If you’re looking to expand your business internationally, then localising your web content is an absolute must. Simply translating existing content isn’t always enough and will fail to engage loyal customers from other countries and regions. Understanding your new market’s audience is the key to succeeding internationally.

What is content localisation?

Content localisation is the process of adapting your content for your new target audience in a different country or region. It goes further than just translating content into a different language, it’s about making it culturally relevant, easy to understand and helpful. 

This can be anything from ensuring that you use the right keywords, for example, in the UK we say ‘trousers’ whilst in the US, you’d say ‘pants’. To the right currency and taking into account global holidays and news. Even how you format your content matters as Middle Eastern and East Asian regions tend to read content from right to left. 

Creating a truly personal experience in new countries will convert much better than simply translating your site and calling it a day. Having said this, content localisation takes time and dedication, but the eventual payoff will be worth it for the expansion of your business.

When do you need to start localising your content?

If you’re expanding your business into new regions, then you need to start localising your content right away. You don’t want to launch in new markets without localising your content from day one as you’ll miss out on engaging the audience right away, meaning you’ll lose potential customers.

If you’ve already launched your website in new countries, don’t panic, just start working on localising your content now. It’s so important to understand your new market and produce content specifically for that audience. It’ll grow your presence much quicker and many more customers will trust you as an authority in your market. 

Why is it important to localise your content?

It’s simple — localising your content will boost engagement and increase your conversion rates in other regions. So, it’s pretty important when you’re looking to expand into global markets. Here are some of the key reasons why you should localise your content (if you needed more persuasion…)

  • Authenticity — you’ll alienate your audience if you’ve simply whacked your website content into Google Translate. You need to understand the nuances of how your target market communicates and what appeals to them. For example, certain features of a product might appeal to an English audience whilst other features appeal more to a Middle Eastern audience. Understanding your audience is the key to providing an authentic experience.
  • Credibility — the key to achieving brand loyalty is credibility. When you seamlessly blend into your target market with a strong localised marketing message, you’ll strike a chord with your audience. As a result, you’ll gain brand loyalty and more conversions.
  • Gives you an edge over your competitors — customers are much more likely to purchase from you with localised content as they’ll identify much more with your brand than competitors.
  • Increases visibility — when expanding to global markets, the aim is often to boost brand visibility and gain traction in new regions. By localising your content, you’ll target the right keywords for your audience, helping you to appear higher in the SERPs.
  • Boosts sales — the goal of expanding into new markets is to increase sales. With English only making up 26% of the languages used on the internet, there’s a huge market to tap into when localising your content.

4 tips on content localisation

Content localisation is a key aspect of international SEO fundamentals, so it’s important to get it right. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when localising your content:

1. Understand your market 

Unfortunately, a translation tool won’t understand the language nuances or psychology of your new target market. This is where really in-depth market research needs to take place. It can be worth talking to someone from the country you’re targeting to take a look at your strategy and offer advice. Building surveys for feedback from your new region can also be incredibly insightful. Building new buyer personas for people from different countries can be a great way to tailor your marketing and content towards a new audience. All of this entails detailed market research to understand your new region.

2. Carry out localised keyword research 

Even if you’re selling the same products and services, the best keywords for the UK won’t be the same for other countries. How customers understand, describe and search for your product will vary, so you can’t just translate your English keywords. 

You need to research competitors in different countries and carry out international keyword research so you can target the best search terms.

3. Create a content localisation strategy 

Building an effective content localisation strategy behind the scenes will ensure that you stay on track and have clear goals to target. Here are some things to consider as part of your strategy:

  • Identify the right target markets by viewing your analytics to see where your content is being viewed.
  • Start small and scale efforts by localising popular pages of your content and seeing the response. 
  • Find the right translation tools and support. 
  • Set trackable goals on what you want to achieve from your content localisation efforts.
  • Measure your success regularly by viewing analytics, engagement and ROI.

4. Remember international SEO 

Content localisation is just a small aspect of your international SEO strategy. You’ll need to prioritise SEO with relevant URL structure, keyword research, tags, search engines and geo-targeting, all of which an international SEO agency can help with. When applying all of these strategies with content localisation, you’re on the right track to success in breaking into international markets.

Content localisation is so much more than simply translating content. You need to get into the minds of your new target market and treat it as though you’re almost starting from scratch in a new country. Making your content relevant to your target audience in other countries will only lead to more conversions, which is exactly what you want!

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