Branding Business Web Design

Using Localization to Understand your Clients

The better you understand the audience, the more success you will have with your localization strategy for your international clients. Adapting your presentation and product or website to each customer location will certainly impact your relationship with the potential client or visitor, and allow you to sell more in the long-run.

What about your website localization strategy?

When a company’s website is well attuned to the language and cultural preferences of its customers, it is a top-notch tool through which many customers can be attracted.

Of course, nobody wants the opposite of that. Failing to attract visitors comes from content that is not written in the native language of your customers, from confusing or even offensive graphics, or from a structure that simply does not get caught. Each of these website location faux pas shows that a business does not understand its customers properly. Or worse, that you do not really care about understanding them.

Thus, a potential deal is lost even before getting in touch with your prospective client. 

The better you understand the visitors to your website, the more success you will have with your localization strategy and with your international clients, while at the same time maintaining very important business relationships.

Therefore, we would like to introduce an aspect of intercultural communication whose understanding promotes good design and best practices in website localization: the difference between “high context” and “low context” cultures.

Understanding cultures: “high context” versus “low context” 

Among other things, the American anthropologist Edward T. Hall is known for his definition of cultural communication with a strong context and low context. As the founder of the discipline of intercultural communication, Hall created a model of culture-based communication styles, explaining how people in different countries decode information based on their cultural expectations.

How important to businesses are their website localization strategies and digital marketing campaigns? As long as they show clear results of business growth, the answer is that they are extremely important. If you know the main differences between cultures with strong and weak contextual references, you can use this knowledge for effective website design and thus be successful with your international customers. 

Design differences in website localization 

It has been shown that in cultures with a strong contextual reference, websites with many animations, sounds, graphics and other interactive elements work well. Why? There are interesting theories in research. One theory is that people from cultures with a strong contextuality like interactivity in general because they feel that they are closely involved in an experience.

Addressing customers in their native language and having an accurate understanding of their values is necessary to make a company’s website localization strategy a success. When you help clients with website localization projects, you should always focus on the cultural preferences of the target audience. For a Chinese website, we recommend Music, Flash animations or a video in which a person welcomes visitors to the site.

Overall, it makes sense to think about which web design elements your audience likes, such as, for example, a hierarchical structure, menu and navigation buttons, or compatibility with mobile devices, especially now that mobile device usage is about to surpass or at least match desktop device usage. What all cultures can agree on in our digital age, however, is that page load times must be as short as possible – otherwise, visitors to the site will disappear as quickly as they come. Anyone familiar with the cultural expectations of their target audience for visual communication and web design can, therefore, develop effective website localization strategies, such as those we have just introduced.

If you plan to offer your products and services internationally, translations are crucial. Absolute professionalism is particularly important here because grammatical and sense errors in the texts of the company website leave a bad customer impression. But the translation of website text is only the beginning. Additional content is a must to convince customers of expertise. That’s where content marketing comes into play.

Let’s assume you are searching for holiday villas in Asia in a travel agency website. Your interest here is purely practical, and if you find yourself in a messed up, structurally frustrating design with non-relevant information, you will leave before you lay your eyes on it. You need this website to have the information you’re looking for nicely sorted, with pictures that give you a closer look at their products or services, and most importantly the location, area, available villas, prices, etc. Localization and good content makes your website user-friendly and navigable which will be appreciated by your visitors and receive more engagement, resulting in increased traffic.

Content marketing means delivering content to potential customers that adds value to your product or service. It will show that you know exactly what you are doing – and ultimately convince your customers that you are the perfect partner for them. For this reason, blog articles, video productions, and infographics should also be translated – with the same care as standard text.

When it comes to search engine optimization, you will need to tackle a number of things, including high-quality content, keyword selection, text length, images, headings, and subheadings. In addition, your link portfolio needs to be strengthened by international backlinks – these are links that link from other pages to your own. Google and SEO tools can better help you in optimizing your website both on and off-page.

The task for global marketing and website localization specialists is to always provide materials that end-users can engage in by addressing their values or interests. It is very important to ensure that your message fits the cultural preferences and expectations of your target audience. Good customer service is also an important part of a comprehensive website localization best practice.

About the author


Rilind Eliezaj

Rilind Elezaj is a tech enthusiast from Prishtina, Kosovo. He graduated in Computer Science and has a passion for sharing tech-related information that can help society grow.