A Step-by-Step Guide Website Localization

December 14, 2020

Did you know that 1.8 billion people purchased goods online in 2018 alone? That same year, global e-retail sales reached $2.8 trillion. If there was ever a time to launch in a new market, it’s now. Yet it takes more than translation to adapt your website for new audiences—it requires localization.

Localization is the processing of adapting a website to the local language, culture, and customs of the target market. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Research, Research, Research

As with any project, you need to start by doing research. Before you decide to launch in a market, here are a few questions to ask:

  • How much demand is there?
  • Will it be profitable?
  • Which language(s) will you need?
  • Are there any legal restrictions?   

By understanding the market and its challenges, you’ll be better prepared to start the localization process.

Step 2: Localize Your Website

After you’ve done your research, it’s time to begin localizing. Depending on the market, that may include changing the website’s:

  • Url structure
  • Format for dates, numbers, and currencies
  • Payment platform
  • Data collection and privacy policy
  • Design elements such as images, graphics, and colors

While this may sound like a daunting task, a localization company can help you out. In addition to adapting the technical aspects of your website, they’ll translate the content, optimize it for SEO, and launch any digital marketing campaigns.

Step 3: Translate the Content and Optimize for SEO

Next, your localization company will assemble a team to translate your website. The linguists working on your project will:

  •  Adapt your messaging to ensure it’s culturally appropriate.
  • Conduct keyword research to optimize the content for International SEO.
  • Translate content pages, meta data (title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords), pop up notifications, customer portals, and other aspects of the website.

Once the initial translation is complete, another linguist will perform a quality assurance check before the content is uploaded to the website.

Step 4: Perform LQA and Localization Testing

Finally, your localization company will perform language quality assurance (LQA) and localization testing. Linguists will review the content for errors and determine whether the translation is appropriate for the context of the website. Team members will also check for technical issues, test functionality and links, and evaluate the content layout.

Step 5: Launch the Website and Digital Marketing Campaigns

Your new website is ready to launch. It’s time to celebrate, right? Not quite. While localized content and SEO will drive traffic, you still need to develop localized marketing campaigns to get the most from your website. That may include:

  • Translating Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads
  • Developing a unique content marketing strategy
  • Link building

Case Study: Justin’s Nut Butter Website

Now that you know a little more about the localization process, let’s take a look at a real project.

Justin’s, an American brand of nut butters, wanted to expand into foreign markets. Yet products such as peanut butter aren’t as well known outside of the U.S. To tackle this challenge, we needed to not only translate the website content but also determine how to increase demand for Justin’s product.

For the French Canadian website, we:

  • Translated certain sections of the website via an API connector.
  • Ensured the variety of butters (peanut, almond, etc.) were accurately translated.
  • Worked with Justin’s marketing team to create new examples of how to consume the product, e.g., developing recipes to make peanut-based sauces.

The result? A culturally-relevant website that boosted Justin’s popularity in Canada!

Localization with INGCO International

At INGCO International, we can take your localization project from concept to completion. We specialize in corporate translation, international SEO, and digital marketing to help you bring your vision to life.

Ready to launch in a new market? Contact us today!