8 Best Practices for Website Translation and Localization

Website Translation and Localization

In today’s globalized world, businesses regardless of their size, are extending their reach to international markets.  One of the key factors in successfully entering a new market is having a website that is localized and translated into the local language. 

According to OneSky, a survey of over 8,700 consumers in 29 countries revealed that 76% of people prefer buying products from websites that offer information in their native language.

Additionally, 40% of the respondents stated that they would not make purchases on websites that were in a foreign language. By offering website translation services, businesses can attract these users to their websites and enjoy the associated benefits.

Website localization involves not only translating the text but also adapting the content, images, and design to the local culture and customs. 

In this article, we will discuss eight best practices for website translation and localization to help businesses effectively connect with their target audience and achieve their international expansion goals.

1. Identify the Target Audience

According to Search Engine Journal, a target audience refers to a particular set of individuals who have a high probability of purchasing your product or service, and it plays a central role in all your targeting and campaign strategies.

A target audience differs from a target market, which encompasses a much wider range of groups that may have an interest in your offerings. 

Additionally, a target audience is distinct from persona targeting, which involves identifying ideal groups of people who would make perfect customers for your business.

Understanding the target audience is critical in the website translation and localization process. By identifying the target audience, website owners can ensure that their content and design are tailored to their needs and preferences. 

This includes understanding their language, culture, values, and behaviors. This knowledge can help guide decisions about which languages to translate the website into, which images and graphics to use, and which user interface design elements to incorporate. 

Failure to properly identify the target audience can result in ineffective or inappropriate translations, leading to confusion and damage to the brand’s reputation.

2. Plan for Localization

Planning for localization is an essential step in the website translation process. This involves designing a website that is easy to translate and adapt to the target language and culture. 

When planning for localization, you need to consider factors such as the use of images, colors, and other design elements that may need to be adapted to suit the preferences and cultural nuances of the target audience. 

By designing with localization in mind, the translation process can be streamlined, and the final product can be more effective in engaging the target audience.

3. Focus On User Experience

To provide a compelling user experience, website translation and localization should focus on user experience and also ensure that the translated content is accurate and easy to navigate, understand for the target audience. 

Website translation services may include using appropriate fonts, colors, and imagery, ensuring that the website’s layout is user-friendly and responsive, and using terminology and phrasing that resonates with the target audience.

Additionally, it may involve providing localized support and resources, such as online customer service, in the target language to enhance user experience and engagement.

4. Choose the Right CMS

To effectively translate and localize a website, selecting the right Content Management System (CMS) is crucial. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Look for CMS that supports multi-language websites, as this will make it easier to manage translated content.
  2. Consider CMS options that offer features for translation management and workflow, such as automated translation integration and collaboration tools for translators and editors.
  3. Look for a user-friendly interface for translating content, which will help simplify the translation process.
  4. Consider CMS options allowing easy integration with third-party translation tools and services.

According to Zippia, there are currently 73 million websites that have been developed using a CMS. Although there are numerous CMS platforms available in the market, they are not all equally effective. The top five most popular and profitable platforms make up around 80% of the market.

By choosing a CMS that meets these criteria, website owners can streamline the translation process and ensure that the localized website is easy to manage and update.

5. Conduct Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is an essential step in website translation and localization. It involves reviewing and testing translated content to ensure that it is accurate, consistent, and appropriate for the target audience. 

This can include checking for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as verifying that cultural references and idioms are correctly translated.

Quality assurance can be done through various methods, such as manual review by language experts or automated tools that check for linguistic accuracy and consistency. 

It is crucial to ensure that translated content is of high quality to maintain the credibility and professionalism of the website.

6. Optimize for SEO

According to Entrepreneur, as the digital era continues to evolve, the significance of SEO in achieving success is increasing. Effective SEO strategies are necessary for businesses to reach potential customers, gain visibility, and establish a successful online presence that distinguishes them from their rivals.

Statistics suggest that as many as 44% of individuals initiate their online shopping by conducting a search engine query.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential consideration for website translation and localization. The content should be optimized with relevant keywords and meta tags that are commonly used in the target market to improve search engine rankings and visibility. 

You need to conduct keyword research for each language and market to ensure that the translated content aligns with local search terms. Additionally, localized URLs and backlinks can also help to improve search engine rankings in the target market. 

7. Test and Iterate

Testing and iterating the translated content with the target audience is a crucial step in the website translation and localization process. By conducting user testing, businesses can identify any issues or areas of improvement in the translated content and user experience. 

You should gather feedback from users in the target market and incorporate their suggestions and preferences into the translation and localization process.

Continuous improvement and refinement of the translated content and user experience can help businesses to better engage with their target audience and achieve success in international markets.

8. Follow Legal Requirements

When translating and localizing a website, it is essential to follow the legal requirements of the target market. This includes compliance with local laws and  regulations, such as data privacy laws and accessibility guidelines. 

Failing to adhere to legal requirements can result in legal penalties, fines, and reputational damage. To ensure compliance, it is essential to research and understand the legal requirements of the target market and to work with legal experts to review and approve all translated content and website design elements. 

Compliance with legal requirements can also enhance user trust and improve the website’s reputation in the target market.


In the end, don’t be afraid to get started with your website translation and localization. The best way to do this is by taking small steps and seeing what works best for your needs. Some of these tips are more relevant than others, depending on the type of content being translated and how much control you have over it. 

We have found that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to making sure that international audiences can access information in their native languages without difficulty. And hopefully, this article will give you some ideas on how you can do so better than ever before.

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