Your company’s website is one of the most important aspects of your global brand. It’s what you sell, what you provide, and what you know. And most importantly, what you are – all pressed into a few pages. Some master it in one language, but what about two languages? Or even ten languages?
While working with companies to roll out their global website, there are a lot of localization best practices, common advice and guidance we tend to share – including what you DON’T want to do if you’re looking to launch a successful global website. So to share with you, here are five don’ts in the world of global website localization.
1. Don’t’ assume every region will follow your lead
Your organization’s global departments have their own translation needs and localization priorities – assuming they will follow up on corporate guidelines is one of the top reasons there are global website inconsistencies and inner company conflicts. Try picking up the phone and having a conversation with them about your website strategies and expectations. Better explanation will eliminate confusion and build better process regularities for building your global website.
2. Don’t ignore the needs of the in-country staff
The people who buy and use your products or services are the backbone of your global website. And who knows them better than the local market specialists within your organization? They’re the ones that possess the localization knowledge that needs to be included in your global website. Be sure to collaborate and share your global website ideas with them so they can suggest in-country customization. This personalization will make your global website even more welcoming to your end users from that region.
3. Don’t be afraid to model your global website after the best
As the saying goes, stop reinventing the wheel. Few organizations get their global websites right the first time. So rather than creating more localization work for yourself, learn from the developments of the best global companies. Try modeling your website layout after other successful global websites while focusing your content on your brand’s own uniqueness.
4. Don’t avoid collecting direct feedback through your website
Always be prepared in case something could go wrong on your global website, whether it’s a mistranslation, a user function, or a plug-in that doesn’t work correctly. The best way to ensure your website resolves any issues quickly to stay suitable to your end user’s needs is to let those end users tell you about these issues. Users are much more satisfied knowing they can contact you directly with their concerns. You’ll also save yourself from negative backlash and delayed maintenance.
5. Don’t forget to keep content current
Your website’s obsolete content is as good as yesterday’s newspaper. Old news is old news to everyone. If you don’t regularly update your website’s content, you’re boring your users and more than likely turning them away. Continue updating your organization’s information on a regular basis so you can increase your site’s traffic and draw back the loyal consumers that want to hear what you have to say.
Next time you’re localizing your global website, remember these five things you don’t want to do.