The majority of research suggests that most internet shoppers prefer to browse, and purchase, from sites that operate in their native language.
This means that websites which operate an ‘English language only’ policy are likely to be missing out on prospective customers, due to their limited choice of language.
Failure to localize your website for regional markets can be a barrier to business growth, and can highlight a lack of awareness of your customers’ needs.
If you have already decided localization is the way forward for your business then read on, if not, you might like to check out our other blogs about why localization is essential in building brand trust, how localization can help with marketing translations, and social media localization in the UAE.
Choosing a Localization Company
Once you’ve established a need for localization within your business, you then have the task of selecting a quality localization company to work with.
You should always shop around when choosing a localization company as there can be huge differences in quality, price, and ability.
Select a reputable company that offers a professional language and localization service based around the languages you require. For instance, if you require an English to Arabic localization, it is essential that you choose a localization provider that has Arabic roots, completely understands both the Arabic culture and people, can show examples of work for highly-regarded clients within the region, and uses native speakers for all their translation and localization work.
Ask to see samples of their previous work, with customer reviews if possible, to ensure they can cope with your localization requirements.
Calculating the Cost of Localization
Localization projects such as, website localization, can be expensive, complex and time consuming.
Do plan ahead before localization; budget with accurate forecasts, ask for quotes from localization providers which can be broken-down into specific sections, and check that your localization price is complete with required translations, editing, images, formatting, and so on, before agreeing a price.
If you have some in-house translation available to you, then it might be possible to limit the localization to specific areas of your website, marketing campaigns, or social media – check what is available from your localization provider, and what suits your requirements.
The localization company you chose to work with must have the necessary software capabilities to ensure your localization project is simple, straightforward, fast, and accurate.
Many professional localization companies offer software which enable translation projects to be accessed securely, and remotely. This means that many translators can work on the project independently, then once the project is complete, it is re-assembled into its original template ready for use. This can save time and money on localization projects, and avoids the need for any technical input from clients.
Localizing Design Elements
Remember localization is far more involved than translation. It encompasses design elements such as, images, website appearance, text expansion, and navigation.
Your selected localization company must work directly on your source files, help with design variations, and quality check each stage of the localization process.
Do ensure that a full localization service includes a period of reviews, and testing. It is important you factor this into any timescale and deadline.
Websites can change daily, so make sure that your localization company can offer an instant update service (programming interface software) so that changes made on the source website also appear correctly on the localized site.
If you require any further assistance with regard to localization, translation or interpretation, please contact Creative Word.