You’ve built a website, got the perfect domain name and stable host. You’re ready to take your product to the world. We all know the internet is an ideal medium for spreading your message far and wide. However, as much as it’s a universal network that connects the world, localization matters. Yes, you do need to create content that speaks to the masses. However, as you build up an audience, specificity starts to matter.
Even if concepts such as hosting location aren’t important at the start of your journey, they will be over time. Indeed, the only way you can achieve the greatest success is to localize your website so that it speaks to slightly different audiences in slightly different ways. Again, the main thrust of what you’re doing will remain the same. But, to ensure each market responds in the right way, you’ll need to tweak your site accordingly.
In this guide, we’ve outlined five localization tips. From adjusting the tone of your content to finding the best WordPress hosting Europe and other regions have to offer, our tips will help you localize properly. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed in this world. However, if you can learn to ask questions like “where is the server located”, and “what’s trending in a particular country”, you have a much better shot of making your website a success.
1. Research and Analyze Your Target Markets
Before you start looking for a US web server or a host in Asia, you need to know your market. All of the technical bits are useless if you haven’t done your research. The natural assumption is that, because English is so widely used online, everyone wants to look at English websites. In reality, that’s not true.
According to data from GALA, 95% of Chinese consumers prefer using websites in their own language. Across the world at large, Common Sense Advisory stats show that 72.1% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language. Without understanding these statistics, you can never localize effectively.
In line with language considerations, you also need to think about usage statistics. How long do people spend online? What times of the day are they active? Do consumers tend to favor certain types of content over others? All of these questions require answers. Only once you’ve done your research, analyzed the data and unlocked local insights can you focus on web hosting in Europe, US servers and other technical considerations.
2. Speed and Stability
Once you’re armed with local insights, the next thing you need to do is ensure you’ve got the infrastructure in place to take advantage of them. Indeed, it’s no use knowing what to write and how to tailor your content without a stable platform. At the heart of every successful website is a solid server and host. When you build your first website, you probably won’t even check the server location. That’s fine. However, if you want users to receive a slick service, you need to use a network of servers.
In other words, you should consider hosts that have web servers in countries you want to target. For example, if you want to focus on the US market, you should scroll through our list of recommended web hosting companies in the USA. Similarly, if you want to target Germany and France, the best web hosting in Europe is required.
Without a host that has servers in the region you’re targeting, you’re risking speed and stability issues. When users are using local servers, there’s less chance of data hitting a proverbial stumbling block and loading times suffering.
3. Language and Tone
We’ve said it already but consumers want websites in their own language. Even though you can get away with English, it’s not optimal, especially in major markets like Asia. As well as making it easier for people to see what you’re offering, a website that’s available in a country’s native language shows a level of commitment to that market. If you’re willing to put the effort into translating your content, it suggests you’re willing to go the extra mile in other departments.
The key to localizing your website in this respect is to use native speakers. Online translation software is great but it misses so much in terms of tone, feel and meaning. To ensure your content actually speaks to the people you’re aiming it at, native speakers are the way forward in this department.
4. Trends and Cultural Norms
Every country has its own customs, trends, and cultural norms. Tap into these and you’ll win over the locals. For example, in the UK, a government-backed consumer trends report showed that health has become more important. From 2010 to 2015, decisions based on “exercise” increased from 34% to 64%. This suggests that products with some sort of health angle are more likely to be successful.
Similarly, if you’re focusing on China, it’s important to know that certain social media platforms aren’t available (or widely used) over there. So, if you send a lot of traffic from your social media channels to a website, you need to adjust to suit the Chinese market. These cultural norms are hugely important and another thing you need to consider when localizing your website.
5. Test, Collate and Analyze
Once you’ve done all you can to localize a website, it’s time to test, collate the data and analyze. Using the best American web hosting service is great, but are users having issues accessing the site? If there’s an issue, you may need to revisit your hosting location. What about language? Are certain pages getting less read time than others?
Basically, when you focus your site on a specific region or country, you need to stay on top of things. Without tracking stats, you’ll never know if the hosting server location is right or whether people understand what you’re trying to stay. Only when you’re on top of everything can you ensure your website speaks to consumers in a way they understand.