Localize Your Website – Adapt, Organize and Translate!

Nothing is more frustrating than a site you can’t navigate for a product you need or want. If you want to keep the customers you draw in you need to make sure it’s easy for them to understand you. Whether your intended audience is down the street or across an ocean it is imperative to speak the language. Keep in mind that language is more than just words, but also how those words are used. There are three principals to keep in mind when localizing your website, and all of them will help your target audience identify with your website message.

Translate: Take the initiative and translate your site into the language of the area you wish to do business in. Don’t forget that translating is more than just word for word. The use of local phrases and concepts will set the tone for your translated site and give a boost to your credibility.

Organize: If you know your target audience, chances are you also know your competition. How a website is organized says a lot about a company. There are generally accepted formats for websites which differ from region to region and country to country. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to organize your website properly. Dramatic effects are great for artists, but can and will hurt a websites credibility. Sites with too many or disruptive effects will make a sight feel gimmicky.

Adapt: You expect the store down the street to speak your language and sell the products you like, so why wouldn’t an e-store be the same? Different cultures expect different things from a website. By learning and adapting to those differences you will set yourself apart. The Chinese, for example, expect as much information as possible on a website, thus the highly trafficked sites in that region look very busy. In the US, the most trafficked websites are clean and simple. Put aside the notion that the way you have been doing things is best. It’s time to go with the flow!

Localizing your website to each individual culture will draw more people who will be more likely to buy. If you want to be taken seriously you need to do your research. Know the culture, the expectations, and your target market, and remember that no two cultures are identical.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like help localizing your website.

Best,

Kristi

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