Do you understand your customers?
Understanding customers is the key to a successful software. Globalization has made it possible for companies to reach out to customers living in different parts of the world and this has in a way brought world a lot closer. However, differences in culture and language continue to exist and its important that every business adapts its policies, content and work culture to the local culture to be successful. This is because people of a particular region are used to a certain language, phrases and culture and they would not want to change their way of life for a company. Also, its the company that is looking to attract people to its products and services and so, they have to embrace the local culture and language.
Localization or the process by which the content and functionality is customized to reflect the local language. For example, the word color is spelled differently in the US and UK and so a software or a mobile application should have the correct spelling depending on the country in which it is marketing its product. Expressions, puns and words mean different things in different countries and the software should reflect this as well.
Besides languages, symbols and colors have different meanings in different cultures. For example, the color red means prosperity in China and danger in some western countries. So, the software application should use the right symbols and colors to help the local people to relate to it. The businesses should work towards understanding the culture thoroughly before localizing the product for that culture. Another way to relate to the local people of a country is to embrace their culture and way of life in your product. Some countries like India like the use of vibrant colors and bold textures and this love for colors should be incorporated in the software or mobile application to make it more appealing to the local crowd.
Besides the content and symbols, the keywords should also be localized. This is important because search engines such as Baidu and Google index meta tags and content as they are. So, if the meta tags of a website are spelled differently than what the users search, then the web page is not going to appear in the results at all and this impacts the number of people who are likely to visit the site through search engine results. Of course, the search engines try to guess and to connect search terms, but relying on such an uncertainty, isn't the best marketing plan.
Another aspect of localization is the right choice of keywords. For example, UK users search for "mobile phones" while those living in the US use the phrase "cell phones." So, the web page should reflect the right phrase depending on the country. This is another reason software developers should localize the content and keywords for the web pages. In short, localization is the process of understanding your customers of a particular region so that your customers can relate to the language, marketing techniques and ultimately to your product. This is vital for the continued success of a software or a mobile application. Localization is a challenge for every business, but it is also necessary if the company hopes to attract the crowd of a particular country. We at lingohub are working on a solution that allows Web and Mobile Software companies (no matter if you are a one-man show or you have 100+ employees) to tackle this challenge and seize the opportunity of having a larger customer base and providing a better product.