Five considerations for successful website localization

Website localization is much more than simply translating text. Yes, you can upload everything into Google Translate to produce a 30+ language website in no time, but if you want high-quality translation, search engine optimization (SEO) and brand consistency, you might want to put a little more thought into it.

The localization process can be as complicated as it is exciting, but it’s necessary that it’s done well. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Languages

First and foremost, it’s obviously important to know which languages and how many you want to translate into. Using internal tools such as Google Analytics and your content management system can provide you with the metrics you need to begin building out your localization plan of action.

2. Style guides and glossaries

Start by creating a style guide and glossary that can be used by all those involved in the localization process. These resources will provide a framework for translators to understand your company’s unique voice, personality and brand. Consistent terminology, style and tone will help foster better translation quality.

3. International SEO

All your efforts will be wasted if your translated website doesn’t show up in international search engines. A solid multilingual SEO strategy with strategic, optimized keywords will help your website rank better in search engines to draw potential customers to your site.

4. Localized UI/UX

A major key for success in localization is to ensure that your website looks and functions just as great in target languages as it does in the original language. One factor most companies neglect is that the lengths of phrases on your site may appear much longer or shorter depending on the target language. It’s important to design user interface (UI)/user experience (UX) elements that look great across languages to make the UX equal across markets.

5. Workflow

The mere translation of your website is just the beginning. Think about the sheer volume of content on your site, and the many updates you make on a monthly basis. Manual methods such as passing files back and forth over email are complicated and tedious. It’s necessary to develop a streamlined workflow solution, such as connecting to a translation API to ensure streamlined translation of all incoming content.

Website translation and localization isn’t easy by any means, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. With the right translation partner and proper planning, website localization can be a simple way to unlock enormous opportunities for international growth.

Go global with Gengo’s people-powered translation platform.

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Alex Nguyen

The author

Alex Nguyen

Alex crafts and coordinates content for Gengo’s marketing team. Based in San Francisco after a brief stint in Tokyo, she loves all things culture and design. When not at Gengo, she’s likely brushing up on her Japanese, letting loose at indie electronic shows or trying out new ice cream spots in the city.

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