Test First – Before Your Localized Website Goes Live
Any business wishing to expand to a global audience needs to consider localizing its digital content. Localization is not just about translating to the local language but also about adapting the content to appeal to the culture of the target audience. Customs can vary considerably from one country to another and what might seem interesting in one place might not attract any attention in another. Companies also need to be aware of local traditions and sentiments and make sure not to hurt or offend when trying to market to a foreign audience.
Do Your Research
Localization can be tricky and needs a good deal of research to be successful. It is always best to employ the services of someone who is familiar with the local way of life. Language nuances, visual appeal, culturally appropriate content, and local traditions are all important factors when localizing content. However, no matter how careful you are, something could always slip through the cracks. This is why it is essential to test a localized website or content before going live with it.
The Best Way to Test
One of the best ways to test localized web content is through a sample of the local audience. In effect, a cross section of the target audience is selected and asked to use the website for a while. Following the use of the site, the sample audience can give their feedback that will pinpoint any errors or changes that should be made to the content.
Why is Testing Important?
The testing of a localized website is akin to a soft launch where everything that could go wrong is explored and fixed before the actual launch. A website that is working as well as possible should have the desired effect on the audience. Also, and more importantly, there should not be elements included that would cause offense to the audience. Here are three reasons why testing is crucial to global marketing success.
1. Provides Valuable Feedback
Testing a localized website on a sample audience can provide valuable feedback on how the content can be improved. For instance, in certain cultures, some colors hold a positive significance while others imply something negative. In other cultures, the local script runs from right to left – this orientation could affect how images are placed within the text – only a local can tell you what is the most visually appealing. Understanding these differences will enable you to adapt your site design.
2. Helps with the Details
Little details that were overlooked can be brought to light by a sample audience because their eyes are more attuned to what they are comfortable with. Units of measure, the way the date is written, the side of the road that people drive on, the types of foods people eat, and so on vary from place to place. Only a local can point out a detail that makes them feel uncomfortable or confused.
3. Tells You if There Really is a Market
And finally, it boils down to the product or service itself. Is there really a market for the product or service in the form that it currently exists in? Testing the content on a sample audience can shed light on this question, and the right measures can be put in place to ensure that business does, in fact, take off at the new location.
Why Use Localize?
No matter how well you believe your website content has been localized, it is only when it is tested with a local sample audience that the real impact can be seen. Localize helps manage the translation workflow of your website / application so that you can ensure the content appeals to a global audience. Contact us today for more information.