5 Website Localization Best Practices

Dynamic Language | February 12, 2015
website localizationAre you hoping to customize your website so it will read naturally to customers in new global markets? Sounds like you’re ready to embark on the website localization process! The two fundamental elements of website localization are programming expertise and a combination of cultural and linguistic knowledge. Whether you have an eCommerce site, a blog, or a company web page, localization will be an important step in reaching your desired international audience. However, localizing a website can be complicated, especially for sites with complex scripts or large amounts of content. Here are five best practices for tackling some of the challenges involved in website localization.

1. Utilize a Modern Localization Platform

Your chosen website localization platform can have a significant impact on your success. Today, one of the more innovative, user-friendly platforms is Smartling. This sophisticated cloud-based translation tool can connect to your CMS platform for your web content to be localized in context. Smartling also provides access to its Global Delivery Network, a real time international translation database to expedite the process for localizing web content. Smartling eliminates manual, time-consuming steps, and automates the workflow through an integrated, centralized interface.

2. Establish a Team Structure and Strategy

Another vital part of facilitating website localization is establishing a productive dynamic between members of the localization team. Everyone must understand their role and how they will be responsible for communicating information to the rest of the team. Decide which are the most appropriate software and hardware tools for this multilingual undertaking, and introduce the use of a globalization management system (GMS). It’s critical to establish a reliable system for communication and tracking tasks throughout the localization process; a system like Smartling can automate this for you.

3. Remember Your Region

You will want to consult with a localization expert to consider the cultural and linguistic specifics of your target region. Languages like Spanish, Chinese, French and Arabic have several dialects spoken by people in different regions and countries. For this reason, you must have a firm grasp on your true target location, so you can effectively localize your website in a way that those readers will understand.

4. Consider International SEO

When you localize a website, the goal is to appeal to your target market in a way that feels most natural to them. Why not help your organization achieve this by engaging in international SEO practices? Make sure to set the correct language settings and properly tag your page content to help you gain ranking on international search engines. To make this process easier, utilize the same strategy you established in your original website for your target regions as well, but focus on the particular search engines and search tactics that your prospects use. Also remember to address the more commonly used terms by speakers in the area and industry. One best practice is to create a glossary of terminology and phrases in the target language to be translated and approved by in-country users.

5. Keep Your Layout Intact

The layout of your website has a big impact on the way people perceive it. The challenge for localization is that different languages expand in size, which makes it difficult to create one consistent layout, based on the English source website. Do what you can to adjust the layout to accommodate for target language expansion and cultural preferences.

These website localization best practices are a good starting point for helping you through the website localization process, though an experienced, dependable localization company can seize the reins and successfully lead you to international markets!


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