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Modern business has the best chance of growing to a global level. Never before has it been so easy to connect people from all over the world with leading brands using online technologies, and never before has it been so easy to give them the experience they want – with the help of developed logistics and delivery systems.
However, it also simultaneously means growing competition at the global level. Therefore, your business will have to look for new approaches to its customers from different countries in order to gain and hold positions.
In 2020, we recommend starting with the localization of your content, and in this article, we provide ten useful tips on how to do this.
Define Your Goals
So, it all starts with goals. If you do not understand why you need localization of content, then this action does not make sense.
Therefore, before you deploy an active localization campaign, you need to answer a few questions.
- The target audience from which country do I want to reach?
- What language do they speak?
- What is my original goal?
For example, it can be an improvement in brand recognition, an increase in sales, or you just want to answer the current market request, for instance, if analytics shows you that your site has a good share of traffic from a certain country.
Once you have answered all these questions, we can move on.
Analyze Cultural Differences
Even if you plan to attract a target audience from a neighboring country, you still cannot ignore cultural differences and differences in mentality. They may not be significant, but they still exist. And if you plan to attract a target audience that has a completely different mentality, for example, Japanese or residents of Muslim countries, then ignoring cultural differences can mean a complete failure of your entire localization campaign. Because these people simply will not be able to understand you or they will understand your message incorrectly.
For example, if you sell bathing suits, then for Muslims images of girls in a swimsuit will be unacceptable. If any element on your site has an image of bones or skulls (for example, if you sell Halloween costumes), then this symbolism is completely prohibited in China.
Therefore, you need to know in advance about all of these pitfalls, analyze the characteristics of mentality, culture, and perception, and only then proceed with the localization itself.
Find the Prefect-Match SEO Phrases
This will be a rather difficult point in your strategy. Firstly, SEO doesn’t forgive mistakes – if you select key queries that are not suitable for your business and that your potential customers do not use, then Google will index your site incorrectly and it will last forever. Secondly, each language has its own special linguistic constructions that are relevant for SEO as well. Even English and Americans who speak the same language can use linguistically different queries to search for the same product.
Therefore, here you need to perform two tasks at once
- Choose the right keywords in terms of promoting your business
- Choose the right keywords in terms of foreign language and linguistics.
Make Sure the Content You Are Going to Localize Is Relevant
Obviously, it does not make sense to localize content that is not relevant to a specific target audience. For example, your audience from Spain may be completely indifferent to the news that you have opened a new restaurant in Morocco. And vice versa.
Therefore, in order to reduce the costs of your localization campaign and increase its effectiveness, you need to translate and localize only the content that is relevant for a specific target audience. And by the way, if you are also developing more special offers for new audiences, then keep in mind that you will also need to create localized content from scratch, written in the language of the target audience. Later we will tell you how to do it simply.
Localize Your Images
Remember the example of a girl in a swimsuit and bones? So, this is exactly the case when you need to once again return to all the images on your site and make sure that they will be correctly perceived by new target audiences. If it already seems to you that this is not so, then it is better for you to immediately replace the images. For example, Coca-Cola redesigned its can and used photos of Chinese celebrities to attract the attention of the customers. Think about what you can do to make the images on each version of your site work for you and meet the expectations of the new target audience.
Localize Your Videos as Well
The video will be trendy in 2020. And that means that your video materials must be localized too. However, there are several pitfalls that you need to remember.
Browse through all your video materials and determine whether they contain elements, symbols, or expressions that may be perceived by the new target audience as offensive or incomprehensible. If you find such videos, then most likely it will be more reasonable to either refuse to localize them and show them only to a suitable target audience, or to shoot the video again, taking into account the differences in culture.
However, if all your videos are suitable for new target audiences, then the only thing you need to do is add a localized transcription so that users can read the text of the video in their native language.
Hint! If you add a few relevant key queries to your transcription, then Google and YouTube will index your video much better.
Adjust Your Multilingual Versions to Local Markets
Your localization strategy should not end with the localization of content – if the content was useful to users, they will want to work with you further. Therefore, you need to give them the opportunity to do this conveniently, for example, translate your prices into national currency, add your location on the city map, and indicate the local phone number.
Use a Reliable Service
As you can see, localization is not such an easy task, and it is almost impossible to cope on your own without perfect knowledge of a foreign language. Yes, you can argue that it is always possible to use machine translation, however, machine translation, firstly, does not take into account cultural differences, and secondly, it still needs additional verification by a human.
Therefore, the best option is to contact a specialized service, for example, The Word Point, whose translators already have good experience in localizing content to the needs of different target audiences.
Test, Analyze and Measure the Results
At this point, you need to make sure that localizing your content produces a result. To do this, you need to analyze your indicators – traffic flow, sales level, number of new leads and so on. In addition, if you see that a certain indicator does not meet your expectations, this means that it makes sense to change something in your multilingual version – sometimes even the color of the Buy button is crucial.