Your company’s website plays a very important role in your global brand. It’s what you sell, what you know, and most importantly, what you are – all pressed into a few pages. Some master it in one language, but what about five languages? Or even 20 languages?
Because there are different approaches available for localizing a website, it is crucial to first understand your own needs and goals when it comes to your global presence. To help you along the way, we’ve selected some localization best practices when it comes to what NOT to do if you’re looking to launch a successful global website.
1. Don’t assume every region will follow your lead
Your organization’s global departments have their own translation needs and localization priorities – simply assuming they will abide by a strict adherence of corporate guidelines is one of the top reasons there are global website inconsistencies and inner company conflicts. To avoid this, have a conversation with them about your website strategies and expectations. Clear explanation will eliminate confusion and foster better process regularities for building your global website and making it more consistent across all languages.
2. Don’t ignore the expertise 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 who 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 those regions.
3. Don’t be afraid to model your global website after the best
As the saying goes, “don’t reinvent 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 goes wrong on your global website, whether a mistranslation, a user malfunction or a plug-in that doesn’t work correctly. The best way to ensure your website resolves any issues quickly so you can continue meeting your end user’s needs, is to let those end users tell you about these issues as they arise. Users are much more satisfied knowing they can contact you directly with their concerns. Plus, in most cases you will 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 re-engage those loyal consumers who want to hear what you have to say.
Whether your website is presented in one language or many, you need it to resonate with the intended audience. Don’t let these five common (and avoidable) errors prevent you from accomplishing this!
How our collaboration with CrossFit helped their global website
A valued client of ours, CrossFit (Yes, the top fitness company!), came to us looking for help to scale up globally. We took a strategic approach, walked them through these ‘5 don'ts for global websites’ and helped them globalize in an efficient manner. Here’s exactly what we did and how we helped CrossFit internationalize their brand!