Did you know only around a quarter of the world’s internet users speak English – and this proportion is falling fast? If your company is targeting international customers, then it’s essential to know how to localise a website – as well as translate it.
Localisation isn’t just about getting the language right. It involves everything from choosing the right web domain to ensuring the design and content is adapted for the target culture. Adapting your keywords and targeting local search engines are also important to ensure your site is visible to your target audience.
The good news is that there is less competition for high search engine rankings in languages other than English. And research shows that customers are more likely to trust websites that appear local and are in their own language.
Wondering how to localise a website for other languages and countries? Here are 10 simple steps:
1) Think global from the start, and choose the right content management system
2) Use a flexible, “world-friendly” design
3) Consider the use of symbols, icons and images
4) Register local domain names for your target countries
5) Localise by country, not by language
6) Make SEO an integral part of your site
7) Get the language right by using native-speaking translators
8) Localise your products and marketing message
9) Get the details right, such as currencies and shipping information
10) Promote your site. Plan your launch carefully and monitor the results