I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say that the internet has made the world a global village. Rightly so because, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would communicate with my relatives abroad in any other way than sending a letter. The internet has changed all that and now communication is so easy across the boards which brings us to our topic today. On today’s topic we are looking at ways in which you can get started on localization translation. You might wonder what is this localization translation and how you further stand to benefit from it. Well localization translation is the process of translating online entities or platforms from one language into another language. These online entities might be in form of a website, email subscriptions, blogs etc. As you can tell all these entities are only functional because of the internet and the lack of it would mean that will be no online platforms to interact with.
The internet has made it possible for local businesses to grow exponentially and experience international success. Any person with a smartphone and steady internet connection is able to purchase goods from a store in France with a simple click on their phone. This is why localization translation is of great importance because first and foremost the person buying goods from France according to our reference above, needs to understand the France website in order for them to even make an order.
With effective localization translation and an optimized website, you can sell almost anywhere and get a significant advantage over your competitors. A lot of multinational companies are where they are because of impeccable localization services.
If you want your business to experience global growth then check out my beginner friendly guide on localization and I guarantee you that you will benefit greatly.
- Find the Right Countries to Localize for
The first thing you need to do is be specific in coming up with the countries you would love to localize for. Any business which is planning to go global, always has a particular demographic that they plan to penetrate into. Ever heard people say that not planning, is planning to fail? That is the same exact case for this point. You need to plan which countries you would love to localize for. This will give you an overview of the target languages you will be working with. It will also help you get your budget in check because then you will know how many translators you will need depending on the number of different languages. There are businesses who make a sound decision of localizing their business for countries who speak the same language. In a way they are able to kill more than two birds with one stone. This saves on a lot of localization time and a lot of dollars.
Deciding on your target countries will also help you strategize and make sure that your localization translations are done according to the cultural, linguistical and technical aspects of your target languages. This will ensure that you don’t end up offending your target audience and it will also make your business more relatable to them.
- Learn as Much as You Can About Your Future Audience
One thing you want to avoid when localizing your business objectives, mission statements, visions, products and services is not relating to your target audience. This is why you need to research on your target market as much as you can and in depth before deciding on the localization. A good example would be starting with the analytics. People always ignore this but this is the first place you will get an idea on which countries to localize for. Knowing the country automatically tells you what kind of people your target audience is. The analytics always tell you where most of your foreign visitors interacting with your business are from. If most of your traffic is coming from Asia, deciding to localize for Europe will be a risky decision. The simple reason that most of your foreign traffic is from Asia should tell you that there is a market there and you should take advantage of it. It means that the people from Asia are already conversant with your business and tapping into their market will be a bit easy. Apart from high interest in your products and services, be sure to invest in analysis and detailed market research before starting the localization process. Trust me it will come in handy; you don’t want to spend so much and risk not getting any profit because you miscalculated the possible impact. These are some of the important factors you should consider during your research on your target audience.
- Potential of the local market- Look at how the local market is fairing on. You can tell how good your products and services will be received by a people by how they interact with their local market products.
- Purchasing power of your possible customers- This is important because in gives you an outlook on how people of a particular region spend on different things and whether your products and services will prompt them to spend.
- Local buying habits- This can also be the same as the point above on buying power. You will be shocked to find out that the locals at the country you want to localize for rarely buy foreign products and services.
- Possibility of providing high quality customer support-Customer support is of great importance and you should be able to offer ample customer support for your foreign cliental if you want to penetrate their market.
- Transportation costs- Unless you are planning to open a retail shop at your audience’s country then transportation cost should be important. You don’t want to target a country where transportation is more expensive than the products you sell.
- Number of competitors and their size- Competition in business is very healthy but you also don’t want to try penetrate a market where your competitor is greatly dominating.
- Local laws and regulations- Be sure to know empower yourself with knowledge on local laws and regulations. You want to avoid getting into legal issues in a country where you want to introduce your business into.
- Put the Right Team Together
Once you are done with identifying the countries you would love to localize for and you are contented with your decision and also done an extensive research on your target market and audience, it is now time to put your localization team together. The localization process requires expertise from a couple of professionals. Below are the professionals that you will need for your process.
- Programmers- Since you will be greatly dealing coding and websites, a programmer is needed for this process.
- Translators- You will need to get access to translators who specialize in the languages your want your business localized into.
- Linguists- A linguist will help in making sure that the translations are done according the linguistical aspect of a language
- Marketing specialists- You need to localize your content in a way that you will easily appeal to the target audience and a marketing specialist will help you do this
- Legal advisors- They help you deal with the complex issues to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
You need to understand that a localization translation process is very complex and that is why all these professionals are needed to see it to fruition. All of them play an essential role in making sure that the process is a success. When it comes to translators, be very sure to invest in human translators because they are the only ones who can assure you of accurate translations.
- Name a Localization Manager
It is always very important to get a manager for any professional project and the same applies for the localization translation process. Whether you decide to manage the localization process yourself or hire an expert, make sure your team knows who’s in charge. The problem with working with a number of professionals on one project is that without coordination a particular professional might lag the whole process behind. Having someone in charge who can constantly check if work is going as planned is very important and lack of it will lead to loss of time and money. The manager knows how to prepare for localization and makes sure all steps are followed in the correct order. They are able to ensure that a project goes as planned and that all goals are met. The manager keeps the costs of localization services under control, avoiding overspending through missed deadlines and communication errors. He or she sets clear goals and identifies the objectives for each of the stages involved in the localization project.
- Prepare Your Website for New Versions
Ensuring that your original website is ready for translation is one thing you need not forget. There are websites that are usually really complex and localizing them can be such a task. You should ensure that your website is ready to take on new versions. This is also referred to as internalization in other terms. Through the right coding your website can be translated into any possible language that you might be thinking of. Make sure your programmers use Unicode (UTF-8), the only language that supports any character in all alphabets. This means that you will able to translate your website into any language in the world because this Unicode takes on alphabets from all languages. It is super compatible.
- Choose a Global Design
Design and the layout of a website is very important. This is what determines how the outlook of your website will look like after localization. If your design is as minimalistic as possible the better chances it will have in being spotted by search engines. Also choosing a design that can take on a language localization is of most importance. You could make an exception for localization in China, though, as Chinese internet users tend to prefer busy and cluttered websites.
In conclusion be sure to localize your CTA buttons, Adapt the visuals and convert everything to fit your target language. These steps will definitely guarantee you a successful translation localization process.