Going global, the main theme of having online presence. However, localization is another aspect to grab the attention of more customers and to earn the best return on investment. In actual, it’s a two-stage process: hitting the globe and penetrating the local markets. It becomes easier for a website to localize effectively, once it’s designed perfectly while keeping internationalization in mind. To make the discussion easier, it will be divided into two stages: how to get ready for global entry and then what to consider for localization. There will also be tips to keep the both processes side by side. The lines below will surely clear the air, if you are confused about the topic.
Entering The Globe: The Baby Steps!
Here are given the basic things to be considered while designing for the globe (considering the later-on localization plans).
Designing For The Globe: Consistency Should Be There!
Though localization might be an integral part of your web strategy, but at first the design should be according to the global standards. Flexibility should be there for local content, but consistency should never be compromised while doing that. Keep the space for text expansion because it may happen when the text is translated into any local language.
Easy Web Page Translation: Keep The Images Content-Free!
Web content, if embedded inside images, can’t be translated using Google Translate. This could be a big hurdle in way of website localization. Photoshop or Illustrator can be used for image localization, but as more languages are added, this could become an expensive venture. Style sheets are a better option to place text above images.
Visual Blunders: Never Ignore The Culture!
While using visuals, don’t ignore the culture (the local aspect of a global website). The best strategy to avoid such visual blunders is saying NO to stock photos. Whether it’s about clothing, gestures, or postures, designers should have a sharp understanding of the cultural constraints.
Translation Friendly Text: No Humor!
Stay simple, stay direct, and avoid humor, if you want your web content to be translation friendly by anyone using that. All it means, you are ready to make your website international, while allowing the space for effective localization.
Global Gateway Strategy: Get Country Specific Domains!
Without an effective global gateway strategy, you can’t expect people to find your website locally. By getting country specific domains, you are going to welcome the global customers while directing them to the relevant local website, with the link given in the header.
Once you think you are ready to hit the globe, you can expect fewer blunders while planning for the localization.
Making A Website Perfectly Localized!
If you are thinking about the organic traffic coming from the local market, you should consider the following design and content tweaks to your website.
The Design Tweaks!
- Put the contact details of your business on each page of the website. It could be in the header, footer, or in both places.
- Use phone number (usually preferred), or a form as call to action on each web page. An email address could also be used for easy and quick contact.
- Keep the complete navigation menu from left to right; avoid vertical placement. Also, use map where needed, but don’t make that occupying the entire page.
- Focus local SEO related to keywords used in the content, but avoid over-optimizing the metadata.
- Use subject in URL, title tag, and image alt text.
- Avoid using heavy images.
- Make your website responsive for smart devices or develop a separate mobile site to grab the smart market share.
The Content Tweaks!
- Content of the website should be correctly written, easily readable, with right usage of keywords. Remember, you aren’t targeting machines or the search engines, but the actual customers, so write for them.
- Show your grip in your particular niche and offer ‘food for thought’ to the visitors.
- Clearly mention who you are and what you are dealing in.
- Don’t forget to have your website blog and update that regularly.
- Avoid plagiarism at all; otherwise, your website may get penalized by Google.
- User experience testing is integral to make your website stand out in a local market while enhancing the stickiness factor for the customers.
- Get listings in local directories and local search engines, like Baidu is good to target China instead of Google.
- Avoid rushing; spend time in research of the niche, competitors, keywords, culture, and language.
- Make a smart start. If you have plans of expanding to many countries, start with few ones. Once, the success is determined, move ahead with other countries.
- Instead of doing everything on your own, hire experts for better results.
It seems easy to start with a global strategy while having the localization plans as well, but it needs care at each step from designing a website, to launch, and to search engine optimization. A website designed with global aspects in mind can hit the local markets successfully if the above-mentioned points are given due consideration. It’s not just about a website, but a whole business, catering to the needs of the targeted customers within local boundaries, and across the globe. Make the wise decisions, put the right efforts, and get your website earning huge locally as well as globally.
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