As more companies expand across continents, website globalization—the process of launching an adapted, multilingual version of a company's core website into different regions throughout the world—is becoming a crucial initiative for business of all sizes and industries.
Marketers preparing to launch global websites should consider several factors, including how to localize content marketing, divide responsibilities between central and local marketing teams, and maintain brand consistency.
Though website globalization is a bit unnerving to many marketers, technology can simplify the process.
As the foundation to any website and content marketing initiative, Web-content management (WCM) platforms are the first step in technology decisions.
Here are some considerations for marketers as they look for a WCM platform on which to successfully globalize their websites.
1. Give marketers control
With more international websites and content to manage than ever, marketers need a WCM platform that empowers them to easily edit Web-page layouts and templates, and readily publish and re-use Web content without the help of IT.
It's impossible for marketers to effectively build and manage their brand globally if they are hamstrung by technical challenges. As opposed to their on-premise counterparts, 100% SaaS-based WCMs are built with the non-technical user in mind, and as a result, they give marketers more control over Web content and presentation, so that they can provide compelling content experiences. For example, Interface, one of the world's largest designer, maker, and seller of carpet tile, was able to cut its time-to-publish from two days to just two minutes by giving their marketers more control of Web content using a SaaS-based WCM.
2. Share content across multiple sites
A regional website is an adapted version of the company's core website with content that has been translated and/or altered to match the region that it serves. Nearly 35% of marketers manage 11 or more regional sites. However, more than half of them said that between 20-60% of the content on their regional websites is out of date or behind at any one time.
To manage these multiple sites more efficiently, ensure brand consistency, and keep content up to date, marketers must have the ability to publish, reuse, and update content from one platform account to multiple websites. WCM platforms that separate content from presentation allow marketers to easily re-use the same content across multiple pages and sites, saving them significant time.
3. Support multiple languages
The majority of today's marketers are increasingly deploying sites in multiple languages... and in a short timeframe. A WCM platform must therefore support any language, including the advanced character sets used for Asian languages, and support for right-to-left character entry for languages, such as Arabic or Hebrew.
A WCM platform must also let marketers organize multiple language versions of specific content together in a single workflow so that they can easily and quickly scale to more languages as needed.
4. Enable faster publishing across mobile channels
Managing multiple global websites means managing multiple mobile websites and apps as well. That's why a WCM platform that enables faster content publishing across devices is a must-have.
First, marketers should look for WCM platforms that give them the ability to preview, as they are editing, how content and designs will appear on mobile and tablet devices so they can ensure optimal customer experiences throughout the digital experience.
Second, the platform should offer out-of-the-box multi-channel Web-content management capabilities built into content and design workflows. This removes the need for costly IT customizations and extra steps, saving marketers time, money, and resources when publishing content to multiple channels.
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With the right technology, marketers can successfully globalize their websites and ensure that each regional online and mobile website is delivering a digital experience that reflects their brand and that will ultimately help convert prospects into buyers.
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