How to Start the Website Localization Process

There are several components that make up your marketing machine and the one thing that needs to be localized first is the website. Website localization is a primary task in the localization list of “things to do” and if done well, it can be a rewarding experience.

But, the cold hard truth at the end of the day is, website localization is quite complex. There are no add-ons are plugins that will just magically transform your site into something that your international audiences are going to fall in love with.

So, how do you get around this challenge? Well, there are a few keys steps and we’ve discussed a few of them here. Do go through them and implement them into your website localization process.

Translation

Translation is the first area within the website localization process that needs attention, especially if you have a site that is complex in its own tongue. Now, there are two ways to approach this. You can either handle the whole thing all by yourself or hand over the task to a professional localization/translation agency.

The latter strategy would be wiser if you have no former experience with regards to localization. A professional localization firm can guide you through the process efficiently and help you achieve effective results. However, you need to choose firms that fit your requirements.

Never Forget Context

Translation isn’t going to be effective if you aren’t going to consider cultural context as well. This is a stage in the website localization process that requires some deep research. Your website is a key marketing tool and it will have a tremendous impact on how your brand is perceived.

So, it becomes obvious that you really need to be careful about the content you are going to highlight on your website, especially when translation is involved. The slightest misrepresentation of facts or even meanings can lead to disaster.

So, work with local agencies who can guide you on how the local market works. They can guide you on what local audiences want or find appropriate.

Culture tends to vary from country to country and what works in China may not work in India. Do make sure you are well-informed before you set foot into a foreign market. Assume the role of a tourist who is keen on learning about the cultures he/she visits.

Put Together the Right Localization Team

Localization typically requires an army to make it work. However, you may not be able to afford an army and there’s no guarantee that this army will work in unison. So, stop worrying about how many people you have and focus on quality and efficiency. A small, but, efficient team is all it takes to get things right.

The only other option is to hand over your website localization responsibilities to external localization experts who know what they are doing and are likely to have already worked in the markets you’re currently targeting.

Use the Right Tool

Whether you’re handing over your website localization process to a professional or handling it yourself, make sure you’ve got the right translation management software. Some of the key features you need to look for include an API for streamlined workflow, Collaboration capabilities that allow real-time communication, Direct Website Translation to speed up the process, and Translation Memory to make your process easier in the long term.

Your translation management software is kind of like a manager/coordinator. It helps your team (outsourced or not) work more efficiently and deliver results much faster. Also, it can help cut down costs.

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