Why true localization matters – Moz
3 mins read

Why true localization matters – Moz

While globalization has connected the world like never before, successful localization requires more than just cursory translation. By aligning content with nuanced cultural insights, brands can overcome barriers and build authentic multi-local engagement.

In marketing, optimal familiarity can refer to the ideal level of brand awareness and consumer exposure to a product or service. To achieve optimal exposure in this context, you need to ensure that your website and content resonate with and are relevant to the local audience in each target region.

Fight for alignment

Localization should reflect the preferences, habits and values ​​of the local market. Prioritize organic search targets that align with business goals. To take advantage of high-quality SEO opportunities, you need to test and measure initial efforts. Then scale what arrives. Regularly update your audience and journey research to stay relevant as behaviors evolve.

Machine translator, human editor

Machine translation is an amazing way to expand your presence in different markets. However, machine translation is often not enough to capture nuances. Inaccurate translations can create a feeling of unfamiliarity and distrust, undermining the brand's efforts to build awareness. Your workflow should always include local experts or native speakers to ensure the end result is a culturally differentiated translation. A harmless phrase in one country may be offensive or nonsensical in another. To avoid such pitfalls, in-depth cultural knowledge, sometimes even at a subnational level, is crucial.

Internal search poses a hidden threat to proper localization

If your website's internal search engine is not localized, it can drastically affect the user experience. Be sure to adapt the search algorithm to local needs. Brand names may vary; A brand name is often used to describe a product instead of a product name (Kleenex, Whiteout, Frigidaire). You must ensure that your internal search engine can return results for these search queries; Otherwise, customers may feel like you're not guiding them and you could lose a sale. By adapting the search algorithm to local needs and taking into account different brand names and product terminology, you align your shop with local, familiar customer expectations.

Be careful with promotions

Avoid blanket promotions that exclude certain regions. Limiting access to offers due to geographical restrictions is extremely frustrating for customers.

Brands often run into this problem when running contests or offering coupon codes. Instead, segment promotions by locale to present appropriate offers. This may require region-specific landing pages, geo-targeted emails, or personalized local messaging.

If regulations restrict certain promotions, find out in advance whether you are eligible to meet the expectations. For example, restrictions related to Quebec's strict language laws are understandable if they are clearly explained in advance.

Set up tracking to monitor advertising performance by country and optimize based on response rates. Continuously optimize to improve the relevance of offers for each location you serve. Localized promotions require additional effort as you have to keep in mind regional holidays, customs, color symbolism and laws. But They encourage engagement. McDonald's is known for adapting its menu and promotional offerings to regional tastes and preferences around the world. For example, in Japan they offer seasonal items such as the “teriyaki burger” to accommodate local tastes, while in India they offer a range of vegetarian options to suit cultural dietary preferences. However, they go beyond that with their marketing strategy and adapt ads to different cultures around the world.