How Can a Bad Localization Ruin the User Experience?

What is wrong with your international website? Why people don’t trust you? After all, your product has many advantages over its competitors. Maybe it’s because of bad localization? Believe us: it can ruin the user experience. Let’s talk about the typical mistakes and how many companies are trying to save money on translation to quickly enter a new market.

Website language is one of the main ranking factors for search systems. Even with poor translation quality, any search engine recognizes the pages content language. Nevertheless, the impact of site SEO localization is often underestimated: it does not end with just a basic website translation. The site should be as clear as possible to users. Perfect translation brings good conversion. The time spent on the website translation and final quality is very important. There is nothing difficult to understand in website localization, as in most issues in the field of usability. However, users experience shows that most companies make the same mistakes when entering new markets.

A greedy person pays twice… And even triple

When a company (especially a startup) enters a new market, it has limited budgets. Actually, this is why companies often try to save money on translations for their website. Unfortunately, with a high degree of probability, you have to rewrite such machine-made content again. Direct translation, content with spelling words, grammatical or punctuation errors, and lack of adaptation for “native speakers” will definitely affect the website conversion in the future.

Look for a good agency, see its reviews, and look through the portfolio. It is needed to make several proofreading levels of translated texts. With different website pages sizes, the cost of full high-quality localization can reach thousands of dollars (we are talking about large resources with 1000 or more pages and lots of content).

It is obvious that every team manager wants to reduce such budget loss, especially on the initial development stage. However, it is important to understand that a greedy person pays twice. Such online marketing rule works smoothly. Don’t forget about that and fire a professional translator.

Direct translation - a nightmare for every user

Even a grammatically correct text can play a disservice due to cultural and linguistic differences in different countries. We must not forget to rewrite slogans, call-to-action, headers, and similar content, taking into account the peculiarities of each country. It’s important for every version of your website localization.

According to PickWriters, most users would only trust the best translation website. The correct language adaptation forms the company’s image and further reputation. It’s the best option if you want to run a successful international business.

Correct addresses, dates, time, payment and other things

Another important aspect of usability is the various forms on the site. All users must indicate personal information without any problem. Different countries have different rules for writing addresses and specifying dates. It is always better to check how to write the country, streets, zip codes and other things before starting new market language integration. It is also important to remember that some countries indicate the month first, then the date, and vice versa.

And another small nuance: if the company operates globally and there are indications of time intervals (for example, the help desk work time), don’t forget about time zones. Study the features of the new market and make a list of the necessary changes in the localization process. According to Yahoo it’s open up new markets and grows internationally.

Localization of SEO strategy

Site localization is not limited to on-page optimization. You should always remember that Google algorithms in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, and Russia have a different impact on the search results. RuNet features will not always work on the American market (Pengiun's algorithm has long been punishing English-language websites for black hat techniques that still operate in Russia).

The same can be said about the entry of European companies into Russian-speaking markets. Such companies often forget about Yandex, a major player with their requirements and algorithms. You should read a lot about localization in terms of SEO:

  • Make relevant and well-translated articles;
  • Build the right semantic core;
  • Use correct SEO and LSI words;
  • Create the appropriate subdomain;
  • Make design localization.
  • Any language has the concept of "average word length". Professional translators from Harvard takes into account the correct design localization. It’s the main thing if you need to grow up your sales. The same phrase can occupy a different area on the site depending on the language version.

    Another obstacle is the “language lacunae” - concepts that simply cannot be translated into another language in one word. The guys from Facebook always focus on such translation difficulties. It can be reflected in the website design, broken elements, or hyphenation of words to another line and similar troubles.

    The choice of fonts is also particularly important when working with a combination of Latin and Cyrillic words. Communicate closely with product managers and remind designers when they create new elements that content in all language versions will be different.

    Images, photos, and video translation

    This part of work is a real headache for every content maker. The Google specialists offer the solution: Images, photos, video and audio files must be localized for the market, which the company goes to. Very often local traditions and racial differences can affect your site much more than you thought.

    It is highly desirable to “customize” any media files on the website for a specific mentality and user’s psychology. An excellent slogan in English will be cool perceived by a German or Japanese audience. The French, Chinese, Russians, or Brazilians differ is different. It’s like water and fire. Do not forget about it.

    Final advice

    Do not save money on language localization. Initial costs will pay off over time. Any project manager should consider the risks of poor translation. Sometimes it is better to spend more money on the localization than to lose business because of short-time decisions. Such savings will not bring you future benefits. Professional localization will help you grow your business for many years.


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