How To

How To Localize Your Content For Global Websites

75%

If you’re thinking that’s a huge percentage that’s right. That is the percentage of the world that doesn’t speak English.

Here are other statistics:

  • English only accounts for 25.3% of internet content, with Chinese at 19.5% and Spanish at 8% – Speakt
  • 40% of internet users never buy from sites other than English – Common Sense Advisory
  • 1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language. – Harvard Business Review
  • 2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price – Harvard Business Review

If you’re thinking about branching out to new online consumers, you might want to consider providing multilingual support, through multilingual content.

What Is Content Localization?

Content localization is the process of transforming any content in one region and making it appropriate for another: using language translation, international SEO, and localized research. Content localization, is of course, not an exact science, because it is making content as appropriate to the target locale as possible, but it has steps to follow as part of your localization strategy. We’ll learn more about this later on in the article.

Content localization is the combination of creating content and making it localized. Content localization combines content, in the process of creating or writing in one language, with localization, or l10n, the process of taking into account cultural, linguistic, and other contextual factors. That makes content localization, which is the process of creating or adapting the created content to localizing factors.

What Content Can You Localize?

There’s a ton of content you can localize. To do this, we’ve tapped a leading company for this effort. One of those specializing in content optimization is Tomedes, a global translation company providing translation and localization, which has expertise in content localization and approaches it through different types of content you can localize. The company has come up with a list of content to be localized in this article, which has types of content collated by industry, such as marketing collateral, legal documents, UI content, technical content, and game content–all of which need to be localized. The company has over a decade of experience localizing content.

There are different types of content required for international websites, but the primary types are text, video, and image:

Text – Content that comes in text form will need to be localized for both the region and the language, which means that the content must also be translated. You have to translate the content in the language/s of the region and about topics appropriate for that region. Websites content is essential to international websites, so make sure your HTML tags are up to shape as well as meta titles and meta descriptions.

Video – Video formats not only have to be optimized for multimedia content, it must also be localized. Localizing includes subtitling, voice-over and more. The localization of video content includes the reshaping of the content to be more suitable for a particular audience, such as a multicultural one. Video titles and video descriptions should also be optimized for international SEO, with optimized titles and descriptions for your videos.

Image – Culturally appropriate content in the form of images is the key here. Even colors have their own relevance to different countries, who have conveyed meaning through the use of colors. Learn more about different countries’ color-appropriate schemes here. With your content, you’ll also have to use international SEO for your alt tags and image tags, in order to give a clue to search engines as to what the image might mean.

There are many types of content out there, the list above are just some ways to categorize. There has been a lot of research through the years in content optimization.

What Are The Three Steps In Content Localization?

  1. Select target languages – In order to select your target language, you must have done market research and selected your target market beforehand. If you’re thinking about global websites, it would be ideal to work with a couple of common markets and languages. Know your target market and the target audience that comes with it. Really knowing your target audience is knowing their preferences, cultural backgrounds, and linguistic and cultural nuances.
  2. Identify content to localize – When localizing content, leveraging SEO insights as well as optimizing for SEO is crucial. This means doing keyword research that’s relevant for the target locale, as well as the search engines popular in that region. Remember, Google is not the only search engine in the world, and Google is also different for different languages or regions, which have different rankings for each location.
  3. Choose the right localization team –  Choosing the right professional localization services or bootstrapping your own team of freelance localizers will save you trouble in the long run.

The Insight

Content L10n doesn’t have to be difficult once you have done a magnitude of research for your chosen locale, selected target languages, identified content to localize, and get some help from your friendly neighborhood localization services. Remember there are many types of content out there, such as dialogue for games, legal contracts, and many more. And, each content has a specific type, which is text, video, and image. There’s definitely a lot you can do to reach your maximum potential in your localized content for your target audience.

Chris Samson

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Chris Samson

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