How to Set Your Multilingual Website Up for Global Success in 2020

How to Set Your Multilingual Website Up for Global Success in 2020
Lucy Xu
November 19, 2019
4 min read

Building a multilingual web presence requires more than just hiring some translators and throwing money at localization. In order to effectively take your website global, you must invest time and strategic effort to building a strong foundation for your global properties. This means purposefully getting organized, understanding all the resources and nuances of reaching your global audiences, and properly maintaining your global presence once you’ve built it.

As the new year comes up around the corner, there’s no better time to set yourself up for localization success in 2020 than now. Previously, we walked through the three steps to building a global website in the new year. In this post, we take a closer look at the first step — Planning & Organizing — and break down exactly what you should be doing and taking into consideration to effectively plan and organize.

Align with Business Objectives

As with any business action and investment, setting up your multilingual website presence requires first understanding why you are doing it and what you are trying to achieve with it. While it is compelling enough that almost 75% of Fortune 500 companies have already actively invested for a range of business reasons, you must understand specifically why your business requires a global presence.

If you’re having trouble pinpointing the exact business objectives you are trying to achieve with localization, here are a few  of the key business reasons behind why global businesses have invested in reaching global audiences:

  • Driving more revenue from international markets
  • Building customer relationships and loyalty
  • Taking and maintaining control of their global brand message
  • Increasing traffic, awareness, and/or leads from new markets
  • Investing in localization early to seamlessly integrate it into the product build cycle

Your business may be looking to achieve one, a few, or all of the above. Explicitly identifying and announcing your business objective will not only provide a tangible reason for your investment in localization, but help guide your company and localization teams.

Identify Your Target Languages

After you’ve identified your business objectives, you are ready to take the next step in the planning and organization phase: identifying your target locales and respective languages. This phase is a fairly straightforward one. If you’re struggling to decide which markets and languages you should localize for first, here are the basic steps to follow:

  • Understand your current top performing markets
  • Do due diligence on your international audiences
  • See where your industry and competitors are
  • Leverage international SEO insights

For more detail on each of the steps, check out this blog post.

Select Your Content for Localization

The next big piece of the planning and organizing phase is, of course, the content that you will actually be translating and localizing. For this step, you’ll want to start by auditing your content and digital products so that you can then select and prioritize exactly which ones you want to localize first. Here are the essential steps for this phase:

  • Understand your top-performing content
  • Get to know your international audiences
  • Evaluate industry benchmarks
  • Know that all content can be localized with the right resource

To learn more about how to make sure you are selecting and localizing the right content, check out this blog post.

After following these steps, you will be well on your way to setting yourself up for global website success! Stay tuned for more posts in our #Localization2020 series that will explore more of the next steps for building your multilingual website and taking your company global in the new year.

Now that you’ve properly planned and gotten organized for your global website, make sure you cover the rest of your bases for taking your website global. Download this Complete 2020 Website Translation Checklist to go global in the new year.

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Lucy Xu
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