If you want your website or online business to reach as broad an audience as possible, you need to localize your content. The case for doing so is almost overwhelming. According to some powerful stats compiled by One Sky, 90% of all online shoppers will choose to read a page in their native language when given the choice.
Meanwhile, around 41% of the top brands in America have at least one local country page for an overseas market, and localized Facebook pages have been shown to attract 50% more traffic than those with no localization.
Put simply, by adapting your content for overseas audiences, you can ensure that your website gets maximum traffic and meaningful engagement. Of course, localization is easier said than done. You'll need translation expertise and a working knowledge of your target market on your team.
However, when done right, the results can be a game-changer. Here are some of our favorite examples of website localization in 2022, and what you can learn from these pros.
McDonald's: More Than Translation
If you want to see what the apex of localization looks like in 2022, switch on your VPN to any country you can think of and head to the McDonald's website. McDonald's is active in more than 100 countries, and its website offers a completely unique experience in every single one.
The fast-food giant has always taken an ambitious approach to international market share, and this is reflected in its website, which goes far beyond the fundamentals of translation. You'll find unique menu items on each country site, each one tailored to the tastes of the market it aims to serve.
You'll find fluent on-site copy that incorporates slang and colloquialisms from each country which shows just how much time and effort McDonald's has invested in its localization. This is as good as it gets.
Hotels.com: Practical Localization
Naturally, you would expect a website that provides vacation accommodations to go the extra mile when it comes to localization. This is certainly the case with Hotels.com which has perfectly localized its content for dozens of countries.
What makes the Hotels.com effort so noteworthy is just how practical and customer-oriented it all is. Sure, you'll find ad copy and slogans in local languages, but that's not all.
Each country page allows you to see all prices in the local currency, while also including information on local city taxes, local laws for tourism visits, and even print-out copies of documents that might be needed on arrival in a particular country. This is localization that people can actually make use of.
Betway: More is More
One of the most successful and long-running online casino platforms in the world, Betway provides digital slots, poker, roulette, and live casino games to people all across the planet. This site is worth mentioning because it shows how an online-only service can localize its content to maximize reach and ensure nobody is left out.
Unlike many other gambling platforms, Betway offers all of its content in 11 languages, including Russian and Hindi, as well as all of the major European languages.
While this was no doubt a significant investment of time and money, it means that Betway has the competitive advantage of serving customers in almost a dozen markets, giving millions of people the opportunity to play in their native language. This kind of thoroughness shows why, in the world of localization, more is more.
Apple: Aesthetic Localization
Did you know that localization does not only have to be about text? Sometimes, images are more than enough to engage your overseas audiences. This is certainly the case with the technology giant Apple, which has supplemented its textual localization with an image-based one, to show its global customers just how dedicated it is to them.
When you visit the Apple site from another country, such as Japan you will see photos of Japanese users of Apple products in a variety of iconic and beautifully-shot local settings. If you head to the US setting, the same applies, albeit in an American setting. By supplementing language localization with images, you can ensure that your website tells a story that your overseas audiences will listen to.
Localization isn't easy, but the benefits are likely to outweigh your initial investment. By localizing your website now, you can connect to new audiences in the future.