Localizing services and apps could help jumpstart global expansions in a business. Pic: Flickr/Elvis Kennedy

When in Rome: 5 reasons why you should localize web and app content

WE live in an increasingly globalized world – your business could go way beyond where you started, and you might encounter the need to cater to audiences outside your region. Thus, making the effort to localize web and app content will be important in ensuring the right reach.

Localization means adapting your content to a local target market using more suitable linguistic and cultural contexts. As opposed to simply translating text, localization involves actually reflecting specific cultural preferences in the overall design of a site, without compromising the site’s integrity.

This results in a culturally-adapted website or app that enhances the user experience and ensures a favorable environment, which in turn can help with conversions, sales or recurring visitors. Overall, localization aims to make the site seem natural to the viewers despite the language and cultural gaps between them and the creators.

Because of the customizations involved, localizinginvolves not just expertise in programming, but also of local languages and cultural differences. Here is why localizing content is worth the investment:

Competitive edge

You cannot afford not to localize your web or app if a competitor already does it. But if your competitor is not yet into localizing, you can gain the upper hand by doing it now.

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Don’t underestimate the potential of presenting your product or service using your customers’ own language and culture. Reaching out to your customers in their natural language can make your website or app more engaging, which could lead to accelerated sales and encouraging loyal customers.

Better conversions

App developers who localize the description of their apps can attest to the significant increase of their downloads, which means any investment into localization can quickly pay off. To illustrate, half of the countries in the top 10 iOS apps in terms of App Store downloads and revenue do not use English as their native language.

On Google Play, 80 percent of the top 5 countries for downloads and revenues are non-English speaking nations. Furthermore, 86 percent of localized campaigns beat strictly English campaigns in conversions and click-throughs.

Better customer experience

Localization shows how committed you are to your customers and how much you value them. If they see your website in their native tongue, it gives a good impression of your brand. Your visitors can clearly understand your services and products since there is no language barrier.

Strong company image

Localized applications and websites can give you a strong company image. There has been an increase in the demand of translation and localization services in different countries simply because many businesses know the potential of globalization.

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Certified and professional translators specialize in localization, and can advise you on how to avoid certain gaffes that could potentially affect your brand in a negative manner.

Market penetration

Expanding your business internationally can become easily attainable through localization. Customers will find your product or business more compelling simply because they understand it better.

Making the effort to adapt your services to a different country's cultures and customs could make a world of difference. Pic: Unsplash

However, moving your business into new market is a sizable endeavor. Localization lets you go beyond basic translation. It creates a more compelling message that breaks through not just the language barriers but also the culture of your target market.

The takeaway

Any business seeking to expand to international markets can use localization to its advantage. Whether you run a website, an app, or any endeavor that distributes digital content, you will need to localize in order to reach a wider, but more targeted, market. Even the best messaging will be missed if the target audience does not understand it.