As a company grows and expands on a global scale, many international needs must be addressed. How does your website evolve globally? Do you keep one website or do you create localized variations? How do you store your managed translations with your product information? How do you improve your global web presence? In this series, we will help you address these issues.
When you make the decision to expand your business globally, you must decide how your website will function for your international audience.
First and foremost, you need to develop a strategy. There are basically two options – a localized strategy or a globalized strategy. To determine what the best approach is for your company, you’ll want to consider whether you sell the same or different products in each country, and whether your website’s content will need to change for each country or region. Another thing you’ll want to consider is usability. No matter where you are in the world, usability guidelines are essentially the same, but there are nuances within different languages and regions that could impact the layout of your website, and your strategy decision.
If you are selling different products in each country and you may want to show different content, a localized strategy may be most effective for you. UPS.com is an example of a localized approach based on the initial splash page that asks you to choose your country. You do lose the opportunity to catch a potential customer with marketing content as they visit your website, but it is a necessity to serve the right localized content to each visitor.
If you choose to forego a localized strategy, you will want to develop a globalized strategy. With this approach, you would have one global website and work to ensure your website fits the needs of each region or country. This would include content translations based from the same source. This strategy is easier to manage from a technical standpoint because you have one website and a single point to begin translations. It does, however, grow in complexity as you work to build a more automated approach to translate that content.
Regardless of your strategy, it will become critical to find the best approach to manage your content translations. As your strategy is developed, it would be wise to engage a translation service provider to help you make the best decision to fit your needs. In part 4 of our series, learn how you can build an effective localized web strategy.
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