Translating and localizing your website is an obvious way to increase your market share. Potential clients are a lot more likely to buy your products and services if they can read what they are. But how do you do that? Here are some easy tips to get you started, and how to localize your website.
1. Who is your target market? First of all, you need to figure out who is going to buy your fabulous stuff. Do you sell solar powered heated gloves? You will most likely want people that live in Minnesota to buy them. Not people that live in Bali. Do you offer customized deep sea fishing lessons? Probably not a hot seller in the Sahara desert. You’ll need to figure out what your target market looks like and what language they speak. Or you can work with a reputable global marketing provider and we’ll get you the information you need.
2. Figure out what needs to be translated. Typically is a good idea to fully localize all of your web pages that are relevant to international market. Sometimes it makes sense to build a “micro site” with local pages directly within your main website that automatically redirects readers based on their ISP address. You should also provide clear direction for visitors to access language specific pages. You can also work with a professional international marketing provider to teach you how to utilize Google’s Geographic Targeting Tool to make sure your webpages are pointed to the relevant country or region you are targeting.
3. Sometime is makes sense to register relevant Top Level Domains (.mx for Mexico, .fr for France, etc.). This helps to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and appears more “real” for international clients. Again, working with an international global marketing firm will help you make these decisions.
4. Translating your website content and localize it for your target market. You must work with a professional translation team that has subject knowledge in relation to your products and services. Don’t rely on Google Translate or other machine translation tools – they simply do not work. Anther trick to the trade is and Application Programing Interface (API). API’s track any changes to your parent site and notifies your translation provider that Content Management System (CMS) has been changed. This is a streamlined way to manage copy and content changes, and saves time and headaches. Again, working with a professional global marketing firm, they will help you to convert currency, dates, units and measurements so that your target market can easily purchase your products and services.
Again, we cannot say enough: research your target market to figure out if your services and products will sell in a specific foreign market. Market research and discovery are essential to international sales success.