Eilon is a Customer Success Manager at BLEND. He helps global brands find the best localization and translation solutions for their business.
Creating a website is straightforward enough, but if you want to tap into international markets, you’ll need a robust site localization strategy. However, the website localization process isn’t as simple as translating website content into a new language. Instead, it’s a multi-faceted exercise that requires a keen understanding of different cultures and multilingual SEO. Investing time and resources into localization is a must if you want to engage with new markets.
Unsure of where to start with website localization? Read on to find out why you should be thinking about localization and what to look for in a website localization company. We’ve also picked out some of the service providers for you to consider.
English might be the leading language online but don’t assume that everyone has a high degree of fluency. If you’re not offering localized website content for non-native speakers, you’re shutting the door on a sizable market.
It’s not enough to offer basic website translations for key page elements. Instead, you need to offer an end-to-end experience when it comes to multilingual content. Localizing your website for international audiences not only attracts new visitors but also gets you off to a great start. You’ll boost your brand image and increase customer satisfaction. This naturally nurtures long-term relationships and brand loyalty.
Worried about the cost of localizing a website? Translating your site into many different languages might seem expensive, but it can result in significant uplifts in traffic and sales. In no time at all, you’ll start to see a noticeable return on your investment.
As well as bodies of text, you’ll need to think more broadly when adapting your website for new markets. Things like checkout experience, contact forms, and imagery are often overlooked.
This is important if you’re selling things on your website. Consider what payment methods are most commonly used in the territories where you’re looking to gain a foothold. Some countries have payment methods that aren’t used anywhere else in the world.
Next, think about what information you need from a typical customer. If you’re selling download-only products, a physical address isn’t really necessary. However, you’ll at least need a contact number for customer support and marketing purposes. Custom form fields for different markets come into play here.
You’ll also want to localize regional currencies, ensuring product prices reflect the domain of your website. Localizing these elements tends to be more time-consuming. Even if your content management platform has extensions, you’ll need the support of a developer who can customize your contact and payment forms.
Adapting your visuals is a key part of any localization project. What images are best suited to the market you’re looking to enter? You may need to rethink graphic design to bring these visuals in line with cultural norms.
You should next think about your marketing strategy. Do you plan on sending our promotional emails to engage new and existing customers? Annual sale events like Black Friday might have started in the United States, but they’ve since been embraced across the globe.
However, while popular in Europe, Australia, and India, many countries don’t recognize Black Friday. In fact, some countries have called for an outright ban on the practice. Don’t bombard a customer base with marketing messages they’re not going to engage with. At best, you’re wasting precious time and resources. At worst, you risk alienating them entirely and damaging your brand authority.
There are many different factors to consider when choosing a reliable localization company. Not everyone’s needs are the same, but most brands will need to think about the following:
Cost is often the deciding factor when choosing localization and translation services. Generally speaking, the more expensive a service is, the better the results will be.
If your budget is tight, it’s tempting to choose a cheaper provider. However, that cut-price translation service might deliver results that fall far short of your expectations. This can lead to you having to spend even more money on corrective work or brand-new translations. It’s always better to spend a little more on high-quality localization from the get-go.
If you are looking to slash costs, check to see if a provider offers a free round of revisions. Other agencies may also provide discounts if your content includes a significant amount of repeated segments.
If you’re looking for premium results, it’s always worth choosing a service provider with ISO certification. Most localization and website translation services will have ISO 17100 certification. While certification isn’t always a guarantee of quality, it does increase the odds of you receiving accurate translations consistently.
For peace of mind, only work with localization services that use native translators. Fluency isn’t the only thing to consider either. You’ll want linguists with at least 3 years of experience translating content in your specific industry. This way, you can be confident that they’ll have a grasp of specific terminology.
Some localization providers are little more than go-betweens, forwarding briefs to third-party translators. To ensure your localization project runs smoothly, choose an agency that includes project management as part of the package. A project manager will liaise directly with human translation experts, taking charge of workflows so you can concentrate on more important tasks. They’ll also ensure a degree of quality assurance.
BLEND is an all-in-one localization platform that makes it easy for brands to go global. We can translate and localize website content into more than 120 languages. We have extensive expertise with e-commerce websites, payment funnels, and product descriptions. We can also help you adapt content for informational websites and community-building platforms.
With WPML’s WordPress plug-in, you can submit your website pages directly from your CMS to BLEND for translation. You can also use TMGMT’s Drupal plug-in to make quick work of the localization process. If you have bigger plans, our customized integrations make scaling up the translation process effortless.
At BLEND, we make pricing simple. Once you’ve uploaded your website materials, you’ll receive an immediate quote. What’s more, you only pay for words translated. Rates vary depending on the language pairs you’re after and the expertise required to complete the assignment. If you have a large volume of website content that needs translating, translation memory can help cut costs. We also support localization in more than 120 languages, covering more than 3,200 language pairs.
Founded in 2007, Day Translations currently offers support in more than 100 languages. This provider offers a range of localization services, catering to small businesses and enterprise-level organizations alike. As well as multilingual website localization, this company offers certified translations and video solutions like subtitling. With 24-hour support, it’s a good choice for international businesses working in different time zones.
Milestone Localization is an ISO-certified translation agency with offices in the United Kingdom and India. Milestone only works with native speakers with demonstrated expertise in specific industries. Quality assurance also comes as standard here, bringing customers peace of mind. As well as website translation management, Milestone offers general translation and transcreation solutions, multilingual SEO, and localization testing support.
Lionbridge is one of the most established translation and localization providers around. Today, they offer localization support in more than 350 languages, with linguists based in thousands of cities across the world. Lionbridge’s localization process is quite comprehensive, with a preparation stage and post-localization quality assurance delivering impressive results. As well as localization, Lionbridge offers a full range of content services, machine translation, search engine optimization, digital marketing solutions, and more.
GTE Localize might be fairly new, but this is a localization company on the rise. This agency offers high-quality translations for all major world languages. With offices in the US and across Asia, GTE Localize boasts a network of more than 1,200 linguists. It’s a more budget-friendly solution than other providers, with a lifetime warranty offered. Other services include document translation, localization for software and mobile apps, and more.
Based in San Francisco, Stepes has been a major player in the localization sector since 2015. As of 2023, Stepes offers translation and localization in more than 100 languages. An affordable choice for website localization, this company offers a user-friendly ordering platform and generally produces fast results. It’s all about simplicity and speed of delivery here. However, there is scope for scalability if you’re looking to take things up a notch.
Website localization is an involved process that goes beyond simple translations. You’ll need to have a handle on cultural nuances and ensure your content is precisely tailored for new audiences.
Ready to grow from a small-sized business to an organization with international reach? At BLEND, we can help you achieve your goals. With a growing network of 25,000 linguists, our team is ready and waiting to help you expand. With transparent pricing, unrivaled industry expertise, and a proven track record in translation and localization, we’re the go-to choice.
Want to learn more about BLEND can help you? Get in touch today to speak to one of our representatives about website localization.