Two of the major decisions in localization: what and where to localize. Previously, we walked through the ‘what’ — and exactly how to select which content to localize first. Now, we’ll break down the ‘where’ — to shed light on how you should approach to decision of selecting exactly which international markets to start localizing for first.
Understand Your Top Performing Markets
First, in order to know where you are going, you need to know where you are coming from. To do this — similar to selecting which content to localize first, which begins with understanding your top-performing content— start by understanding your top-performing markets to date.
Go into your website analytics platform (i.e., Google Analytics) to see where your audience is coming from. From here, take a deep dive into the regions and markets that are driving traffic to your site, and the pages they are visiting. Some analysis, you may even be surprised at the insights you’ll find; perhaps there is a small but growing audience from a market that you haven’t even thought of before.
Get to Know Your International Audiences
While you’re analyzing your top performing content, you’ll also want to dive into the data of your international audience and traffic. Take a close look at which international markets are bringing in the most traffic outside of your main market. It’s a straightforward concept, but it will dictate the first languages into which you should be localizing. Examine this carefully, as you may even be surprised at the global markets that are trying to reach your site!
Dive deeper than just the general continental areas and get specific with the countries and its specific regions. Follow up with research on the languages spoken within each country and region, as some countries have varying languages depending on the region you are in. The more specific your research, the more targeted your language selection and localization efforts will be.
See Where Your Industry & Competitors Are
There are two main approaches when trying to decide where to go with your localization efforts: to go where others have gone already, or to pave your own path. Start by taking a look at what other markets are popular within your industry and amongst competitors.
Then, compare that list of markets to the one you’ve created from your website visitor analysis. With these two lists, you’ll be able to make a thorough decision on which approach to choose. If there are clear, strong markets where others in your industry have built a presence and you have not, determine whether you want to localize there or perhaps start building a presence in uncharted markets.
Leverage International SEO Insights
Beyond the market research from above, you can also leverage international SEO. Do this by conducting some due diligence on keywords that resonate in international markets, and seeing which markets may have a more established and thorough understanding of your industry.
This international SEO research will help you understand how easy, difficult, and relevant it will be for you to achieve high natural search rankings in other languages. Then, not only will you be able to select the best markets to localize into but also how to optimize your international SEO to maximize your global localization success.
Have your markets selected and ready to start localizing? Sign up for a free 15-day trial of Transifex to start localizing your content today.