In an increasingly competitive market, global expansion is often key to success. However, it is easy to overlook how much thought and planning is required to expand your presence in other countries.

There are many important aspects to consider, from website localisation to SEO. During this process, it is essential to seek a professional translation and localisation service that can assist you in perfecting your website, ensuring that you avoid common mistakes.

The most common problem when approaching the idea of website localisation is a misunderstanding of the difference between localisation and translation services.

Translation is the process of converting content from one language to another, often using a translation company or machine translation services, where technology is used to process large volumes of translation.

Localisation goes a lot deeper than simply converting content from one language to another. The process of localisation is required when your business aims to effectively communicate and provide services for other countries and in other languages to your native one. Localisation involves adapting your website to suit specific cultural preferences, taking into account your context, graphics, presentation and phrasing.

Adapting to the nuances of the culture and language of the market you are targeting is essential to understand the difference between localisation and translation.

Another common localisation problem is a lack of cultural sensitivity. If your business is looking to localise its website, cultural sensitivity is paramount to the success of global expansion and could cause unnecessary confusion or negative press if not dealt with appropriately from the beginning.

Different cultures across the globe are greatly diverse in terms of what is considered as appropriate content. What may appear to be completely harmless in your native language, may cause deep offensive to another culture. For example, an attempt at humour or sarcasm may be inappropriate or misunderstood in another culture. Even phrases, colour and images are all aspects to take into consideration.

It is important to seek a localisation service that has extensive knowledge of different cultures and can advise you on the appropriateness of your content. Failure to understand cultural sensitivity could greatly damage your brand reputation.

Space and layout designs of your website are also important aspects of localisation to consider.

If your website is not properly localised to suit different cultures, then you run the risk of your pages looks messy and disorganised.

Your current website layout may only accommodate for content in your native language. However, some of your specific target markets may require completely different layouts. For example, Arabic countries read right to left, and therefore your website would need an entire different layout to allow for this.

Similarly, words and characters in other languages can occupy more or less space than English. For example, if you were looking to expand your presence in Germany, they typically have longer words than the English language, therefore space and layout would need consideration to avoid an overcrowded web page.

thebigword works with a variety of clients and industries to help perfect their website localisation. We have extensive knowledge of the most common problems in the localisation process, and we know exactly how to help you avoid them. Find out more about how our website localisation services can help you and your business.