Today, there are in excess of 3 billion internet users. More than 45 years ago, an email could only be sent to individuals who used the same computer. Times have really changed and so should your approach to business. This is time to be progressive. It is time to cater to individuals in other countries by providing different versions of your content. By doing so, you are conveying to international users that they are important and you care about their needs too.
Localizing your web content is more than translating it. It means to adapt what you are providing to your users, to better meet their requirements. The demands of your end-users will differ but the cultural content and functional content are two classifications which must be borne in mind.
Cultural content incorporates societal beliefs, values, myths, rituals symbols, colors, shapes, images, icons, and styles. Functional content includes observances of descriptions, reviews, references, measurements, date and time formats and telephone numbers. This list is not exhaustive, but the examples are given so that you can know what you should pay keen attention to.
Technology has heightened the competition. If you do not localize your web content properly, you are directing potential customers towards your competitors. I want you to have a more profitable slice of the pie. Therefore, let us examine how you can make that transition.
Observe cultural differences
Every country has norms and practices specific to that locale. Whichever market you are about to tap into, do proper research of their customs. What may be considered as the norm in one country can be viewed as offensive for nationals of another country. Be mindful that you cannot translate your content word for word, without being mindful of nuances, slangs and phrases unique to that specific region.
Abide by the relevant laws
Research and consult when needed, so that the information you have provided is in conformity with the laws of that region.
Provide the correct information
Ensure that you provide the correct telephone number and email address for that specific region. Or if you have one number, provide the appropriate area code. If your customers have difficulty contacting you, they will click on another website and that is a loss of earnings for your business.
Enhance the visual effect
Change your colors, graphics, icons and images where suitable. Additionally, when users visit your website, can it be navigated easily so they can discover what languages are offered to view your website? You may have to change your overall layout so that your user can have a more pleasurable experience.
Convert your prices in the relevant currency to eliminate any source of confusion for your visitors.
Adapt to social trends
Research the various social platforms that are available and integrate it on your website. In China for example, one of the main social networks is known as Qzone and it is similar to Facebook. According to what you are offering, if you wish to tap into that market, you will have to be mindful of the many users who you can also reach if you have a presence on that social network. It all depends on your business objectives.
Now that you are more knowledgeable of what is entailed, you will need to strategize and plan accordingly. As you expand your business on a wider platform, ultimately, you will reap the benefits. Localizing your web content is a very important decision to make. You will have to examine your data, assess your traffic analytics, consult with locals, and research market trends. Additionally, you will have to adapt your marketing strategy to reposition your brand in your selected markets.