When in Rome…well, you know how it goes. Strangely enough, most brands and businesses forget this old adage when it comes to how they communicate with Romans of the online world. They are in utter and harmful oblivion to the dangers that lurk when their websites are not spruced up enough for the language, culture and consumption patterns of the new audience they are targeting. Website localization services are no longer a luxury but a necessity.
Hiring a website translation service is a hygiene check. No matter how stylish, sharp and superb your website is unless it is localized to a reasonable degree for the target geography, all the hard work is about to go down in the sewage of forgetfulness and invisibility. That is a handicap that brands just cannot afford in an already-cluttered world.
Localize – the 360-degree view
Now that we know that tapping website localization services should be an integral part of one’s marketing and business strategy, it is crucial to choose the right partners. If one goes for superficial or piecemeal delivery, one is bound to run into dead-ends and wasted investment-plus effort every now and then. Bear in mind that it goes beyond website translation services; it is something that is not just about content, but also about the overall tone, texture, appeal, style, imagery, and user experience.
The process starts with requirement specification, project analysis and then delineates ultimate marketing goals. Not just the site, but content, associated-content, navigation, symbols, colors etc. are also part of this execution.
Website localization service is an intricate process where one has to walk through many areas. These are also good ways to assess partner capabilities.
- Basic website translation service capabilities
- Target audience assessment and demographic understanding
- Tools and resources for file-transfer, Content Management System, proxy, content integration, quality checks etc.
- How much intimacy can the provider assure with the target audience- strengths beyond language
- Grip on linguistic and cultural context
- API-related technology and competence
- Local talent pool usage for creating the required content
- Editing strengths and marketing support
- Additional work on images, graphics, icons, color, font, styles and multimedia content
- Tapping experience of handling similar clients and industries or situations
- A grasp of subtle cues, messages, symbols and cultural details that can amplify the content and make it risk-proof as well
- Comprehensive coverage of areas like currency, date, time, actionable items, live chat options, and shipping instructions
- Coverage of titles, meta descriptions, canonical tags – if any
- Transcreation possibilities for catapulting one’s brand into the right spot in a new market
- Breadth of content – websites, marketing content, manuals, user-generated content etc.
- Cognizance of time-to-market windows and quality assurance
- Use of best practices and industry standards
What not to do
Website localization services, above all, cannot be a hassle or a footnote. This area cannot be done on an ad-hoc basis or in an isolated manner. It should be a long-term part and a deeply-entrenched pillar of the overall marketing strategy. Further, this aspect can also entail website translation services, wherein the source content and deeper content elements are also changed as per the target language requirements. The alignment of content and marketing teams is important at every stage and the goal should be to ensure that the brand stays seamless, clear and engaging for the target audience.
Choose your tools, goals and localization partners wisely and make the website translation services you tap another strong proposition of your brand’s differentiation and customer-connect.
Localization and translation are very significant last miles to get to the customer. In their absence, even the best brands can falter to reach to the right prospect. So spend on them and spend wisely.
The end goal should not be just to garner better SEO ranks or traffic balls but also a well-etched image and branding, as intended, into the consumer psyche.
Brands are, after all, never built in a day. Just like Rome.