So you've translated your flagship website to serve new customers in global markets. That's an excellent start to engaging international customers in ways that really resonate with them.
But did you know that, depending on the approach you used to localize your site, there could be issues with the website that are alienating visitors, or sabotaging your ambitions for high conversion rates or other business goals?
Unfortunately, shortcomings in your localized site’s UX, SEO, conversion funnels and even branding may be undermining an otherwise excellent customer experience.
What are some of these challenges, and how can you detect and address them? Keep reading to learn more.
Check for Signals In Your Website Analytics
Examining your websites’ analytics is a great way to determine if your localized site is somehow underserving global customers.
For instance: By reviewing the sources of traffic coming to your flagship-market site—country-based sources and language-based sources are key here—you can get a sense of how discoverable your localized websites are.
As you examine the analytics data, look for answers to questions such as:
- Are global customers able to find your translated website in their locally-preferred search engines?
- If they find your flagship website instead, can they easily navigate to the localized version that’s optimized their market?
- Also review engagement metrics like bounce rate and time-on-site. Are users able to find what they're looking for, or are they giving up in frustration?
Consider a drop-down language selector on your flagship site steer global visitors to the proper website—or better yet, use a smart technology solution to detect and welcome global users.
Once they’re there, make sure they can access relevant content, and that it’s easy to navigate to.
Recognize UX Problems In Critical Paths
Low conversion rates, combined with high rates of users abandoning your site somewhere in the conversion funnel, could indicate poor UX in key areas of your localized site. Put yourself in the mind of a user, and test critical paths for yourself.
Roll up your sleeves, visit your localized site and do some QA. Try to answer questions like:
- If your website has a checkout function, is every stage of the funnel localized and fully functional?
- If users need to fill out forms, can they submit names, addresses, and phone numbers in their language?
As with your flagship site, a poor checkout experience makes users abandon shopping carts.
When it comes to forms, be mindful of languages using non-Latin scripts-such as Chinese, Arabic or Russian. Accommodate these special characters in your form fields. Forcing users to "Romanize" their personal information, rather than using their preferred alphabet, could be an extra step that makes them leave the critical path.
Compare Your Discoverability with Your Flagship Website
You spend a lot of time, effort and resources getting search engines to notice your flagship website. But what about your translated websites?
You should invest the same consideration into SEO keywords, metadata, and content strategy, to get them found by regionally-preferred search engines. If you don't have relevant, localized content, search engines, prospects and customers can't find you.
Optimizing your translation for valuable SEO keywords can help, as can correctly translating and structuring metadata.
Brand Identity and Consistency
Your localized site's brand identity and consistency are difficult to quantify, but very important to assess. Ask questions like:
- Are logos, design schemes and slogans universal, and recognizable worldwide?
- Do variations exist for certain markets? Should they be?
It’s critical to strike a balance between brand consistency and cultural authenticity.
One way to ensure brand consistency across your global online experience are to create and maintain a glossary and style guide of brand-related translations and creative copywriting.
Also consider maintaining a dedicated linguist team that will translate the site for its entire lifespan. This will make them experts in your brand.
They should also be fluent in the market’s language and culture, and be able to advise when to apply regional-specific localizations for authenticity.
A superior digital translation solution will relieve you of the burdens inherent to website translation that distract you from your daily tasks. Don't forget, however, that the success of your multilingual websites depends on your attention and effort.
Pay regular attention to the look, feel, and performance of your website, and you’ll be able to catch issues before they affect your customers’ online experience—and your bottom line.