Do Graphics Need To Be Localized?

Should you localize your graphics/images when you are planning the localization of your corporate website?

Why should you spend the extra time and resources on such a tedious task? Is the necessary ROI going to be there? What percentage of your competitors are doing it? Will your target audience find it beneficial? Will it lead to greater market share? These are some of the questions you will have to answer as you plan localization of your corporate website.

Often times it’s not easy answering these questions; as simple as they may seem. In order to really understand what will work best for your target audience, you have to identify and analyze quite a few different websites, ask the right questions, organize the data, and come up with a detailed analysis. Lucky for you, that’s exactly what we did in our study.

We started by identifying and analyzing critical success factors for website localization that will help in achieving your goals in the global marketplace. Then we moved on to website navigation best practices where we analyzed how localized websites are implementing navigation features to connect with target audience. And in this part we want to answer whether it makes sense to localize your website graphics.

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We localize and translate websites for the manufacturing, power, & engineering industries.

It is important to ask why you’re considering localizing your graphics/images. Whatever reason(s) there might be keep in mind that ultimately website localization strategy is generally driven by marketing / branding goals. Localizing graphics/images is simply one component of the overall strategy for staying a step ahead of competitors in the global marketplace.

Localizing websites is quite an extensive process that includes, but not limited to, the following elements:

  1. website copy
  2. navigation design
  3. color scheme
  4. seo strategy
  5. graphics/images

Let’s pause for a minute and visit the importance of “color scheme” when localizing corporate website. Psychology of colors is real and has been real for a very long time. In addition to using colors that are applicable for your target audience, you also want to keep in mind the certain emotions that colors arise in people. Taking the time to finding the right color balance between the target audience and your brand image will be very beneficial in the short run and the long run. For example, the color black arises the feeling of authority and excitement. The colors purple, green, and yellow arise insight.

With that being said, during our analysis of the localized websites for the German market, we found that:

  • 6.9% of the websites’ graphics/images WERE localized.

  • 17.24% of the websites decided to localize SOME of their graphics/images.

  • 75.86% of the websites DID NOT localize their graphics/images.

This can be seen in the following chart:

website localization

So as you can see, most of the websites DID NOT localize their graphics. But does that mean you should not either? Or perhaps should you localize just some of your graphics? EPIC Translations does not think there’s a straight forward answer that is applicable across the board.

However, there are some advantages to localizing your website graphics when it comes your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Some of these benefits include:

  1. It helps search engines, including Google, understand better about your keyword targets
  2. It can also help you to rank on image search, which can bring lots of traffic
  3. You can set ALT Text with your target keyword and when Google indexes that images, it can benefit your website for ranking

Our bottom line analysis indicates that the right answer depends on your marketing / branding goals. Contact us today to move forward with your website localization strategy that will help increase global market share.

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