Optimising and refreshing your website can take your localisation journey to a new level
When we work hard on a project and deliver what’s expected, it’s tempting to draw a line under it and tell ourselves the job is done. Sometimes it is, of course, but when it comes to website localisation the project will remain “live” for as long as your ambition does. Once you’ve put in the hard yards transferring and translating your content, you need to optimise it for your target markets and then keep reviewing and refreshing the site in a continuous cycle. If it sounds like a serious commitment, that’s because it is. And it’s worth it.
Verify Your Search Terms and Keywords
By this time you will have planned thoroughly enough to know that search terms delivering volume, competitiveness and conversion probability in your home territory may not have anything like the same impact in your target markets. If your work brings you into contact with legal professionals in Britain and the Unites States, for example, you may speak to attorneys and solicitors whose job roles are very similar. If we use “attorney” and “solicitor” as keywords in Britain the Americanised “attorney” will deliver far lower search volumes, and if we do the same thing in the United States we’ll get the opposite result. As in every aspect of localisation, details matter. It pays to create lists of keywords and search terms for each of your target markets. In time these lists will develop into glossaries, and they’ll be invaluable.
Optimise Your Metadata
Content optimisation is important, of course, but when you’re creating website content the most important thing to remember is that people have to find it readable. A home page that’s jam-packed with keywords but makes no attempt to engage an audience is like a football team that keeps the ball for 90 minutes but never crosses the halfway line. Very soon, people stop watching. Optimising your metadata - titles, ALT tags and descriptions – is a smart way to boost search volumes and conversions without alienating readers.
The Linguist Is Your Friend
If you’ve partnered with a professional language service provider, they will have assembled expert teams of linguists for each of your target territories. These teams will have immersed themselves in the language of your business and the culture of your target customers. By nurturing the relationship with these professionals and returning to them when you need to update and refresh your site, you give yourself the insurance of consistency in your global communication. You give yourself a team that keeps on improving. You give yourself the impetus to keep moving forward.
Website localisation requires strategic thinking, meticulous planning and professional execution. That commitment earns you the opportunity to start out on a commercial journey that can take you wherever you want to go.
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