Are you thinking about expanding your eCommerce business into other non-English speaking regions of the world? If so, are you aware of website localization and the importance of ensuring that your website is translated to ensure that your new target audience’s culture and customs are taken into account? Otherwise, you could inadvertently end up insulting potential customers.
Therefore, by way of describing a solution to these challenges, let’s consider the following points:
What is website localization?
Website Localization is defined by Wikipedia.com as the “process of adapting an existing website to local language and culture in the target market. It is the process of adapting a website into a different linguistic and cultural context— involving much more than the simple translation of text.”
In summary, the salient point here is that the website translator, such as a translator who works for a specialized translation agency, takes the local language and culture into account when translating your web copy into another language.
Website localization: A case study
Statistics show that 59.6% of all Internet users are English speaking, or have a reasonable enough command of the English language to say that they can converse in English. However, what about the other 40.4% of Internet users? There is merit in targeting these users from a marketing and business growth perspective.
Therefore, the question that begs is how do you reach this 40.4% of Internet users? The pertinent answer is that you engage with a website translation services agency to get your website translated into the primary language of your target audience.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume you own an eCommerce business that supplies dye powders to the textile industry, specifically for wool, 100% cotton, and linen fabric. Your website also runs great specials on rotary cutter blades and other notions. Currently, the website is in German.
However, statistics over time show that USA customers are buying your rotary cutter blades, especially the commercial blades in bulk. The same statistics also indicate that your brand’s wool dyes are one of the top-ranking products in Europe, and they are also gaining traction in Northern America.
Consequently, it makes sound financial sense to get your website professionally translated into English. While Google Translate is good, there have been some mistranslations, especially in the fabric and wool dye categories. This will also allow you to rank for English keywords like wool dye, cotton dye, commercial rotary cutter blades, and linen dye powder. At the moment, your brand is only ranking on German keywords.
Finally, here are a few vital tips to remember when planning the translation exercise:
Cultural context is everything
This point cannot be emphasized enough. For example, the US style of business is more relaxed that the German formalities. Consequently, translating your website into formalized English will come across as stiff, arrogant, and even rude.
Real-time automated translation tools are not a good idea
The challenge with automated translation tools like Google Translate are great for the occasional, ad-hoc translation. However, it, and all other AI translation tools, will miss the cultural context.
It’s essential to bear in mind that an SEO-optimized website in one language is not necessarily the same in the second language. In other words, your German website will be optimized for ranking on specific keywords. However, this does not mean that the English website will automatically be optimized to the same level as well. Therefore, it is essential that the translator takes SEO optimization into account while translating the web copy.