How to approach website localisation

A guide to making your website feel local

4 Create your language resources

Assemble a team of translators to create a glossary and a style guide.

Glossary

This should give translation instructions for the most important words and phrases on your website, such as your brand name, product names and key features.

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Basic Create a simple glossary

Identify the 10-50 most frequently used terms on your website

Create a spreadsheet with a row for each term

Add a column for each language you’re localising into
Intermediate Develop your glossary

Invest in professional translators and reviewers. Hire language specialists from your new market to translate key terms

Review and update your current glossary. If a new product doesn’t match the tone of existing products, create a new product glossary

Choose a terminology management system. Use a high quality authoring tool to manage the translations of your products and services
Full programme Manage your glossary:

Automate your process. Use a glossary management tool

Expand the impact. Create product-specific glossaries

Develop a workflow:

1. Keep your teams on the lookout for new terms

2. Replace outdated terms

3. Gather metrics on key search terms to write SEO-optimised content

Style guide

A style guide ensures consistently written and formatted web and app content.

Basic Create a basic style guide

Gather existing writing and design resources into 1 document

Determine which rules to follow (for example: http://www.economist.com/styleguide/introduction)

Select 2–3 recently written pieces of content and assess your ‘natural’ style. Think about your most commonly used words, phrases, and sentence elements

Based on your natural style, create standards for each content type
Intermediate Assess your style guide

Review your guide. Get feedback from members of Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, etc.

Align across team needs. Use this to ensure the style guide meets everyone’s needs

Maintain your style guide. Ensure it remains useful by regularly reviewing and updating
Full Programme Optimise your style guide

Broaden your base. Create language (and product) specific style guides

Publish your guide. Host it on a platform that all stakeholders can access

Onboard new users. Ensure new content developers familiarise themselves with it