With the coming of the Internet, the business world has changed for good. The Internet has made everything more accessible and reachable. Today’s customers have the option to choose between local businesses and international ones. That is the reason why today’s businesses are in constant need to be in competition not only locally but also internationally. These businesses that look for ways to carry out successful international efforts try to figure out how to make an impact in various markets and languages simultaneously. A lot of their marketing content is created in English. However, interestingly as much as 60% of consumers worldwide rarely or never buy from English-only websites. This proves that if you are looking to enter foreign markets, your content has to be localized. Marketing localization has proven to be one of the best ways to reach a wider audience and target various markets. That is why building a successful marketing localization strategy is a must.
The first step before getting into your marketing localization strategy is writing content for effective website localization. In this article, we are going to talk about tips to follow when writing content for your website to make it easier for localization. Let’s get started.
Website Content Localization
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what content localization is.
Content localization is the process of taking any content produced in your native language or the main language you use to communicate with your primary market and transforming it to be understandable by your other target markets. Many times people confuse localization with translation. Often it is considered to be the same. But in reality, translation is only a part of a good localization strategy.
Localization is not just the process of taking content in one language and rendering it to another. Localization also addresses and integrates cultural, linguistic, and other contextual components. It helps to adapt the text to a local market in the best way possible. Basically, localization takes pure translation one step further. It ensures the language is adapted and formatted for a specific market. Content localization makes sure to align with the overall content, product, and flow of the brand. It also includes the provision of a multilingual website, so if you want to learn how to make a multilingual website, check it out here.
Tips for Successful Content Localization
Now that you have decided that content localization is what you actually need, we have prepared a list of tips that will help you with the process of creating content for successful content localization.
Write a Content Considering further Localization
When creating content, always keep in mind localization. To make further localization go easier, keep linguistic neutrality. In that way when translating the content for localization there will be less hustle with language. Also, keep in mind that the content needs to be localized for different target markets. If needed, have several content versions for different target market localization.
Use Simple and Concise Language
As we mentioned before, there is a fine line between translation and localization. When it comes to localization you need to take the cultural, geographic and language-specific factors into account. To make sure your content passes in different markets, stick to international words. This way you will not go wrong. Also, avoid using idioms or phrases that are specific to only the source language. If you fill your content with such words and phrases there might be a chance for your localization to go wrong. The best route to take is to use more simple words that are understandable for your audience.
Prepare a Style Guide and Industry Glossary
For localization, if you are cooperating with a translator or a localization agency it is a good idea to prepare a style guide and industry glossary. With the style guide they will have a guidebook that includes rules about voice, writing style, sentence structure, spelling, and usage for your company. It will help the content creators and translators choose the preferred language elements for most effectively communicating with customers and prospects in target markets. And the glossary will help the translators ensure that each time a defined key term appears in a corresponding language, it is used consistently and correctly. The provision of a style guide and industry glossary will make sure the final result meets your expectations.
Give the Context of your Content
In most languages, some words and phrases may have more than one meaning. So in case you work with translators and are afraid of creating confusion for your audience, go ahead and provide the context of your content. You can give some comments that will make it easier for the translator to localize it. In that way, they will know exactly what meaning your content is conveying with the chosen word.
Consider Using Images
Sometimes things are better said not with words but rather with visuals. If you are working with a professional translator for localization it is a good idea not only to provide them with the text but also with some images. Those images will surely help to cut down difficult content. Once again, those images will be a mediator between you and the translator providing the right context.
Pick a Professional Localization Agency
When it comes to localization, it is hardly ever possible to do it in-house. It would be too expensive to employ so many professionals with so many different backgrounds. And doing it all yourself is most definitely a “mission not possible”. Instead, the best thing to do is to pick a professional localization agency. They will take care of all the aspects of content localization.
Test and Proofread your Content
Nothing spoils the impression and makes a business look unprofessional as content with errors and mistakes. So always make sure your content is proofread and edited. Also do not underestimate the importance of testing your content. It will help you understand if it actually works and targets the right audience.
Localization is an enormously important step for businesses to take if they want to go international. And content is the stepping stone of localization. That is why it makes so much sense to trust it to professionals.
If you want your business to go global and want it to be done in the best way possible, contact us!