The 5 Most Common Website Localization Mistakes

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It’s safe to say that localization is an indispensable step toward expanding your business. In fact, it is virtually impossible to scale a business outside of its original country without localizing its website first. It makes sense really – websites are channels through which you can talk to potential customers directly, so in order to coax them into purchasing your offering, you’ll have to speak their language.

Well, that’s easier said than done. Unfortunately, website localization is the place of many easy mistakes to make. If you want to reach a wider audience, make your brand more credible, and improve your website traffic – look no further. Here’s our guide to nailing your website localization, without those common mistakes. Let’s dive right in.

The 5 Easiest Localization Mistakes to Make

Though it is easy to think about the localization process as the translation of a website, it’s actually much more complicated and complex than that. Localization is a crucial part of expanding your business, and when it’s done wrong, it can affect your whole organization. So, what are the biggest mistakes to avoid?

Making Content Too Complicated

We’ll start with one of the simplest but most common mistakes: making website content too complicated when localizing. It’s easy to be tempted by the use of intricate, extravagant words when it comes to website localization, but really, the simpler the better. If you want to get your point across to your target audience, it’s best to keep things simple. Make it easy for your visitors to seamlessly browse through your website – it will bring amazing results down the line!

Using the Wrong Tone of Voice

As you most likely know, a brand’s tone of voice is crucial. That’s why it’s really important to stick with the right tone of voice when localizing to another language. This could turn out to be tricky though, depending on which language you’re targeting.

For example, if you translate your content into Japanese, you’ll find that your brand’s tone won’t be noticeable and you’ll end up with something of a completely different style. It’s important to take into consideration both your brand’s style and the target language’s own specificities. Otherwise, your audience will completely miss the point.

Not Taking Into Account Cultural Context

Going even further than considering the style of your brand in its original language, you may even find that when translated, your content becomes completely irrelevant. That’s because local symbolism and context around the world have so much weight, and absolutely need to be taken into account. If not, you risk alienating some of your audience, which would be catastrophic in the context of website localization.

Localizing Using Machine Translation Only

The appearance and recent popularity of machine translation have made it wonderfully accessible to translate a piece of text. Especially seen as though you can easily find free machine translators like Google, Reverso, or Bing. However, we would definitely not advise you to localize your website through these machine translators.

You won’t be able to get a high-quality localization of your website because machine translation doesn’t do well at understanding context or precise terminology – and that’s not even mentioning the complex cultural meanings that translators often come across when it comes to localization. The best solution to translate your original website would be to use a professional human translator, who will know how to seamlessly translate your brand’s voice and tone.

Not Translating All of Your Website

Yeah, we get it – it’s tempting to only localize part of your website. Because why not? Do people really need to read absolutely everything in their native language? Well… Yes.

You’ll find that some companies have only translated their landing page and left their FAQs or technical pages in their original language. However, a recent study showed that most consumers buy far more easily if they can read. You’re missing out on a better customer experience if you don’t translate every part of your website, and you also won’t be able to rank well in your target market.


Hopefully, you’ve got to the end of this article without feeling too outfaced by these common mistakes. If you do though, we totally understand. In fact, here at Future Trans, we are specialized in helping businesses localize their websites. We know all the ins and outs of website localization, and we’re here to help. You can get a free website localization quote, because why not make the most of a high-quality localization’s many benefits?

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