Across the globe, there are approximately 5.3 billion internet users with an immense majority residing in China. This country alone houses 1.05 billion users, most of whom speak Mandarin Chinese. Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies in America do not localize or translate their website content into any other languages. This figure drastically decreases when examining smaller organizations. Despite this, studies have repeatedly shown that consumers prefer to purchase products or services from websites that offer information in their native languages. This means that businesses are missing out on billions of potential buyers by only offering content in English. Likewise, these limitations make it difficult for consumers to receive assistance with troubleshooting or customer service mattress which can lead to a poor user experience and bad online reviews. Content localization, in combination with translation, is a significantly underutilized method for improving everything from customer experience to overall revenue.
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What is web content localization?
Web content localization simply means altering the content on your website that was created for your initial target audience to make it culturally relevant for a new audience. The term is often used interchangeably with language translation; however, translation focuses on conveying sentiments from one language to the next, while localization focuses on the cultures. Take, for example, Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. In America, the names featured on the soft drink’s labels were names such as “John” or “Sarah” which are popular in the United States, while labels in Mexico featured common names like “Maria” and “Juan”.
What are the benefits of web content localization?
- Builds trust and credibility with the target audience
- Improves brand awareness
- Enhances local search engine visibility
- Draws in more website traffic
- Makes for an overall better user experience
- Adds SEO opportunities using foreign language keywords
Content localization offers a wide range of benefits for websites that want to expand their reach to new markets and audiences. Firstly, it helps businesses to build trust and credibility with their target audience. This is because, by localizing content, the company demonstrates a commitment to its target audiences’ culture and language. In turn, their commitment can increase brand visibility and attract more customers to the website. Content localization also aids in improving the user experience by providing content that feels natural and relevant to the audience. Because consumers prefer content in their own language, it results in higher engagement levels and increased time spent on the site. Additionally, content localization services can improve the search engine ranking of a website. It can be tough to rank on SERP when competing with millions of other companies using the same keywords. But, by optimizing content for local search queries and keywords, websites can target less competitive keywords in foreign languages. This improves visibility in local search results.
Overall, content localization services are an essential component of global marketing strategies, and they can help businesses to establish a strong online presence in new markets, drive traffic to their website, and increase conversions and revenue.
How to Choose the Right Language Services Provider for Localization
Choosing the right language services provider for the localization of your website is crucial to your international and domestic marketing efforts. That being said, it is necessary to scrutinize any company before signing a contract.
1. Start by identifying your needs.
Each organization will have its own needs and goals for localizing content. This will also be impacted greatly by the industry and the target audience. For instance, do you require an industry expert or does your industry lean on layman’s terms? From there, determine the content that you wish to have localized. Will this be a small 5-page website or a huge 100-page project? Will it also include business documents, HR handbooks, e-mails, and monthly newsletters? This will help determine the budget and allow any language services provider to provide you with an accurate estimate.
2. Conduct extensive research on content localization providers.
Not all translation companies are able to provide content localization services. This is because many rely on AI-backed technologies to generate translations (much like Google Translate). Unfortunately, these translations are often inaccurate, nonsensical, and unable to tell the subtle differences in dialects throughout the same region. Look for a service that uses human, professional translators with years of experience and a proven track record of accuracy and customer satisfaction.
3. Shortlist the providers you are interested in working with.
Shortlist potential providers and compare their pricing and services offered by each. Likewise, review customer reviews and feedback to identify any potential areas of concern. For example, customer reviews stating that translations were inaccurate or significantly delayed. After this stage, you should be left with a top choice in terms of expertise, reputation, price, and turnaround time.
4. Evaluate the quality and speed of your chosen provider with a small project.
Fast turnaround times and accuracy are critical in the language industry. By working with your chosen localization services provider on a small project first, you will get a feel for the way that they communicate and follow directions. Once you receive the final product, evaluate it carefully to ensure that it meets your needs and resonates with your target audience. If everything is as expected, continue on with larger tasks. If not, go back to your shortlisted providers until you find the right content localization service for your needs.
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FAQ: Content Localization Services
What is content localization?
Content localization is a term used to describe the process of altering content to resonate with target audiences beyond merely creating word-for-word language translations. Instead, it consists of modifying the language to accommodate specific cultures, locales, or dialects. It also refers to altering the styling, formatting, and overall design of the original piece of content to align with the preferences or industry standards of the audience in a particular group.
Why is content localization important?
While translations ensure that a message is conveyed from one language to another, localization makes the message feel natural and relevant to the target audience. In turn, businesses are able to build trust and improve customer engagement. Businesses that do not prioritize content localization often find themselves subject to a backlash in market expansions due to culturally insensitive, inaccurate, or nonsensical translations which significantly hinder the reception of a product or brand in the international arena.
Who provides content localization services for businesses?
Language services providers often provide this service, but buyers beware. Content localization services are not always included in translation services. This is particularly true for providers that utilize AI-backed translation technologies that are incapable of localizing content for a specific culture, region, or dialect. At ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc., human translators and linguists produce each translation with content localization services included.