December 07, 2021

Best Practices for Localization of Websites

Website localization refers to redesigning the functionality, language, culture, and flow of the website's content to provide a relevant experience for the new target audience.

Localizing a website aims at recreating it to look and feel native to a specific culture, linguistic, or geographical area.

Best Practices for Localization of Websites: eAskme
Best Practices for Localization of Websites: eAskme

It also involves the internationalization and translation of a website's visible and invisible elements.

The website's visible elements that undergo refining include;

  • Copy text
  • Header and footer
  • Text images
  • Pop-up messages
  • Error Messages
  • Product Catalogues
  • Contact and subscription forms
  • Downloader contents
  • Subtitles on video content
  • Legal notices
  • The invisible elements that require adaptation include
  • Database
  • Image data and descriptions
  • Video data and descriptions
  • Permalinks
  • Metadata

Best practices for localizing a website

The scope and complexity of a website can complicate the process of localization.

The following tools are considered best practices for localization.

Define your target audience and language:

The best way to evaluate the potential of your products getting adopted in a particular market is through market research analysis.

The research analyzes the customers' cultures, living conditions, language, and buying habits.

Such analysis will assist in deciding the most viable geographical region and guide on the language to apply in website adaptation.

The tone of communication between interface and customers varies across languages and cultures.

The online casino industry is one area that knows what it takes to define audiences.

A well-adapted website creates an accurate and authentic copy, content, and language which relates well with the target audience.

Thus, when you search for information on online gambling in UAE, you will find sites that understand the Arabic culture.

They have reliable information on gambling in the United Arab Emirates prepared by their team of professionals, including suggestions for the safest and best casinos in the UAE and security tips and, of course, the best casinos in the UAE.

Design an Appropriate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) criteria:

When adopting a new website, your SEO strategy should be revised to feature keywords and trends relevant to your new target audience.

Using the appropriate keywords and styles helps rank the website higher in the search engines.

Different regions may have their search engines.

Therefore, it's essential to work with local SEO experts to help determine your target market's search preference.

The use of multilingual keywords and phrases will rank your site higher in searches done in the native language of your desired audience.

Use Translation Management System (TMS):

The process of website localization is complex and involves many departments.

Product managers, developers, sales, and marketing teams work closely with localization experts to streamline the process for optimum results.

A manual adaptation approach may lead to inconsistencies, mistakes, information loss, and ultimately poor results.

The use of a translation management system ensures collaboration, management of users' roles, and effective reporting.

TMS also helps manage translation memories, termbases, glossaries, in-context previews, and string extraction.

In addition, the system enables seamless communication between several players involved in the localization process.

Allow for Expansion and Shrinking of Texts:

Messages may shrink or expand after localization and translation.

The extended texts can get cut off or overlap, leading to poor user experience.

Design a flexible interface to accommodate the expanded and shrinks texts and improve overall user experience.

Incorporate Local Design Practices:

The choice of color may directly influence an individual's perception of a brand.

Some colors are universal and widely accepted across different cultures and regions.

Others convey varying messages across cultures.

Font size may vary across linguistic regions and cultures.

Some languages require large, while others demand small fonts.

The content density and design style also differ from one culture to another. Website designs may be changed to accommodate users with varying needs.

Adapt your interface to reflect your target audience's needs, language, and trends.

For instance, languages like Hebrew, Farsi, and Arabic read from right to left, requiring redesigning certain interface elements to mirror such bidirectionality.

Different cultures and languages prefer varying data formats such as names, addresses, calendars, measurements, payment methods, and currencies.

Ensure you use inclusive images or videos.

The imagery should represent various cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and demographic groups.

Avoid imagery that represents a distinct culture or geographic region.

Test Your Project:

The final practice in the translation and localization process involves testing the project.

Test the copy version of each target language.

Tests help in identifying functional and technical errors in localized content.

Developers, product managers, and translators should combine in identifying issues that require fixing before the launch of the localized content.

You can also use a small group of potential users to check on the success and struggles of using the localized website.

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