When expanding internationally, it is easy to assume that a simple translation job will do the trick – but the gold standard for websites varies across the globe. By only satisfying one element of the localization process, the language, businesses put themselves at risk of alienating audiences and presenting barriers that prevent users from purchasing through their website.
Our international expansion offering is based on three pillars for global market success:
In this blog, we will run through some of the factors our international team of native linguist digital marketing experts look at when conducting cultural audits to ensure any localized websites are culturally compliant.
It is important that native linguist digital experts who have first-hand experience of the market carry out cultural audits. This is because someone who has lived and breathed a culture will be able to spot subtle issues, such as incorrect address formatting on a checkout form, something that is likely missed by someone who speaks the language but has little hands-on experience with the market culture. Overlooking issues such as these, no matter how minor they may seem, could have a significant impact on website conversions or the delivery of orders. For example, the incorrect formatting of an address form on a website may result in addresses being printed incorrectly on packages, meaning they cannot be understood by local couriers and delivered to your customers.
Finally, a native linguist digital marketing expert will be able to ensure that your website content is localized, rather than directly translated, avoiding issues when working with multiple markets who speak the same language but have very different customs and expectations.
When expanding into new markets, brands often find that their international customers do not fit the same audience profile as their customers back home. There can be several reasons for this: different interests, different needs, different opportunities in the market.
Using third-party tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights can help you to gather audience insights and understand who you should be targeting for each market you want to expand into.
How the internet is used, and by who, can vary drastically between different countries and cultures. Understanding the digital habits of your international audiences can help you to better optimize your websites.
Having a website that is legally compliant is crucial, but the requirements can vary across markets. Understanding best practice is and what is mandatory will ensure you avoid getting into legal issues when launching internationally.
Ensuring your content is easily accessible can make a big difference in how consumers perceive your brand and website. Content needs to meet users’ expectations, as well as market and industry standards if it is to be trusted by consumers. Simply translating your website often misses out on small nuances, such as variations in website or category page structure used by your international competitors. If your website pages are not organized or structured as your customers would expect, they may have difficulty converting on your site.
Buying from a new website is risky for consumers. Trust signals help users determine if a website is legitimate or not, and without trust signals, it is likely that new users will leave without making a purchase.
Different countries may have different trust signals and it is important that you have identified and incorporated all possible signals – particularly if you have little brand awareness in the market.
Whether your localized website is targeting end consumers or industry businesses, a cultural audit will help to ensure it meets the expectations of your audience within that market, helping to build brand trust and reputation.
If your website operates in a B2B environment, our cultural audit will focus on the legal requirements your website must respect and the trust signals required to best sell your service or product range to local businesses.
Lastly, to truly compete with local brands, you will also need to ensure your website content is not only linguistically accurate but also optimized for search.
This blog is part of our wider B2B Playbook that is designed to help B2B businesses with all aspects of their digital marketing from leveraging data, acquiring more traffic, creating assets that resonate and succeeding internationally.
If you’re thinking of expanding into international markets, the international section is for you. Here we review everything you’ll need to take into consideration when going global.