The digital marketing world is brimming with buzzwords—and if you don’t understand them, it can be hard to keep up. From “accessibility” to “KPIs,” the digital jargon never seems to stop (and context clues can only get you so far).

Today, we want to arm you with the definition of a big word for us here at Boston Digital: localization.

What is Localization?

Localization is the practice of tailoring a brand’s website to the geographical regions it serves. The result is a robust network of localized sites, each offering branded content in different languages, with customized messaging and context.

map on computer

While many assume that localization is simply the translation of content, digital experts understand that it’s much more than that. Successful localization takes into account the cultural differences in consumption and media. For example, a hero image that boosts conversion rates in the U.S. may actually deter engagement in Japan. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about maintaining a deep understanding of your diverse audiences—and serving up the content that will bring them closer to your brand (no matter where they are).

Who Needs Localization?

Most international brands need some form of website localization in order to be successful in global markets. Without the proper systems put in place, the translation of website content from one language to another can get very messy. Not to mention, the content users crave from one side of the world to another is very different—meaning marketers must adapt their content in order to be successful.

How We Implement Localization

I decided to talk to one of our Senior Web Developers, Jeremy Duffy, to get the lowdown on how we make localization happen behind the scenes. Here’s what he said:

Using geo-location, we can determine where a user is located and serve up content based on their needs. This means localization is more than a simple translation of content, which is a 1-1 across different languages. There are a number of ways to acquire a user’s location, including IP address and host headers. This allows tagged sections to be replaced with the right content in the right language.

When we put all that backend stuff to work, you get custom digital experiences for every location—in the language, context and formatting that converts in that culture.

Localization for FAGE Yogurt

Our recent work for FAGE Yogurt illustrates the breadth of our capabilities in localization. FAGE came to us to create a localized experience that would cater to each of the regions they served.

fage greek example

We provided FAGE with a holistic solution that included localized imagery, language, nutritional content and recipes across each site. We also implemented a local map feature, allowing users to search local grocery stores for FAGE products. All this was supported by localized search engine optimization, ensuring the technical structures were firmly in place to boost SEO for each site in its respective region.

The content and context across each FAGE site is very different. For instance, the recipes you’ll find on the U.S. site (think: Greek yogurt S’mores) are very different from those found on the U.K. site (think: Nesselrode Pudding).

The imagery on the different sites is also unique. The U.S. homepage features a video of three Millennials enjoying FAGE yogurt as a quick, playful snack. Alternatively, the European homepage features a close-up of the product, followed by the artful creation of a yogurt parfait.

To learn more about our work for FAGE Yogurt, see the case study here.

Whether you work for a global brand or your company is just beginning to break into new markets, website localization should a top priority. Websites are today’s digital storefronts—so make sure your consumers can read the sign.

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