Going Global: 5 Things to Do Before Launching an International Website

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International website
International website

If you want to launch an international website, you need a site that captures the attention of visitors from around the world.

Creating an engaging website that attracts your intended audience can be challenging, but it’s easier when you follow this guide. Keep these five things in mind before going live.

International website
International website

Find Your Core Languages

If you aren’t sure which languages would be most useful, check your current website traffic analytics. You can use this data to spot patterns in international visitors. Once you have countries in mind, you’ll know which languages you want to target in your launch.

Work with a Localisation Specialist

From there, you’ll have to tackle the enormous task of translating your website from its original language to one your intended audiences will understand.

Creating a flawless copy of your site in a foreign language can be challenging, even if you speak the language. You have a business to run and deadlines to meet — not to mention you may not have the technical abilities to spot grammatical errors in your translation.

While web browsers like Google and Firefox offer machine translation, they produce clunky text that’s riddled with mistakes. For a site that reads naturally to a native speaker, you’ll want to hire professional website translation services.

Tweak Slogans and Message for Cultural Sensitivity

Literal translations can lead to technical misunderstandings and cultural faux pas that either confuse or insult the reader — or both!

To maximize the impact of your website copy, you should expect to change your slogans and messages to reflect the language and country. While this may seem like a big chore, professional website translation services make it look easy.

A professional localization specialist from LingArch can help you craft a tailored message for your intended audience. These localisation specialists are native speakers, which allows them to create content that’s culturally relevant and respectful.

Keep Images Free of Text

Embedded images with text overlay can throw a wrench in your plans. Because the words are part of the image, you can’t translate them without creating a new one. You’ll have to get your graphic designer to create a new copy that displays the translated language every time you use an image with text.

Creating graphics without text means they can be used interchangeably for each international segment of your website, and you’ll free up your designer’s time for more pressing objectives.

Remove Geo-Restrictions on Languages

A mistake many businesses make once they localize their website is choosing the default language for a visitor. This geo-based restriction relies on the visitor’s IP (or location) to decide which domain they should access.

On the surface, this may seem like a good idea that streamlines the user experience, but it can cause frustration for visitors whose language preferences don’t match their location. Exchange students, contractors, and travelers may want to visit your site in their native language instead.

Replace geo-restrictions with an HTML element that showcases manual links to all the different languages you offer. This puts the language choice in the hands of your visitor rather than their IP address.

Bottom Line

Once you go live on the international stage, visitors will flood your inbox with comments and suggestions, but you’ll have fewer critiques if you follow this guide. These tips will help you hit the ground running.

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