in each new market you enter, you’ll start winning customers’ trust, repeat purchases and generating good reviews. This means you’ll also start seeing conversions soar and ROI coming back in spades.
Globalizing your brand appeal
- When you start taking your brand to the masses, your brand awareness will increase – provided that you do it well. You already know by now that you’ll need to adapt your content to different local audiences. But, you have to figure out how to do it just right so that you appeal to local preferences without diluting your global brand. Different countries have different connotations from colors, images, and icons. While white in the west is associated with cleanliness and purity, in India it’s the color of mourning.
- One awesome example of a worldwide brand that’s instantly recognizable is Coca Cola. Those trademark colors don’t change for anything! But, they still changed their name for the Chinese market and adapt their local marketing campaigns.
Improving the User Experience
- Localized content improves user-experience. When local audiences can navigate your website and receive targeted offers and deals, their satisfaction level goes up. When they read a message that strikes a chord, see colors that evoke positivity and action, and find a site that doesn’t feel translated or foreign to them, you’ll get repeat visits. Remember that you’re up against a lot of competition, only a few clicks away. If you’re users meet with a partially translated website or error messages that don’t make sense, they’ll quit on your site and won’t return again.
- Aim for success in your global marketing strategy and aim for researched, accurate localization. Make sure that you keep your brand name and values intact while appealing to a wider audience. Know that simple translation is not enough; you need to go deeper and think and feel like a local.
Expand Your Business
- Just imagine being a small retail store somewhere in France with amazing products and services and solely marketing and advertising within the confines of France when you have the potential to make your retail store a big franchise. A lot of people make this mistake and after years they realize how much of a disservice they have done for their business. In such a case introducing localization would greatly benefit your business and take it to greater heights. Research has shown that people are more drawn towards websites that have their products and services outlined in their Native language more than they are when its outlined in a foreign language. For starters, this will expand your business greatly because your website will reach a lot of potential global customers and with that, you will have penetrated the global market which means more sales possible sales for your business which transforms into great profit.
- The only way this will be made possible is if you take it upon yourself to localize your websites, software, and applications that target your audience and make everybody feel included. In turn you will gain incredible traffic and your business stands to benefit greatly from the growth of traffic.
Reach a Global Audience
- Everybody wants their business to grow and reach global heights but this is not something that comes easy unless you are ready to do every possible thing to make it a reality. If you are a business person who is content with having a retail store on a street in your town and have no need for global recognition then this is not for you. If you are someone who wants to be ranked in the same leagues as big brands like Gucci, LV, Zara, Pretty little thing or whichever big brands that you admire, you must have a plan because I can assure you, it took these brands doing the right things for them to reach global success. One of the things you can do to reach a wider global audience is simply localizing your business.
- As I mentioned not everyone speaks the English language and those who do speak it, don’t really understand it well. So how do you target them and make sure they relate to your marketing and advertising strategies? You must make sure they feel included by using a language they fully understand and can interact with well. This can only be done by localizing your website.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
- In business school, I would always hear the lecturer say that the customer is the backbone of a business and as a business owner, one should always strive to make sure that his or her customers are served in the best way possible. As a business owner now, I can ascertain without a doubt that this statement is nothing but the absolute truth. Localizing your content only means that you care about your global customers enough to make sure that they have an easier time while interacting with your services and products.
- Personalizing your content in order for customers to have an inclusive experience will ensure customer satisfaction and will consequently gain you and your business trust and increase engagement on your website. Since localization ensures that the cultural, linguistic and technical aspects of a language are taken into consideration, your customers will have a customized experience that is solely for them which means they will highly appreciate the effort knowing very well you are not a local business but still had their interest at heart. Businesses should always leave a good lasting impression to their customers which will keep them coming back for more and this can be made possible by tailoring a strategy specifically for them depending on their cultures.
Cut Down Risk
- You should be aware that localization will help you cut down on a lot of risks and avoid putting your business in a compromising situation. A lot of business brands over time have ended up offending their target audience not willingly though because they did not take time to research and know what is appropriate and acceptable in certain cultures and what is not.
- Localization will help you avoid marketing fails that a lot of big companies have had to go through because of not being keen on coming up with strategies that can be appreciated by people of a particular region.
- One thing you do not want to do with your marketing and advertising strategy is to offend the people who are your target audience. It is very important to know that certain words in one language will mean something totally different in another language. If you do not do your research well, you might just end up offending the very people who you want to purchase from you. Localizing your content will definitely help in curbing this problem and make sure that your marketing strategy is not failed to the public. You wouldn’t want your target audience to boycott your business before you even get started.
Increase Marketing Effectiveness
- A business is as good as its marketing and advertising strategy. Your business will be received well by its target audience depending on how good and well relayed the marketing is. Localizing your content and curating your marketing for a specific local audience, will definitely ensure its effectiveness.
- If you have a particular service that would be beneficial for people in a particular locale, it is important to come up with a marketing campaign that will specifically target that locale by including the cultural and linguistic aspects of that particular locale. This campaign will be more effective than if you decide to put out a general campaign and expect that the target market will simply come across it when they can. Localizing a marketing strategy for a particular target audience will ensure its effectiveness.
- Localizing will help you save on a couple of dollars because it is not as expensive as developing a whole new application or software or building a new website. If you already have these things in place, it’s only a matter of finding a localizing service provider who will charge you way less to have them localized.
- I’m very sure you wouldn’t mind saving up on some dollars. Moreover, you can make localization much cheaper if you make it a part of the development process at an early stage (and not leave it for the end as trying to implement it too late never ends well for the project). Using appropriate tools such as style guides and TMs (translation memories) won’t hurt either.
- These are but some incredible benefits you will be enjoying if you decide to take up localization for your business, A lot of businesses haven’t really taken it up but one thing for sure is that, if you are a business owner then you should localize your content if you want to grow to global heights.
Why Localizing Your Website is Important for Global Marketing
- Global customers respond to culturally relevant, localized marketing messages. Are you speaking their language?
- Today’s digital technologies make it easier than ever for global customers to find the products and services that meet their needs. And they’re searching for that information online, in the languages they speak.
- If your company’s website isn’t localized to appeal to those customers, you’re blowing a big opportunity to build your business. You’re also giving your competitors a major advantage in the quest to increase market share.
- Today’s Marketing Is Global Marketing. These days, global customers expect online content in their preferred language. They quickly navigate away from websites and brands that fail to provide it.
- Genuine Connections Drive Successful Global Marketing. Why does culturally relevant, localized marketing matter so much? For starters, it can make or break your ability to create genuine connections with consumers.
- For example: Imagine that you’re sharing content with Italian customers about a Christmastime holiday sale. If you advertise to them the same way you speak to your U.S. customers, you’ll have a problem. The U.S. market emphasizes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as key holidays, while Italy puts its attention on January 6, the Epiphany.
- A misstep this simple may seem harmless at first glance. But it can undermine your marketing efforts by demonstrating that you don’t quite get the Italian market, as well as other companies, do. Those customers will notice. They won’t like it.
- When your website is translated and localized for global customers, however, you’re proving you understand and care about them. You create stronger bonds with customers that way.
The Benefits of a Localized Online Experience
Localized websites and other digital content enable you to make genuine, authentic connections with consumers and “level up” into advantages like these:
- Increased trust
- Websites that reflect the linguistic and cultural distinctions between various markets and their languages of choice show that your brand understands and respects their individual cultures. This fosters customer trust.
- Easier interaction with your brand
- Customers’ lives are influenced by what they use every day—including their preferred social media platforms, mobile sites and more. By making your online presence available in multiple languages, across all channels, your company will be able to reach more people where they live and work.
- Stronger brand consistency
- Translating websites for your global markets give you full control of your message, and deliver a consistent brand experience across all markets. It’s easier to ensure your brand messaging is being communicated as you intend, rather than miscommunicated by third-party companies or agencies.
- Better segmentation
- Today’s leading website translation solutions make it easier than ever to share customized messages to customers in different global markets. You can keep control of your online message while catering to regional customer needs—and expanding your business’s digital footprint at the same time.
- More support for in-market teams
- Localized websites are not only great resources for consumers; they’re great for local sales and support teams as well. A localized site can highlight market-specific products and services, comply with local regulations and legal requirements, and provide information that local marketing teams can draw on as they pursue leads.
- Driving better online search results
- Localizing your online presence isn’t limited to what customers can read on your website. With the right translation solution, everything can be localized, images, multimedia, social media, dynamic PDFs and more. Even keywords, metadata, and hreflang tags can be localized to drive better search results for your company.
- These days, your company must speak the local languages of your global customers. And you only strengthen your marketing team’s reach and success by offering localized online content across every channel, in every market you serve.
- To make the most of your online localization efforts, partner with a digital-first translation agency that employs expert human translators’ hand-in-hand with advanced technology solutions to get your marketing message to your customers in the languages they prefer.