Design your website for the world market

by Charles Channing, Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 3:52 am

(eCommerce, Global Marketing, Website)

The Internet has changed our whole world of life and business.

It’s much easier to access the global market place at your fingertips than before.  Many small but powerful global business can be set up easily now.

However, building a truly successful Global website is a complicated task, you need to consider various issues of languages, design, online marketing, and even politics due to differences across cultures.

There are a number of tips you can follow to make it easier.

Choice of the Target Markets and Languages

This is the first  important step.

English is most commonly used language internationally, but it’s the first language for only  about 20% of the world’s population. Though many people learn English as their second languages, they prefer reading in their native tongue online.

Here is a typical example in China, there are about 0.3 billion people in China who is learning English, however, only a very small portion of people buy from English websites.

The right choice of languages is an essential job here while many people will make mistakes,

Really? it’s no kidding. Longo365 had helped many clients to correct these problems.

Design your website for the world market

Design your website for the world market: Choosing the right languages for the target markets

Could you differentiate the following?

  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Spanish (Latin America)

OK, maybe it’s too easy for you.

How about the difference between the following?

  • Mandarin
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Cantonese

and, If I want to sell my products to Taiwan market, what language I should use?

There are similar choices in many target markets.

Don’t make it wrong.

You might be interested in reading this:

Proper Translation

Quality translation is crucial for your web content,

Here are some advice

  • Never do a machine translation

We understand you might use some translation widget like Google Translate due to the budget reason.

However, Never use the machine translation texts as your official new language content.

The reason is, machine translation will often cause misunderstandings by frequent errors appears. It inevitably will ruin your brand easily.

  • Leave enough time for translation

Quality content is always the core of the successful online business, so you should ensure there is necessary budget and time for the translation.

Deliver your message correctly across the markets.

The best way is to entrust professional website translation services to handle the job.

  • Translation of Images, Forms, Flash, Dynamic Fields…

It’s easy to ignore some web elements during the translation.

Images, forms, flashes, and dynamic fields are all integral parts of the website.

Treat them seriously and check them to make sure it’s suitable for the target market.


Content designed for the market

Content is the king, some times, only translation is not enough.

You should control your content, always make sure your content is designed for the market.

Do not waste time and money to translate those irrelevant news or information to some market who will never be interested in.

Do not leave the English content untranslated to Japanese or Chinese audience.

Ideally, you should have your web copy written especially for each audience by experienced native copywriter to do the job.

This will be especially important when you are working on the online marketing jobs like social media marketing, PPC and SEO.


Localized Design

  • No offense in images and texts

Make sure there is no offensive images and texts to the target country.

Avoid possible offensive images to the target country.

For example, Green Hats in Irish are not favorable in China.

  • Layout

Not all languages read from left to right like English.  some languages like Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew read from right to left.

We should notice the details to keep the continuity of the design in your different language versions and make it comfortable to the target users.

For example, using horizontal navigation bars will be better considering this.

  • UTF-8

Unicode UTF-8 is the ideal character encoding tool since it’s compatible with many major different written languages, it’s also supported by all the major browsers.

  • Font

You will need to choose different fonts for different languages to make sure it’s comfortable for your target audience.

  • Format

This is an important job to convert below points following the habit of the target market.

Dates, Phone Numbers, Addresses, Numbers, Measurements

Domains and Hosting

When we are talking about world markets, you can either choose to build the websites under a single domain supporting many languages, or you can do it under several top-level country domain.

Thought it’s a controversial topic.

My suggestion for small to medium business is to choose the important target markets and make a separate sites, while keeping less important languages versions with the main site.

The benefit in this way will be

  • less risk
  • better performance at the search engine
  • easier website management

The fast web loading speed is very important to keep your potential clients from leaving away. So the hosting is a critical issue to consider.

You need to consider where your target market is, test and decide after balance the speed situations from different places.

If you have some special market like mainland China, You might consider register a local domain and host it in mainland China to gain faster speed and better SEO performance there.


Localize Your Online Marketing

The essence of online business is to acquire quality traffic from your potential clients.

  • Keywords

Keywords research are necessary for each market,

Choice of keywords is not simply the translation.

These shall be considered in your content strategy as well, we will cover these topics in Lingo365 blog later.

  • Search Engines Optimization (SEO)

Google is not everything when we speak on the world market.

In some different markets, you might need to optimize for different search engines,

We need to consider Yandex for russian speaking countries, and Baidu is the dominant one in mainland China.

the rules and skills of SEO are different in many ways.

  • PPC

PPC will bring direct traffic quickly and very effective within short term.

However the performance of the account management will be different, you will need specialists to help you.

And you can choose mainly Google for most markets, and choose the appropriate ones for some special markets.

China again as the example, Advertising on Baidu account is necessary if you focus on the China market.

  • SMM (Social Media Marketing)

To be honest, SMM could be done well only by native speakers living in the target countries.

You need to follow the local trends, listen to what the public says and get involved.


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