James H. Clark wisely stated that the internet is not just one thing; it’s a collection of things – of numerous communications networks that all speak the same digital language. Since its inception and widespread dissemination from the early 1990s, the internet’s ‘digital language’ has been dominated and manned by English.
It has held supremacy as the unrivaled vocabulary of the virtual space. We can trace the historical and materialistic threads of such dominance back to colonialism and Euro-centrism of the 19th and 19th centuries. In recent years, the emergence and strengthening of post-modernist thoughts have somewhat dismantled the significance of English as a universal mode of communication.
Although the journey towards linguistic equitability will be tedious and lengthy, we can see a drop in the ubiquity of English as ‘the language of the internet. Translation and localization can be regarded as the knights in shining armors creating space for regional languages in the virtual domain. Due to website localization services, we can see the proliferation of vernacular languages all over cyberspace.
A peek into localization
Localization is a reasonably typical term that we use in our daily lexicon. It means a product, service, site, or content with the socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic tastes of a particular region or ‘locale.’ The process of localizing a site entails refining the flagship website to suit the unique preferences of audiences that are different from the original target population.
We can say that localization is the opposite of globalization, but the former strengthens the latter and vice versa. If you are looking for quality website localization, be attentive to socio-cultural nuances pertinent to your region of interest. Many a time, localization and translation are interchangeably used, but both of these processes are quite distinct from one another.
Translation does not need to be culturally intricate; it has some considerable leeway when adapting to a specific locale. On the contrary, paying meticulous attention to the target culture is the USP of localization. Culture, history, economy, religion, ethnicity, customs, and tastes are the essence of localization.
Website localization – a quick summary
In simple words, website localization is the process of revamping an existing website to suit the preferences of the specific audience whose language and socio-cultural values are different from the audience of the flagship site. It is a highly specialized and complex mechanism that involves technology and language in equal parts.
In terms of technology, website localization ensures that the codes used by the website can handle alphabets with different characters, symbols, and lengths. Moreover, the site’s payment processing system, currency changes, etc. are also part of the technological aspect. On the flipside, localizing a site transcends mainly linguistic concerns and encapsulates local and regional sensibilities.
The unprecedented boom of internet-related services has galvanized localization and turned it into an inevitable step for professional success and global expansion. We can extract the phenomenal potential of site localization from the fact that 76 percent of internet users desire to scour through product descriptions in their local language.
Moreover, nine out of ten international users ignore a product if the website is not in their local language. English dominates sixty percent of the internet’s content, so there is a lot of legroom to incorporate vernacular languages and get a first-hand advantage.
Localization is for anyone attempting to inflate their business and reach new audiences. We can assert that a localized website is more relatable and convinces people to jump into its appeal. Research illustrates that more than 70 percent of netizens will buy things from a site whose customer care calls and communication is done in their native tongue.
International expansion of professional ventures will not be profitable and viable in the long run without appropriate localization. It is undeniable that localizing a site enhances profit, polishes professional reputation, and allows the organization to forge an honorarium in the global market.
The importance of website localization
The advantages of localization always outweigh the expenditure. Some of the veritable benefits of localization are –
- An exponential increase in sales has to be the topmost benefit of website localization. We can see that more and more audiences are automatically attracted to a business that has partaken in quality localization. Studies highlight that 40 percent of netizens will never purchase products or hire services from a website that is not in their mother tongue or regional vocabulary.
- Strengthen ROI is a veritable benefit of website localization. If your company is struggling to stand tall in a foreign market, localization is the key to get out of the murky waters of obscurity. Numbers reveal the truth, and research shows that more than 55 percent of consumers are more concerned with the ability to procure information than the relative price of the product. So, basking into the realm of localization is more important than ever.
- Another encouraging reason to invest in quality website localization is the possibility of global supremacy. Reaching out to international audiences can be daunting. But, with localized content and a revamped website, the entire process becomes smooth and doable. All you need to do is put rigorous attention to the target clientele’s socio-cultural setup to earmark your brand’s presence in a completely new market. From small businesses to billion-dollar corporations, localization should be the top priority of any company trying to venture out into the vast outside world.
- The concluding veritable importance associated with website localization is customized content and interlinked customer satisfaction. Localizing the site makes the content relevant to the target audience, and they feel connected to your brand. In recent years, we can see a mushrooming of reliable, mindful, and quality content that caters to the regional tastes of the clientele. If you want to hire website localization services, search for a detail-oriented agency and give equal importance to technology, language, and culture.
Thus, we can convincingly state that localization is a foolproof weapon that yields insurmountable benefits. It is a device that should be utilized by any business aiming to reach newer summits.
Also Read: 5 Top Reasons to Translate Your Website
Things to consider before going for website localization
Market research should be the first step if you are considering website localization. It offers invaluable insights into the target clientele and what they want or even wants your products. Secondly, understanding and complying with the local operating environment is vital before getting gully entwined into the process of site localization.
Considering the optimal platform choice forms a fundamental part of appropriate localization services. The popularity of virtual preferences varies from country to country. It is crucial to grapple with such nuanced differences before hopping onto the localization bandwagon. Marketing channels are critical for viable website localization as they help your products and services to reach the right audience.
If you are on the trail for website localization services, positive reviews, transparent policies, accommodative practices, and open communication are some of the things you should be looking for. It is imperative to do some background research and price comparison before finalizing on any localization service provider.