Global Websites: Errors to Avoid when Going International
With the Internet, your reach extends not just to the rest of your state, your country, but even to other parts of the world! Your website can engage with potential customers from all across the globe.
However, be warned that there are a number of potential pitfalls and landmines that can blow up on your company if you are not careful. Remember, with extended reach comes the need to reach out to a global audience, with its varying languages and cultures.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid when going global with your website:
- Using only English as your website language. Yes, English is universal but you will need to give your global audience a choice as to the language they want to read in your website. Obtain the preferred languages of your target market, in order to create a multilingual website that features these languages. When publishing content specific for countries and when these feature the same content, you need to indicate to Google that these websites are actually the same, only geared towards different countries. That way, you avoid being penalized by Google for publishing duplicate content.
- Automating translation. When providing localized content, do not simply rely of machine translation tools such as Google Translate. More often than not, something will be lost in translation. It is best to hire experts in translation, especially one who knows the culture and mores of a particular country. This allows the language expert to make the necessary changes to the text in order to make your text qualify as localized content. This minimizes the frustration your potential local customers feel when they arrive at your website and see half-baked translations describing your company and products.
- Not understanding the localized target market. Study the peculiar and unique characteristics of each of your target markets. With a global website, you cannot have a “one size fits all” approach. You need to provide local customers with their needs, taking in consideration the cultural and political nuances of those particular markets. This means tweaking products and campaigns to suit the locality and being aware of any requirements and restrictions (legal and cultural).
- Forgetting about meta information. Do not only translate your website copy. You should also translate meta descriptions and other related text that are “seen” by search engines.
- Using the same photos. Aside from content, you should also localize pictures. This can include using models that “look local”. This can also involve checking whether there is something offensive in the picture. For instance, a picture of a lady riding a bike with her shirt slightly hiked up and exposing some skin at the stomach does not look offensive in some cultures but may be so in another culture.
- “Heavy pages”. In a country with easy access to fast Internet, loading a page with graphic-rich content is not a problem. However, remember that in some countries, the Internet connections may be considerably slower. You will only end up frustrating local customers if your page takes too long to load.
- Losing consistency with the global brand. Even as you make considerations to adapt to local tastes, you must also work to keep a balance so that you do not lose the identity of your brand. Avoid trends and buzzwords that can be easily “dated” or identified to a specific culture. Also, when launching global websites, you should strictly follow a prescribed template so that the look and feel of each localized site remains the same across all sites around the globe.
About Adaptivity Pro
When it comes to experience in websites (both at the local and global level), you can turn to Adaptivity Pro for your requirements. Let us help you design and develop your website, just as you and your local customers need. We offer quality Utah web design, social media marketing, website programing and Pay-Per-Click Services. Aside from this, we help you become more visible and easily found by customers around the globe using SLC SEO.