Retail Restart

Lesson 3

Make your website go local, not lost – everywhere

Your products and services may be in great demand among customers in untapped markets. But how do you address them? While your website might be the right channel for a global reach, you need to get personal. But how can you master personalization in a foreign language?

First thing to have in mind is that the tone is more important than just the words. Often, your message can only be consistent with the words being changed. Some things are being said differently across languages, and translation alone cannot do the job. Simply said: to get in sync with your audience, your message needs to be adapted to the different cultural context.

Sometimes, this even calls for transcreation, rather than for a marketing translation of the content. Thus, you don’t need to be afraid for your message to get lost in translation. Transcreation aims to be more exact than a translation – by recreating the overall message in the correct cultural context.

You have probably grasped the complexity of this task already – but there’s even more to it; let’s talk SEO. Is your SEO on point? If so, you know exactly how your prospects are looking for your services and products and which keywords they’re using, be it short, mid or long tail. And you manage to score for the relevant keywords, thanks to your informative, helpful and optimized content.

But for a fruitful international and truly localized approach, this raises more questions – difficult, but mandatory: What are your relevant keywords in other languages? Is that keyword actually being used by your target audiences? Will the respective audience use specific search terms rather in English or in their local language?

If you haven’t guessed it by now, localization is a multifaceted task for experienced experts – native to the targeted markets. Done right, it’s about “re-tailoring” the intended message to the different language and cultural context.

Let’s recap the most important takeaways from this lesson

  • To get in sync with your audience, you need to localize your content and translate the tone, rather than just the words 

  • Localization means to re-tailor your original message to the different language and audience, rather than changing it 

  • As some concepts are not easily translated to another cultural context, you need to know when to aim for transcreation rather than translation  

  • SEO needs to be a part of the localization strategy, as keywords not only differ across languages, but also across audiences.

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