We recently wrote about why localization is important. But let’s say you have a ton of web content and a limited budget. You can’t localize the lot, at least not in the first round. Which parts should you localize first? Which sections will benefit your business when adapted to the cultural differences of your new audience? Follow these tips to improve your localization ROI.
1. Define your website’s content categories
Website categories are sections that talk about specific aspects of your business. They can be divided int distinct subdomains or scattered across various pages. What is important is the function they serve. Grouping your content into these five sections will help you define where to start with website localization:
- Legal content: terms and conditions, disclaimers, etc.
- Technical content: manuals, how-to guides, product specs
- Branding: about us, mission & vision
- Marketing: all pages that help sell your product or service: product descriptions, reviews, blog posts, etc.
- Functional/system content: addresses, contact details, time & date, measurements
2. The categories you should localize first
Yes, your hunch is right. The first category you should localize is your marketing section. But there are two more categories that you should include:
- functional content and
With functional content, it’s a no-brainer. Localizing measurements, addresses, and currencies will mean the world to your customers. You’ll spare them the headache of having to do the math on their own. But FAQs? Isn’t that an after-sales section? Not really. Research shows that customers visiting your FAQs are actually very eager to buy. But they have some concerns or objections that prevent them from hitting the checkout button. Think of it this way: FAQs on your e-commerce are doing what a salesperson is doing in a physical store. They both handle customer objections. That’s why minding the specific cultural rather than linguistic aspects in your FAQs is vital for your sales conversion.
3. And the rest?
Legal disclaimers, manuals, and technical specs are things you can include in a future round of localization. Translating them into Universal Spanish as a first step should not harm your sales performance. And branding content? This one is tricky. The best thing is to draft your source branding to ease its internationalization. Using neutral images and versatile taglines will save you tons of time and money when you’ll need to adapt them to your new market.
4. Last but not least: website localization for SEO
A category that gets often ignored is your language-local keyword strategy. Website localization isn’t just about finding the most accurate words for the target cultural context. It’s about:
- digging out the words people use for a specific search intent
- finding keyword alternatives that will be easier to rank for
Two seemingly equal keywords might hide completely different search intents. If you’re into e-commerce, you don’t want to rank for keywords people use when looking for how-to blog articles. Another important point is keyword alternatives. Using the plural or a semantic equivalent might make it much easier to rank better.
That’s why building a well-researched keyword strategy is fundamental for your business success. At the end of the day, you can adapt your images and your tone to suit the local culture. But if you fail to rank among your audience’s search results—your localization efforts will be in vain.
Reach out to us to find out more about our SEO-optimized localization expertise.