Beer & Blog: Globalizing Web Content – What Growing Companies Need to Consider, with Scott Bass



For this Beer & Blog we spoke with Scott Bass, Managing Director of Advanced Language Translation, a company that provides translation and localization services to growing businesses. Scott offered valuable advice for companies looking to adapt their websites and content for global markets.


Michele: What should companies consider when they decide to go global?

Scott: As companies globalize their products or services and expand into new markets, it is important that they also globalize their content. One crucial piece of the content that businesses sometimes overlook in this process is their website.

Many companies hesitate to translate their websites due to the complexity of maintaining a single English website, let alone versions in multiple languages. But considering how important online content is for business, especially in B2B sales, it is staggering how many companies do not have globalized websites. Although it requires extra time and maintenance, the benefits can be substantial.


What are some best practices for implementing a global content strategy?

While certain functions of the online world are more difficult to translate than others, taking the right approach up front makes the process much easier. Beginning with an international content platform can tremendously impact the globalization of a company or a product. By creating an international English site, companies are already steps ahead in ensuring that their content can be applied across languages and cultures. However, creating international content requires careful consideration.

Balancing centralization and localization is key to an effective globalized website. Certain sections of your website, such as regional sales and support information, will always be localized, but centralize where you can. Creating content that is relevant to general audiences can save you from having to rewrite for each locality.


When to Centralize Versus Localize Content



Brand – Be consistent with branding and marketing.

Packaging – Labeling requires greater specificity than general marketing materials.

Corporate website – Don’t limit to country of origin; write for broad audiences.

Country websites – Localization has become a major part of search optimization.

Content – Pieces impacting large majorities are transferrable.

Content – Tailor pieces involving sales and support to specific audiences.

Training – Don't just deliver translation; consider differences in learning styles.

Documentation – Templates and terminology vary, especially in regulated industries.


Michele: How has technology impacted the globalization process?

Although aspects of globalizing are complex, technology is constantly improving the process. Adaptation for mobile platforms has greatly improved, but understanding how languages behave is still critical in design and writing. Certain technologies have also started addressing infrastructure challenges. These fixes allow companies to leverage their site as it is, and while this is mainly a solution to translation, it is still highly beneficial to globalization.


For more information on translating product documentation and training materials for global audiences, check out Scott’s insights on Novatek Communications’ blog.


Tasting Notes: Our beer pick this week is Finger Lakes Summer Wheat from CB’s Brewing Co., a German-style wheat beer with a subtle citrus aroma. Check out the full list of great summer craft beer.