Today, nearly 75% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies are investing in localization to chart new international markets. Bolstered by the fact that the majority of consumers will actually be greatly influenced to purchase an item if the product information and customer support is in their native language, it is now an undoubted fact that localization is one of the keys that will unlock global opportunity for businesses looking to expand internationally.
Here are the three foundational steps that businesses should take to build, maintain, and scale their global website and presence in the new year.
1. Plan & Organize
As with any new business project or initiative, it all begins with the plan and cannot be accomplished successfully and smoothly without a refined and organized approach to execution. This first step is especially important as it lays the foundation for the rest of your localization initiatives. At this first step, start identifying your key business objectives and then align your localization step and action plans with these objectives.
At this phase, ask yourself questions such as:
- What are our business objectives for going global?
- What kind of international awareness or lead generation are we looking to build?
- Which markets have we identified first for localization and why?
After you’ve answered the above questions, you’re ready to move onto getting your content ready for translation. At this next step in the initial setup, you will be setting up the strategic and infrastructural foundation for getting your multilingual website up and running.
Here, the most effective questions to ask are ones such as:
- Exactly how much and what types of content do we have?
- What kind of international URL structure will we be setting up?
- Which content will we prioritize first for translation?
2. Reach Your Global Audience
After properly planning and getting organized for your international website growth, you are now ready to start taking steps to reach your global audiences. At this second step, your focus will be two-fold: identifying the translation resources you have and then setting up workflows to start actually translating and building your multilingual website.
Here, the questions to ask — that will help you do your due diligence as well as find the best options for you — are ones along the lines of:
- What kinds of translation methods are out there, and which are best for our content and budget?
- What will we include in our translation resources — such as the Translation Glossary and Style Guide — for translators?
- What kinds of workflows and tools will we use to start translating our website content?
For a complete list of what you should be covering at this and the rest of the steps, check out our 2020 Website Translation Checklist.
Machine Translation and Human Translation Make the Perfect Pairing
Finally, the third and final step is straightforward but will take some work. At this stage, you have already started or finished translating content for your multilingual website, and are looking for ways to maintain your global presence. Here, you will be focused on review, quality control, and the best practices for maintaining a long-term, global mindset for your websites and presence.
At this third stage, you will ask questions such as:
- Are our translation resources up-to-date for our translators?
- Are we properly building and maintaining our translation memory database?
- How will we track results and set ourselves up for continued success of new content translation?
As we enter the last quarter of 2019, businesses with their eyes on the global prize have long started investing in localization. And those that haven’t yet, are now starting to prepare for a global 2020. Whether your business has an in-house localization team well-versed in the needs of targeting global markets, or you are preparing your first localization launch plan to kick of the new year with an international blueprint, now you know fundamental bases that every business should cover when building their multilingual websites.
Planning to go global in the New Year? Download our comprehensive 2020 website translation checklist today to make sure you cover all your bases as you localize your website.