You no longer have to physically establish offices in different countries to be a global operator.Those days are long gone. Now, you can simply launch your international presence, with just a couple of clicks.
To maintain success in the global business,you have to constantly expand your boundaries,personalize your product to the market needs and to constantly look out for ways to enhance your customer’s experience.This in essence is what Localization is all about.
Localization is the process of taking a product and tailoring it to a specific locale/market in all possible ways. Geographical,linguistically & Culturally.
Localization will help you to break the linguistic and cultural boundaries, which in turn will allow your brand to blend in first and stand out.Localization is often confused with the mere process of translation.But It's much bigger than that. While these terms might be somewhat similar, translation is actually just one aspect of localization .So, in addition to translation, localization involves other elements that will be modified as a part of the process. For example:
- Adapting content and design to the current tastes and consumption habits of target markets
- Modifying graphics to accommodate the preferences of the target audience
- Changing layout and design of website pages to properly display translated texts
- Addressing local regulations and legal requirements
- Converting elements to local requirements, such as units of measure,currencies,dates, symbols, phone numbers, addresses
By the end of the localization process, your product will look and feel as if it was created in the market/country you’re targeting.Localization is no longer just an option for companies which want to go global.It has become a must thing.
Localization is the business strategy of the hour.
Why localization ?
It’s simple -- “言語は、顧客ロイヤルティを獲得し、新しい市場をナビゲートする際に強力なツールです。現地の言語でウェブサイトをデザインする場合、海外のユーザーは、あなたが自分のニーズに応えることを真剣に考えていることがわかります。彼らの目には、あなたのビジネスは、彼らに合わせたWebコンテンツを作ることによって、彼らの文化のニュアンスを理解するために開かれています。”
you can’t understand what you can’t read
you can’t buy what you can’t understand.
Companies are now waking up to the fact that English is no longer the prime business language.Only 1.5 billion people in the world speak any English at all out of 7.5 billion in total. That’s only 20%. Asia has the largest percentage of Internet users by continent with Europe in second place.And majority of them don’t speak English.
Close to 74.7% of internet users don’t speak English.
72.4% of global consumers indicated that they prefer to use their native language when shopping online. (Source: Common Sense Advisory)
55% of global consumers said they only buy products from websites that provide them with information in their own language. (Source: Common Sense Advisory)
56.2% of the consumers in the study said the ability to obtain information in their own language is even more important than price. (Source : Harvard Business Review)
85 % of all consumers will not place a purchase if content is not readily available in their native language. (Source: Common Sense Advisory)
More than 50% of all queries on Google are in languages other than English.
Around 90% of online shoppers choose their native language when it’s available.
Even among people with high proficiency in English, 60.6% prefer to browse the page in their native language
English speaking population constitutes only 25.9% of the internet users.
By focusing only on the English user you are ignoring 74% of the global market.
Benefits of Localizing your Product
Localization will make you a global player. It will greatly boost your brand value and its credibility among the users.Language is a powerful tool when it comes to earning a customer’s loyalty and when navigating new markets. Localizing your content will send out a strong message that you are serious about catering to the needs of your customers. By making a web content that is tailored to them,they feel a lot more connected to you.This builds trust and the results will be clearly visible.
Post-Localization,You will experience the following gains
- Booming revenue
- Increased traffic & Session duration
- Bigger conversion ratio & Lesser bounce rates
- Enhanced SEO benefits
Let’s see what the metrics and stats have to say about these factors.
Content that is locally targeted has 6x more engagement
FAMILO, for example, noticed an overwhelming 400% increase in new customers after they scaled their mobile app for families internationally and has become an industry leader through effective localization.
localized apps generated up to 128% more ROI than non-localized apps (Source: Distomo)
50% of the countries within the Top 10 for downloads and revenue in iOS App Store are non-English speaking countries from Europe and East Asia. (Source: App Annie)
80% of the countries within the Top 5 for downloads and revenue in Google Play are non-English speaking countries from Europe and East Asia. (Source: App Annie, Q2 20)
According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to reach $6.5 billion by 2023. This means that the number of people shopping with e-commerce platforms in 2019 will double by 2023.The biggest e-commerce retailers understand this, which is why you see powerful players investing in web development, creating or modifying websites that deliver a seamless user experience, and doing it all with localization in mind.
Let’s look into some more stats from “Common Sense Advisory”
- Businesses that started localizing were 1.5 times more likely to report a total revenue increase
- 75% of businesses have established their presence on brand-new markets as a result of Localization.
- Businesses that localized their content were 2.5 times more likely to experience year-on-year profit growth, and 1.8 times more likely to experience revenue growth.For businesses that localized information designed for communication with clients and partners, a revenue increase was 2.67 times more likely and profit growth was 2.6 times more likely.
- Companies that invested in translation in order to gain an advantage over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to see an increase in profits, meanwhile they were 1.27 times more likely to generate augmented earnings per share (EPS).
94% of companies have already increased their localization expenditures.This means that, if your product is not yet localized,you might have to catch up a lot in the future.
Increased traffic & Session duration
There’s evidence to suggest that a translated website will increase traffic within weeks. Popular marketing consultant Neil Patel increased search traffic by 47 percent in three weeks when he translated his content into 82 languages. Patel noted that impressions for search queries also increased thus growing his prospects.
The average time that the customer spends on each one of your pages will also greatly increase post localization.Thanks to the highly engaging localized content.
Bigger conversion ratio & Lesser bounce rates
In a research study, while English campaigns had an average CTR of 2.35% and a conversion rate of 7.47%, the localized versions saw click-through rates of 3.34% – an increase of 42%, and 9.08% conversion rates – a 22% lift over the English campaign. (Source: Appia)
86% of the localized campaigns outperformed the English campaigns in both click-throughs and conversions. (Source: Appia)
Enhanced SEO benefits
In order to be found on the web, someone has to point at you and say – Hey look, there they are. SEO does this for us.The benefits gained on the SEO front due to Localization Is so high that It demands a separate article by itself. Website localization is highly beneficial for SEO and your business as it allows you not only to boost your traffic but also increase your sales and reach out to previously untapped markets. It will also improve your source website’s SEO and distinguish yourself from the competition.Localizing your product will Greatly boost your Domain Authority points and overall ranks,thereby resulting in greater SEO results.
Challenges in Localizing your Product
Many companies fear that localizing their products might cause an increased administrative overhead and might even slow down the release cycle.You can't just translate your content using some free translation tools and put it back into your web (unless you want to make some people smile).This on the other hand can have an opposite effect. Quality localization takes skill, experience, research, and effort to be effective.There are amazing linguistic third party vendors available to Localize your product.
But on Top of that you need a robust system in place which would make the entire process of Localization so seamless for you. An integration model, which can blend into your environment and handle all the transactions that you have to make with the linguistic vendor.An architecture which can effortlessly help you in all the stages of localization.
That’s where we come into play.
To solve the localization need for one of our clients, we built a new architecture for them, which effortlessly localized their entire web consisting over several thousands of pages.We also automated the whole thing in such a way that no manual intervention is ever needed.
The new enhanced Localization model
Using HTMLs to send up the contents to the Linguistic vendor has lots of tactical advantages.To begin with, the HTMLs not only have the contents that has to be translated but also the entire native design of the page. This would help the linguist to have the same UI experience that the end user will be having,which will be really helpful in Localizing the content to the best.
As the first step, HTMLs will be generated for all your pages,if not available before.The next challenge would be, as how to position all these newly generated HTMLs in the cloud storage.And also post Localization,the number pages you have might greatly increase,considering the localized variants of the English pages.
This has to be done with excessive care as this directly impacts the way and efficacy in which the Pages will be fetched to be rendered.
Uploading the file for Localization
In traditional ways, a content editor goes and manually upload all the contents one by one to the vendor.The same person has to perform multiple actions like,manually mentioning the languages in which the page has to be localized,the priority of the page that is being sent,the notification infos and few other project sensitive contents.
The effort involved in doing this is too huge,considering the number of pages you might have. And also this might demand a separate team.
But in the enhanced architecture that we built,we have automated this entire process.You Just have to feed your conditions once and it's good to go.
This is the most significant and crucial phase of the entire workflow.The key to make your localization process more optimized,efficient and a big success lies here.There are several important components to this zone.Lets discuss few of those here.
Translation Memory (TM) is a database of sentence pairs (i.e. original sentences paired with their corresponding translated sentences). Just like human memory, the more experiences (or in this case, translations) clients have, the bigger the store of memories they are able to call upon. Once loaded into a translation management system, the TM will automatically be cross-referenced against new translations. As any new content matching earlier translations will result in the instant detection of the translated text from the TM, and you don’t have to pay for the translations twice.We incorporated the Translation memory very early in the work-flow to maximize the benefits for our client.
In a survey of language professionals in 2006, 82.5% out of 874 replies confirmed the use of a TM.
In other words,Translation memory will cut down your cost of Localization by 82.5 %.
The linguistic vendor will also be able to render the HTMLs in their CDN.This unique feature is a game changer.This would help the vendor to get the full knowledge of the product,the design & everything.As a result the quality of localization will be greatly improved.
The QA works to verify the localized pages, if needed, can be done directly in the vendor's CDN rather than waiting for the files to be downloaded.This brings down the unwanted file transactions and saves time.
For each single page which was sent up for localization, Multiple pages has to be downloaded. And going this process manually is very hectic and time consuming. So avoid this,the entire download process has been automated.Once the translations are ready , a callback URL will be triggered. A web hook will grab it and the files will be downloaded instantly into our cloud storage on the appropriate path.
Modifying the rendering logic to incorporate the changes of Localization is a tough task by itself. The ability to serve the localized content based on the users location or the language that they request, has to be built. We ran into lots of corner cases and scenarios as we tried to build this feature for our client. All possible angles were calculated and addressed in the given rendering logic.
This also includes a feature flag, as a mitigation plan. When this flag is turned off, the system will shift back to its old ways and all these functionalities will be disabled.
This architecture also has a tightly coupled page indexing related workflow running along it to take care of the SEO needs. A properly indexed page will greatly boost your rank and would bring more traffic to your web. But on the other hand, indexing wrong pages can bring down your rank significantly.For instance, a page specific to a particular region, for which the translations are not yet ready,when indexed, Can have a very serious effect on your overall Web rank.This situation arises due to time taken to localize a page.
This architecture has a logic to it,which will set all the non-translated regional pages to ‘NOINDEX’. And once the translations are ready the page will be indexed.
This is a tried and tested Localization model which can blend in with any code base flawlessly.Implementing this well thought out robust architecture has been a rewarding experience for our client
- They gained the capability to Localize their entire web at few clicks
- The cost of localization was greatly reduced
- The time taken for localization was cut down by half
- The environmental dependencies with the third party localization vendor was hugely reduced
- The quality of Localization was significantly enhanced
- They are experiencing more traffic , very less bounce rates and increased session time
- Zero manual intervention
- Huge increase in profit margins
If you are planning to take your first step towards Localization, We can help you with that.
Speak to us!