Site Localization - Issue 55

International Site Localization Strategies

We know that sometimes we spell things a little differently–one country’s “color” is another country’s “colour.” Intersecting a buying journey from one country to the next goes beyond spelling and tries to connect local search with those same local product pages.

The first step is to determine how different customers search for your products in different countries. There are three primary ways to accomplish this:

  1. Competitive Review. See what phrases your competitors are optimized for.
  2. Tools. There are multiple online tools (including the free Google Trends) that allow you to understand the search popularity and compare one term with another by simply changing the country flag at the top of the page.

We recently did a project for a global company in a very specialized industry. Using the process above, we could uncover a number of lesser-known translations using this approach. In the US, you might search for a vinyl banner with “grommets” but we discovered in other parts of the world buyers use the phrase “eyelets” when shopping to mean the same thing.

While it may be initially taxing to build a country-specific dictionary for any one industry, once built, updating the descriptions is inexpensive at scale.