Home Blog Website Design Services How to Design a Website for International Audiences
When businesses expand beyond their home nations, they must ensure that their websites are developed to cater to an international audience. When creating a website for an international audience, designers must take into account several elements. In this article, we will address the significance of building websites for international audiences. We will also offer advice on what considerations you need to make, based on the practises of top website design services around the world.
It isn’t possible for the same website with the same text and language to become successful across a variety of international audiences. Audiences around the world have different habits and preferences, and unless the website caters to those preferences it will not work. However, this also means that a company either needs multiple websites, or multiple variants of its web pages, each built for a specific region of the globe. This is what localization is.
Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to match the cultural, linguistic, and legal needs of a certain region. In website design, localization is adjusting the website’s content, design, and functionality to match the needs of a specific audience. It contributes to a better user experience by making the website more relevant and approachable to the target demographic. A website that is tailored to the target audience is more likely to connect with them and be perceived as reliable.
It can also boost engagement and conversions. Visitors are more likely to stay on a website longer, explore more pages, and eventually make a purchase or perform another desired action if it is tailored to the local language and culture. For example, if a website is aimed at the Japanese market, it should be translated to include the Japanese language, Japanese payment options, and imagery and colors that are representative of Japanese culture.
When designing a website for international audiences, localization is the first thing that needs to be kept in mind. Here are the 3 most important considerations.
Language is an important factor when building a website for an international audience. Your website must be developed in the language of your target audience. It is critical to conduct research on the most commonly spoken languages in the target location in order to identify which languages should be offered on your website.
The website should also provide a language selector that lets users effortlessly switch between languages. Companies like Airbnb and Booking.com have successfully integrated multilingual capabilities that allow users to access their websites in multiple languages. Airbnb’s website allows visitors to choose their favorite language, and the page instantly changes to that language. It is also essential to use proper grammar and syntax for the translated information to ensure that it is easily understandable.
It is important to note that not all languages look the same or have a similar syntax, and so they won’t necessarily fit in the same template as the English content on your website. Accordingly, some design accommodations might have to be made in order to make the new content look good. Care must be taken that such design changes don’t affect the overall structure and usability of the site.
While building a localized website, it is equally critical to consider local search engines and keywords. Local search engines, such as Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia, and Naver in Korea, use algorithms and ranking parameters that differ from those used by Google. To make sure your website ranks higher in search results across all of your targeted countries, you need to do proper keyword research for each of those places. Choose keywords that are acceptable in your selected areas only after ensuring their search volumes are good enough. And remember that localization may involve adapting your keywords even when your target country speaks the same language as you. For example, the keyword “best vacation packages” might work in the USA, but it needs to be changed to “best holiday packages” for the UK.
The hreflang tag is an essential component of international website design. It informs search engines about the language and area for which a page is designed, ensuring that readers find appropriate material. For example, a company’s website that operates in both the UK and France can use the hreflang tag to specify which pages are meant for each region.
For more about the hreflang tag and SEO for global audiences, read our blog on Multilingual and Multi-regional SEO.
Differences in culture can have a huge impact on website design. As a result, before developing a website for an international audience, it is critical to conduct a cultural study. Many parts of website design are influenced by culture, including color schemes, iconography, and even website layout.
A good website design for international customers must be culturally appropriate. Certain cultures, for example, like simple designs, whereas others prefer designs with more colors and images. Some colors may have significant cultural meanings in particular countries, therefore it is vital to use colors strategically in website design. In China, for example, red is connected with good fortune and prosperity, and white is associated with sadness and death in some African cultures.
The usage of pictures is also very significant. Culturally suitable images can help a website connect with its audience and develop trust. It is critical to utilize photos that are representative of the local culture and customs. In Western countries, a beach resort website might display photographs of people in swimwear, whereas in more conservative cultures, the images might depict people in more modest apparel.
Cultural standards impact a website’s layout in addition to colors and imagery. For example, some people read and write their language (like Arabic) from right to left, while others (like English) read from left to right. The layout of a website should be tailored to the target culture’s reading orientation as well.
Because user behavior varies greatly across countries, it is critical to understand how consumers engage with websites in different locations. Adjusting website design for various user behavior entails including features that appeal to the interests of the target demographic.
The most important factor, though, is that users have a positive experience with your website no matter where they are. Having international servers (either physical web servers in multiple locations or cloud solutions) and a reliable Content Delivery Network (CDN) is very important if you want to ensure that your website loads swiftly and efficiently for users all over the world. If your website is hosted on a server in one region, users in other regions may experience delayed load times. This can result in a poor user experience, which can have a negative impact on engagement and conversion rates.
As a result, it is critical to have servers in several zones to reduce latency and ensure that your website’s speed is not jeopardized. A CDN can also aid in the distribution of material across different servers and locations, allowing users to access your website’s information more quickly and efficiently.
In addition to having international servers and a competent CDN, it is critical to ensure that the design and content of your website are optimized for quick loading times. This includes compressing graphics, minification of code, and decreasing the number of server queries.
Apple’s website is an excellent example of an effective website design for usability. The website features a clean, minimalistic design that makes it easy for users anywhere and on any device to navigate and find the products they are looking for.
Creating a website for an international audience necessitates taking into account a number of elements. Businesses can construct websites that effectively engage and connect with audiences around the world by modifying the website’s content and design to fit the demands of users in the exact targeted locations. Localization contributes to a better user experience, more engagement and conversions, and, eventually, increased business success.
Shrutarshi Das is a purveyor of all things digital, with a particular interest in new technological innovations, photography, and gaming.
Good read! Thanks for the sharing!