There are several steps involved in website localisation. Each step ensures that a company’s website is accessible to foreign users, giving them the impression that it was written in their native language.
For example, if a website has been localised successfully, a French user will get the impression that a German company’s website was written for them.
This generates a sense of trust, encouraging the user to interact with the site and eventually purchase goods and services from the company.
It has been proven that web users are much more likely to purchase from a website written in their mother tongue, as they can better understand the product features or the contractual terms of purchase and return.
IP geolocation and website localisation: what does it all mean?
With the help of IP geolocation, search engines can understand if a website is optimised for a specific geographical area.
Companies can identify a user’s location using Meta tags and Google Maps, by geotagging images, or by manually entering a physical address in the footer of their website.
Geolocation shouldn’t be carried out without localisation, i.e., without adapting the text to fit the target culture.
Website localisation and geolocation seek to ensure that:
- a website is tweaked according to the user’s physical location and language (or more than one language in the case of multilingual sites)
- a site has a good conversion rate and visibility, which will also be owed to a high-quality translation
Website translations – such as those offered by EuroTrad – must therefore be carried out taking into account the on-page optimisation performed on the original website. Business must ensure their target language text is optimised for the keywords selected by the SEO expert.
What’s more, when translating a website, cultural elements should be integrated organically and naturally to create a sense of trust between the company and potential customers. The aim is to produce a translated site that is coherent and offers the same user experience as the original.
Translation or localisation: what’s the difference?
Although translation consists mainly of localisation, it’s important to remember that localisation requires a lot more than a good website translation.
To localise a website, you need to:
- include cultural references (e.g., puns, idioms, language register, etc.)
- use images and colours that are appropriate for the context and type of communication
The main things to consider when localising a website
Localisation is a complex task involving several elements, such as the target culture’s alphabet, numbering and writing systems, and date and time formats.
Website localisation should respect the target language’s system of written communication.
Idioms and irony
Idioms, sarcasm, and humour are typical cultural phenomena that must be translated appropriately for localisation to be successful. It’s important to translate puns and tone of voice well when localising a website.
Currency, weight, measurements, and sizes
Currency, weight, measurement, and size are all things that need to be translated correctly when localising an e-commerce website. Companies must ensure they use correct information that is relevant to the target culture and language.
Localisation and multilingual sites
Multilingual sites should use a specific localisation strategy for all website languages. Localisation strategies used for the original site must, if possible, also be used for the foreign language versions.
Localisation and SEO
SEO (search engine optimisation) is an essential part of website localisation. Local SEO (the branch of SEO applied to localisation) uses localised keywords to increase a website’s visibility. Typical examples of localised keywords are “dentist Rome” or “restaurant Milan”.
Localising a company
Localising a company on the web is key to increasing sales and establishing a sense of trust between the company and existing customers who might make a repeat purchase. A perfectly localised site is a powerful tool for expanding a company’s market beyond geographical borders.
Software and app localisation
A company’s website is essentially a virtual shop window used to market the brand, promote its corporate values and, in the case of e-commerce, sell its products online.
Just like website localisation, software and app localisation is a complex task.
It must offer a smooth and seamless user experience (UX) that respects the values, customs, and characteristics of the target language.