The internet has certainly made the world a smaller place but that does not mean that the world is becoming more homogenous. Quite the opposite is happening in fact, as the more people that go online the more the web becomes culturally mixed.
SEO for businesses today must consist of much more than using the latest design trends. Designers should also be designing sites that take the full range of people viewing the site into consideration. The largest and most successful companies know that they have to offer different versions of their web content so as to appeal to everyone who accesses their websites.
If a company fails to present its online information in ways that are suitable for all types of cultural audiences, it is sure to miss out on potential customers who cannot relate to how the information is being presented. Take a quick look at the McDonald’s U.S. website and then at the site for Indian customers and you will notice very stark differences in how the information is presented. The Indian site is heavy on color and is much more interactive. The U.S. site on the other hand is more minimalistic and straightforward in nature. This illustrates how web design for businesses should be approached – by understanding how people from different cultures prefer to have their information presented.
It is absolutely essential to the success of your business that you focus on the website user experience for so that your visitors, no matter where they are located, have a successful visit. Studies have shown us that if a visitor to your site has a successful visit, he/she is three times more likely to recommend your site than if they find the visit unpleasant. Successful websites are often customized or localized for foreign markets, taking the local language into account, social standards and aesthetic preferences. Localizing a website is a rather complicated chore but it is necessary. Making versions of a site for different cultures shows consumers that your organization is willing to accommodate their needs. When a user sees a version of a website in his or her language, even if they are proficient in English, results in that user having a very favorable experience.
Users from around the world have special needs related to entry fields on websites for names and addresses, dates and measurements and information about regional product standards. Considering all of the issues related to international usability, it is recommended that international usability testing with users is done. This testing can be done from wherever you are located as you could make telephone calls to users to ask them to think aloud as they navigate the site, assuming of course that you can locate these foreign users who speak your language well enough to complete a telephone interview.
The internet is called the world wide web for a reason and more and more web design professionals are realizing that the emphasis today must be placed on the first two words: World Wide. If you want to truly go global and succeed with your website, resist going with those web designers that offer those too-good-to-be-true web design deals and instead work with a team of experts who understand the importance of website globalization optimization and how to implement it.