Three common website localization mistakes that can break your customer’s trust
To tap into the global market, you’ll need to invest in localization. Adapting your content and design to other cultures, languages, requirements, or expectations might be a complex journey. Especially, if you take shortcuts or ignore the key steps.
What are some of the pitfalls that can make your customers turn away from your website and business? How to make your website localization process as smooth as possible?
Have a look below.
Prioritizing costs over quality
Localization is an investment. If you don’t have the resources to localize your website in a professional way, then it’s probably better to leave it for later. Using machine translation, working with unqualified translators or localizers, merely converting the content from one language to another won’t help you shine on the global market.
Localization comes at a price, but it’s worth doing it the right way. If you can’t afford to fully adapt your website to another culture, you can create a simplified version of your website for the new market: with fewer pages, but with relevant and high-quality content. Partial localization done properly might be more beneficial for your brand than full localization done superficially or in a flawed manner.
After all, your end users want to see that your business can communicate properly in their language before they decide to make a purchase. So don’t cut corners. Saving on localization means saving on effective communication.
This is the quickest way to lose your customer’s trust.
Not working with local copywriters
One way to ensure that your content strikes the right chord is to work with local copywriters. Localize your website like you would create a new website. Let the designers design and copywriters write. A mere translation of your pages displayed on the original website might not be enough if you want your content to be truly local. Hire local copywriters or work with translators specialized in copywriting to make your website stand out.
After all, your end users are probably familiar with the local brands offering similar products. So why would they trust a foreign brand that can’t express its ideas in a clear and powerful way?
Make sure your content is not only error-free, but also relevant and engaging.
This is the easiest way to keep your customer’s trust.
Ignoring the language selection menu
There are many ways to create a user-friendly language gateway. From language codes, through globe icons, to full lists with countries and languages displayed in local languages. There are also many ways to display the language selection menu: right upper corner, splash page, footer… Yet so many businesses fail to offer their customers what they really need. There are countless websites out there that use country flags as a language choice or don’t display the language selection menu at all.
Your users may open your website from a different location than the language setting in their browser would suggest, or they may not speak the language of the country form which they browse your website. That’s why displaying a clear language selection menu is so important.
Don’t make your customers waste their time on searching for the version they can understand. Implement a user-friendly language selection menu in a visible location or welcome your users with a language selection page.
This is the first step to earn your customer’s trust.
Your localized website might not guarantee an overnight success. But once you avoid the most common localization pitfalls, sooner or later you’ll have a decent return on your investment.
Over to you
Is your website fully adapted to your target market? Are you sure it helps you gain your customer’s trust?
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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