A Guide To Localization

What do you get when a brand establishes a global identity and effectively reaches its intended audiences with cohesive messaging? Increased revenue.

How do brands do it? Proper localization.

Even in our globalized world, many businesses still do not realize the significance of properly localizing the messaging around their products or services.

So, what exactly does localization mean? The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) defines it as “the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localization process.”

To put it simply, translation isn’t enough when expanding overseas. Localization is about making it look and feel like the target language was the content’s original language.

If you aren’t already convinced, here are some reasons why localization will be beneficial to your business:

1. Increase of Revenue

More audience, more room for profit.

This may seem obvious, but even when many customers speak and understand English, 75% of global consumers prefer to make purchases from websites that are in their native language. They are more likely to buy if they read content, see imagery and digest messaging that directly pertains to them.

The difference between a translated website and a localized one is revenue, plain and simple. Each country has its own perks and preferences. Seizing the opportunity to directly target sales will benefit your business.

2. Cultural Impact

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign is a perfect example of localization. Already one of the most recognized brands in the world, this powerful campaign encouraged consumers to share a can or bottle by printing first names in countries such as the U.S., Australia and Israel to make the interaction feel more personal. But in China, where first names aren’t used in casual and daily interactions, Coca-Cola chose to print popular quotes from movies and songs, or sell labels that sported nicknames like “Superstar”. In England they printed “Wills” and “Kate” as the royal baby Prince George had just been born.

After continuing their localization efforts in each of their target countries, Coca-Cola’s sales increased for the first time in more than a decade.

3. Strengthen Brand & Global Presence

Granting an audience the opportunity to view your products and services in their native language proves you value consumers locally, all while making your business more approachable. The goal of every brand should be market recognition almost anywhere in the world. Having a brand that’s built locally, but whose presence remains strong globally, will bolster status, loyalty and just about everything else.

Key findings from a study done by Common Sense Advisory claims that in order to reach 97% of the total online market, you need to have content available in 31 languages. If your business is really looking to hit their target market, then localization is the best way.

4. Optimize User Experience & Improve SEO

If you came across a website that wasn’t in your native language, would you use it? If you’re an English speaker, the answer is probably no.

Today, about 55% of all web content is solely available in English despite only 20% of the world speaking it. That’s a lot of customers your business is potentially missing out on. There is no better way to show customers your commitment to making to them than a properly localized website.

As for SEO, keywords vary from one country to another. Even in English, Americans will search for “diapers” while British people look for “nappies”. An easy way to improve upon this is researching keywords when you localize for a specific country or region. Relevant phrases in your page titles and meta descriptions will make all the difference.

Putting time and effort into this will help your website to rank higher on search engine results pages,  generating more clicks and potential customers.

All in all, localization can only help your business – if it’s ready for it. We can help you determine whether your business is ready for localization and get you up to speed on how localization can grow your brand in particular. Just send us a message at interthoughts@interecho.com!

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