Secrets of Successful Website Localization

Undoubtedly, personalized communication has replaced mass marketing strategies as the driving force behind successful advertising campaigns. This transition naturally highlights the importance of the different ways a company presents itself to overseas consumers. Accordingly, translation into many different languages ​​is steadily gaining popularity in the world of advertising and marketing campaigns.

But while the creation of multilingual marketing profiles certainly promotes any internationally functioning business, it poses new challenges for marketing departments as they need to ensure they are properly localized to specific markets and have flawless translation. Both should be smoothly integrated into the process of corporate activities of the company. Here’s a quick overview of how you can accomplish these tasks more successfully.

In order to achieve the best effect in these matters, it is not at all sufficient to reach out to consumers through common means and channels of communication. Take, for example, an American company seeking to enter the Russian market. If for advertising purposes the company decides to use the Google system due to the dominance of the latter among the English-language search engines, then this will not be the most effective solution for Russia, where Yandex is still the largest search engine, occupying a market share of 50-60%. Localization logic implies that it is not enough to compose your message in such a way that it meets the needs of the target audience and convey it through a suitable communication medium. We need to make sure that the message affects the audience in the ideal context and environment.

A website can be said to be successfully localized if it is accessible, easy to use and if its content is culturally appropriate. The first step to achieving accessibility and acceptability of content is to carefully consider and research local markets, competitor behavior, and thoroughly analyze your own site. This process includes:

o Defining markets and target audiences

o Analysis of socio-cultural, political and legal characteristics of markets

o Analysis of the language component of the markets

o Preliminary analysis of the source text and file format

o Determining the parts to be localized

Once these preparatory questions have been resolved, you should consider how best to use the finished site once localization is complete. To do this, you need an SEO plan that will help you identify which customer groups you can attract. A localization SEO plan should include at least the following elements:

o Analysis of keywords and phrases of competitors (in the global range and specific locations)

o Localization of identified keywords

o Suggestions for additional keywords

o Keyword distribution

o Distribution of landing pages

The process of creating an effectively localized website may seem cumbersome and therefore intimidating, nevertheless, many people in vain convince themselves that the help of a professional is not necessary here. They believe they are able to do their own research and organize the work with the support of the readily available services of cheap contractors and freelance translators, and therefore can lead the process at a lower cost. It’s better to do everything right from the very beginning. A professional Moscow translation agency will provide high quality workmanship. A team of translators, IT professionals, and web designers are working together to localize websites and other marketing materials in dozens of languages.

If the advertising trends of the 21st century have taught the business community anything, it is that the “golden age” of classic advertising has already passed. Companies simply can no longer rely on the fact that their sales will be driven by consumer euphoria, and catchy language and bright icons will continue to move the volume of sales of goods. In order to advertise a business to be successful, you must learn to constantly keep up with the needs of the client. Many companies have already realized that the modern customer accumulates knowledge about the product, monitors the activities of the company and composes a picture for himself of what benefits a particular product will bring him, how it will fit into his lifestyle. Accordingly, issues that previously had nothing to do with purchasing decisions – such as the company’s social responsibility measures – are now beginning to influence consumer choice even in Russia. Therefore, for the success of their own activities, it is essential to clearly delineate the image of the company in the eyes of customers, to present a number of its products, as well as to explain how important both can have in the life of the consumer. That is why market-targeted localization was invented to properly convey this information to the target audience.

After researching and drawing up an SEO plan, the preliminary stage of localization begins. Along with setting up a content management system, this phase includes:

o Setting character encoding standards (universal code for versions in all languages ​​or separate standards for each version)

o Writing a style guide

o Development of cascading style sheets and site stubs

o Development of glossaries and translation memory management

o Translation of database content

o Translation within the content management system

In parallel, writers and designers are working to develop corporate branding strategies for greater impact in each of the markets. This is a pretty tricky process. Advertising – like politics – is geared towards that specific locality and aims to create a connection with a potential market. The right message not only correctly conveys the essence of the sentence, but also targets local culture, customs, and language. At this stage, it is necessary to decide whether it is necessary to translate into English and other languages ​​and adapt the motto, slogan, logo, mission of the company.

When goals, directions are outlined and steps to achieve them are thought out, the work of translators, editors, graphic designers begins. Localization affects not only the textual, but also the interactive content of the site. At this stage, the following happens:

o Translation of content according to predefined keywords and phrases

o Determining the language options required (e.g. if French, then for Canadians or Belgians?)

o Adapting the language style to reflect the culture and customs of the target audience

o Preservation of regional linguistic features in vocabulary, grammar, punctuation

o Cultural adaptation of graphic content

o Localization of symbols and icons (icons, labels, corporate symbols)

o Localization of interactive, audio, video, flash content

o Localization of site navigation and sitemap (not all languages ​​are read from left to right, which affects the position of site navigation menus and sidebar)

o Localization of web forms and plugins

o Localization of web and social media widgets.

After all the content is localized, edited and styled, the last step is to review the customized site in different markets. And, by the way, there is no better judge in this matter than the consumers themselves.

The localization process can be tedious and time-consuming. But … it is not at all necessary that he was.

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