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Common Mistakes in Website Localization That You Should Avoid

Website localization isn’t a new trend. In fact, it is being followed by developers and renowned brands to make their digital presence accessible for a wider audience. Taking your website global is an exciting step towards reaching new audiences and growing your business. But simply translating your website content doesn’t count anymore. It requires technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of target markets to seamlessly create localized versions of your website. Unfortunately, many companies fall victim to common mistakes during website localization, sabotaging their global expansion efforts.

Here, we’ll explore some common mistakes companies and brands make in website localization, and best ways to avoid them:

Neglecting Language and Cultural Nuances

A literal, word-for-word translation can lead to embarrassing phrasing or even offensive messages in the target language. A word may have different meanings in your target language. Humor, idioms, and metaphors often don’t translate well across cultures. Avoiding these basic things will badly impact your localization efforts. 

That’s why you need website localization professionals to take care of your website content and make it relatable for your target audience. These professionals understand the cultural context of your target audience and can sustain the same intent of your website content across different languages.  

Content Localization Without Website Alignment

Well, website content isn’t the only thing that needs localization. Marketing materials, social media posts, and customer support should all be adapted for the target audience. People often think that they can appeal to a wider audience just by translating their web content. However, ensuring a flawless and highly responsive user experience is more important than you think. 

Website localization allows you to optimize UI/UX design to immerse global users with your innovative design. They develop a comprehensive localization strategy that considers all aspects of your online presence.

Ignoring Mobile-friendly Design

According to a recent consumer survey, users prefer to surf and explore websites through their mobile phones instead of a PC or laptop. This increasing trend indicates that your website should deliver the same immersive experience to users across different platforms. 

To ensure your localized website is mobile-friendly and offers a seamless user experience, you need professional localization services. They are capable of preparing optimized designs that resonate with a wider audience and engage more users. A highly responsive web design ensures that your website adapts to different screen sizes and devices.

Stop Relying on Machine Translation Tools

The most common mistake that many website developers make is to localize their website using machine or automated translation. Well, these translation tools are suitable for direct translation.  Machine translation tools have come a long way, but they still lack the nuance and accuracy needed for professional website localization. They cannot manage website material and source files that need technical expertise. In most cases, machine translation produces files that aren’t culturally accurate and contain complex errors.

Website localization professionals are technical engineers and professional translators who understand the industry-specific terminologies to translate your website. Moreover, they conduct quality assurance testing to further optimize your website for better results.

Forgetting About Multilingual SEO

Optimizing your website for search engines in your target markets is crucial. This includes translating keywords, meta descriptions, and image alt tags. When localizing, remember to optimize your website for search engines in your target markets. 

Multilingual SEO strategies are used to rank your website across different languages and regions. To do this, you can conduct keyword research for your target markets and integrate relevant keywords naturally throughout your localized content. Additionally, translate meta descriptions and image alt tags to ensure local search engines can properly understand and index your website. 

Neglecting Ongoing Maintenance

Your website content is constantly improving and being accessed by a wider audience. This means you are also adding new products, features, and blog posts that also need to be localized.

In this case, you can develop a system for keeping your localized website content up-to-date. Content Management Systems (CMS) with built-in localization features appears to be the best choice for your digital platforms.

Final Thoughts

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your website localization efforts are successful. Website localization isn’t a one-time process. It is an investment that can pay off in the form of increased brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales growth in new markets.

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