Examples, Best Practices & More
If you are thinking about going global, you will likely experience challenges marketing your product outside America, with the language barrier being the most significant challenge for a non-English speaking audience.
To win the trust and loyalty of your customers in non-English speaking regions, you will need to give your business a local feel through language, imagery, billing options, and everything in between.
If you are in the process of taking your business global and are lost on how to go about it, this post is a good read.
What Is Localization Management?
Localization refers to aligning a product, website, and web content to match a specific market. For example, if you build an e-commerce website to reach local customers but intend to go global, you will need to align it to the market you want it to reach.
Localization management is creating and executing plans for your business’s localization campaigns. Localization project management can include learning the local cultures, market expectations, and preferred billing options. Using this information, you can then build a team of local employees, meet regulations, and deliver products and services that will meet customer needs.
Localization Management Best Practices
Thorough Market Research
Whether you are starting a new business or want to expand your reach to a global level, you must ascertain there is a ready market in the geographical region you want to venture into through research. If it turns out there is a ready market, you may want to consider what adjustments you can make to your product to meet the local population’s expectations.
You will also need to research the preferred mode of payment by the locals and everything else specific to the region.
No one understands the market in the area you want to venture into better than its locals. So collaboration with locals is key to success.
Collaboration should start right from the market research. For example, you can collaborate with a local market research company.
Also, you might want to hire locals and put them in positions that require direct contact with your customers, such as customer care, the sales, and marketing team, translators, and brand ambassadors. This approach helps make your brand relatable to customers in a specific geographic region.
Translate Your Content
One of the greatest hindrances to global reach is the language barrier. For example, say you are targeting the Chinese market. You will need to translate the content on your site to Chinese. Otherwise, you may only reach a minority of the Chinese population.
Translating the entire contents of a site can be challenging, especially if you have to depend on translators. But you do not have to rely entirely on translators. You can incorporate auto-translation tools to make the process less stressful.
If you are unsure what translation tools to use, you may want to look at this comparison between Lokalise and Smartling to see which option fits you best.
Localize Your SEO
Less than 50% of global searches on Google are performed in English. The other more than half of the searches are conducted in other languages. If a search is entered in a specific language, Google will prioritize content written in the language.
Also, Google will consider the content on websites with a local presence based on where the user is. For example, if a user is looking for “a local internet service provider” from a location in Frankfurt, content from ISPs with a presence in Frankfurt will rank high in SERPS. But this is only true if they have fine-tuned their SEO for local searches.
Localizing your SEO takes more than translating your content to match your market. You have to translate other aspects of your site, such as hidden metadata that includes alt image tags, URLs, source descriptions, and keywords.