Tips for Simplifying the Website Localization Process

TMO Group TMO Group

A decade or two ago the extent of most business’s online strategies would have been whether or not to bother having a website. Now there are all sorts of things to consider, from social media marketing to optimized for mobile and, if you are looking to reach an international audience, localizing your website.

Localisation can be a huge project but there are ways to simplify the process. It can also be hugely important when it comes to reaching new markets. If you’ve only dipped your toes in the global eCommerce pool, you may want to explore some new ways to ramp up your localization strategy. It just so happens we have some tips to help you get started.

Write materials clearly.

 

One of the best ways to ensure a high-quality translated document is to give your chosen LSP a high-quality document in the original language. When you write, make sure to avoid colloquialisms or idioms that will prove difficult to translate into other languages. Also, avoid words and symbols which may offend people in other countries. While the LSP will help you to adapt your writing to the local customs and culture, you should start by making your original copy as clean and precise as possible.

Preparation & Work Flow

The complexities of the localization process can be greatly reduced with proper preparation, in order to avoid backtracking, redundancies and excessive amount of version control. The benefits of setting up a tailored work flow will determine not only the turnaround time and productivity level, but quality as well. Quality Assurance procedures are often multi-staged, and should not only happen at the end of the project as this has a much bigger impact that correcting errors early on.

Providing clear project milestones to your localization vendor will ensure that the work flow is designed to achieve these goals and QA can be introduced at each step to ensure the project is kept on track. This also helps reduce the amount of input required from the localization vendor as expectations of quality and turnaround are set at the beginning rather than being arrived upon once translation is complete. Outlining and tailoring well-defined work flows prior to localization can help when new requirements need to be dealt with, since a clearly defined project should allow time and cost margins to account for changes.

Website Graphic and UI Localization

If possible, use a highly flexible or “fluid” design that allows pages to scale based on dynamic content. If we take an English word as a base, the same word in Russian could be up to 60% longer, while in many Asian languages, the same word could be less than a half the source language width. Based on the complexity of Asian languages, you may need to scale fonts by about a 120% so they are legible. So, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid using fixed-sized containers with text in them. Space should be allowed to expand or contract in accordance with the text character count.

A related issue is that icons, containers and website layout should be culturally acceptable to the intended customer locale. Find more information on this topic in our previous blog, Culturally Customized Website Translation.

Analyzing Your Statistics

Google Analytics should never be ignored; first you should make sure you have a separate account for each domain or sub domain you have running. This will help to segment and break down the analysis of each site to help draw conclusions on how each country or language version is performing and where to improve. You should be able to see clear statistics about where your main target audiences are coming from and where you can refine content and landing pages to improve visitor bounce rates.

TMO Group is a technology company services including eCommerce website development, and we can localize your website in china as well. More details please send us an email!

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