9 Signs You Need to Localize Your Website & How to Do It

Chris Tsolakis
June 12, 2024
11 min read

Localizing your website is essential for attracting foreign customers, reaching international markets, and expanding your business globally. But how do you know it’s time to localize your website? And how can you do it effectively?

In this article, we share the signs that your website needs to be localized and the most effective ways to do it effortlessly.

Let’s explore them!

Should You Localize Your Website?

You may be familiar with the concept of localization, but how do you know when you need to localize your website?

These are some signs that indicate it:

#1 Your Website Has Traffic From Other Countries

Have you noticed that your website has overseas traffic?

If your analytics metrics show that many users from other countries visit your website, you might need to consider localizing it.

This way, users from these countries can browse your website in their native language, which can increase traffic and boost engagement!

Example of traffic from various countries – Google Merchandise Store GA4 account

Example of traffic from various countries - Google Merchandise Store GA4 account

#2 Your Competitors Have Localized Websites

If your competitors have already localized their websites but you haven’t yet, you might need to create a multilingual website!

Localizing your website can help you stay competitive in your industry and increase brand awareness in foreign markets.

Do your research, analyze your competitors, and plan the right steps toward website localization. Remember to identify your competitors’ weaknesses and use your findings to create a more effective localization strategy!

#3 You Have Inquiries in Foreign Languages

Users or customers from other countries may send inquiries and requests about your products or services.

If your support team can’t answer their questions because they don’t speak their native language, this might cause technical issues and even reduce customers’ trust in your company.

By localizing your website, you will offer a better customer experience to your existing and potential customers, which can also reduce customer support costs.

Users will also be able to understand what you have to offer without getting lost in translation!

#4 Your Website’s Traffic Has Stopped Growing

Have you noticed that your website traffic has stopped growing? This might happen for several reasons, but there are many things you can do to attract more users to your website.

Although spending more money on marketing or redesigning is still an option, localization might be one of the best solutions, provided you can sell your products or services internationally.

Website localization can help you increase global traffic and engagement, helping your business expand in new markets!

#5 You Notice High Bounce Rates

There are many reasons why your website has high bounce rates, many of which have nothing to do with localized content or the absence of it.

But if you notice that this happens mostly with visitors from foreign countries, you might need to consider website localization!

If you’re trying to enter new markets, you don’t want users who visit your website to leave immediately because they cannot browse it in their native language, right?

Localizing your entire content, including dates, images, measurements, and currencies, is essential to keep users on your website longer.

#6 Customers Review Your Business in Foreign Languages

Are you receiving reviews in foreign languages? This means you have customers who speak languages other than yours.

Of course, having users or customers from foreign countries is great. But they probably expect to find culturally relevant content in their native language on your website.

Localizing your website or app can increase the user experience of global customers, bringing them closer to your brand!

#7 Your Sales Have Started to Drop

Have you noticed that your sales have started to decrease?

Finding new markets for your products or services is a great way to boost sales. However, more than 72% of users are more likely to engage with your content if it’s in their native language. 

If you can market and sell your products or services abroad, localizing your website can help you attract more potential customers from foreign countries and increase your sales!

#8 You Notice Lower Conversion Rates

Lower conversion rates from foreign users might be a sign that you need to localize your website.

Users are less likely to convert if a website’s content isn’t in a language they understand, so an English-only website isn’t the best option to increase global conversions.

On the contrary, localizing your website can help you increase conversions and revenue in foreign markets!

#9 Your Multilingual Website Isn’t Seo-Optimized

Do you already have a multilingual website but it’s not optimized for SEO?

Translating your website is one thing, but adjusting it to match your target audience’s cultural nuances and preferences is another.

A localized website optimized for search engines can help you appear higher in search engine results and engage with your target audience.

Example of Coca-Cola’s localized website for Japan:

Coca-cola ad example before localization Coca-cola localization example

How to Localize a Website

Now that you know why website localization is important for global expansion, you may want to leverage it to grow your business.

Although the website localization process may be challenging in many ways, it can become much easier if you follow the right steps and utilize the right tools.

Here are some helpful steps to achieve successful website localization:

Step 1: Develop Your Website Localization Strategy

One of the first things you need to do before embarking on your localization journey is to find the best localization strategy for your business.

The best way to do that is to do market research and define the target language or languages you need to translate your website content into.

Understanding the cultural norms and linguistic nuances of your target market will help you optimize your website to match your audience’s needs and preferences.

Moreover, you need to think about your budget, timeline, and resources. Considering these aspects, you will be able to craft an effective localization strategy!

Step 2: Find the Right Professionals for Your Website Localization Project

A successful website localization project hinges on the expertise and collaboration of a well-structured team. Identifying the key roles is the first step:

  • Localization Manager: Serves as the project lead, overseeing all aspects of the process and ensuring its timely completion.

  • Translators: Native-speaking linguists responsible for conveying the original content’s meaning and cultural nuances accurately.

  • Reviewers: Additional language experts who check the translated content for accuracy and cultural appropriateness.

  • Developers: The technical backbone, leading the integration of localized content into the website’s architecture.

  • Designers: Facilitate the localization of visual elements of your website so it can look great in every language.

An effective localization team is crucial, but equally important are the tools that support their collaboration. Consider a centralized localization hub, like Transifex, with built-in collaboration features, file sharing, context sharing, and real-time progress tracking. 

This will empower your cross-functional teams to work together more efficiently, reduce delays, and ultimately deliver a top-notch globalized website.

Step 3: Do Keyword Research for Every Target Market

Website localization isn’t only about translating your website into different languages. It is also about improving your search engine rankings!

Home market keywords don’t necessarily match target markets’ keywords, so you need to find the keywords your audience uses to search in their local language.

Once you have decided on the target market you want to focus on, you will need to do thorough keyword research.

This will help you understand what your target audience searches for on search engines and adjust your localization process accordingly!

Creating an SEO-optimized, localized website can improve your search engine rankings, making your localization efforts more effective!

Step 4: Choose the Best Methods for Website Translation

Now that you have found your dream localization team, you must choose the most effective translation techniques, tools, and methods.

The methods you choose will impact your website localization process in terms of time, resources, and translation quality.  

Choosing the best translation method for your website depends on your resources and content needs. However, combining two or more website translation methods may be the best option.

Transifex’s AI capabilities allow you to translate more with the same budget by analyzing your content at the source level and identifying the best translation method based on your unique needs. It also helps you minimize unnecessary costs by strategically allocating your resources and automating translations!

Step 5: Leverage the Most Effective Translation Software Tools

Choosing the right translation solution can help you create an efficient, globalized website without excessive manual work or resources.

While various tools are available to assist with different aspects of the process, selecting the right ones can be a daunting task.

Let’s break down the essential tools for website localization:

  • Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools: These streamline the translation process, providing features like translation memory and terminology management to ensure consistency and accuracy.

  • Machine Translation (MT): MT engines provide a fast and cost-effective way to translate large volumes of content, though it is often best used in conjunction with human translation for optimal results.

  • Terminology Management tools: These tools help maintain consistency across all content by ensuring that specific terms and phrases are communicated the same way every time. They are typically included with most CAT tools but also exist as standalone products with a broader range of applications beyond localization.

  • Linguistic Quality Assurance (QA) tools: These tools help maintain high translation quality by identifying potential errors and inconsistencies.

If the prospect of juggling multiple tools seems overwhelming, an all-in-one centralized localization hub might be the perfect solution. This way you can consolidate various tools and features into a single interface, streamlining the localization workflow and eliminating the need to switch between different tools and applications.

Step 6: Choosing the Right Translation Management System for Your Needs

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Chris Tsolakis
Chris is a B2B & B2C Digital Content Manager and versatile copywriter. Based in Amsterdam, he has helped Tech companies shape and implement multichannel marketing campaigns across earned and owned media.
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