If your company expands and becomes internationally active, the localisation of your website will be next on the agenda. There is much more to be taken into consideration here than just the linguistic adaptation. Pay attention to key factors and create a good international website and homepage by heeding the following tips.

Complete localisation of the website

When converting your content into another language, a natural and appropriate translation merely provides a basis. Beyond this, the comprehensiveness of the localisation is particularly important. Do not only adjust continuous texts, but also text passages such as the page title and directory names. It is also worth noting that all meta descriptions and keywords, all anchor texts for external and internal links and any alt-texts belonging to images must be converted into the target language. The more comprehensive the homepage localisation, the better the website’s search engine ranking will be.

Brand message multilingualism

Whether or not customers correctly understand the language used on your website is directly linked to the online success of your company. However, when performing a successful website localisation, multilingualism does not end there. In order to generate a positive user experience, the entire identity and message of your brand must be adjusted to suit local markets.

For example: On the French version of your homepage a large slogan is used, which sums up your product or service in just a few words. The slogan is well received by visitors and has become established within your company as one of your brand’s key messages. However, following expansion this success does not guarantee that the same effect will be created in the German language, on the German webpage. Pay attention to mentality, language use, colloquial language and ambiguities in the target language. Idioms and puns often cannot be translated 1:1 and are interpreted differently by various nationalities. These differences stand out even more drastically when a website localisation is taking place without another cultural circle.

Other countries, other customs? Bear cultural differences in mind

In addition to the national difference in terms of language use, there are many other factors that must be adapted to suit cultural and regional circumstances when localising a website and especially a homepage. This includes time and date information, temperatures, the currency and telephone number formats.

For online shop operators, it doesn’t stop there. In particular, units of measurement and clothing sizes must be adapted and the cultural and religious norms in the target country must be respected. In order to give your international website an extra touch of regional charm, regional information can be integrated or local websites referenced.

The visual identity of a brand is perceived differently in every country. While in European countries the colour white represents purity or peace, in Asian countries white is synonymous with death and sorrow. In addition to colour choice, it is recommended that you ensure that the symbols used and the navigation on your website is culture-neutral.

Test different versions of your localisation against one another

There is no single, correct version of a multilingual website. The use of A/B testing tools is therefore advisable. They can be used to perform initial testing of the colours, content, positioning of videos, images, buttons or page menus, before you decide on a specific version of your international website.

Your international website is your store signage for customers around the world. For this reason, A/B testing and the personalisation of websites (the term used is conversion optimisation) have now become part of the standard repertoire of successful international brands. Driven by competition and the prospect of an increase in turnover, the majority of companies test important key factors of their website before going live.

Testing website localisation for success: a case study

Etam is a leading online lingerie retailer, which delivers throughout Europe, and makes its website available in several different languages. On the French page there was a product category called “Homewear”, which included nightwear and comfortable clothing for in the home. The visitor flow viewing the category is to be increases, and so the Etam team focussed in more closely on the category name. The study revealed the assumption that the visitors to the French site do not properly understand the term “Homewear” or have no specific association with it. For this reason, the homepage was tested using the AB Tasty testing tool, against a new version on which the product category is called “Lingerie de Nuit”. Would an increased number of visitors now access the category?

The website localisation performed by the brand Etam, using the category name

Version 1: Use of “Homewear”

The website localisation of the brand Etam, using the category name

Version 2: Use of “Lingerie de Nuit”

It turned out that a considerably higher number of visitors called up the product category on the version with the French term. Consequently, it can be deduced that French customers prefer French terms on their local website.

The comparison allowed Etam to ensure that French customers correctly understand the use of language on the website.


Tapping into foreign markets presents both opportunities and risks. In order that the expansion of your company is successful, your website must be translated into other languages and must flawlessly showcase your brand. In addition, the website localisation must be comprehensive and must be performed for all elements of your website (including graphic elements). Adapt brand messages to suit the target country and pay attention to cultural factors and stumbling blocks. In order to test the localisation for success and to verify the quality of translated content from a customer perspective, you can us an A/B testing tool. If you heed these tips when localising your website, it will provide your customers around the world with a suitable point of contact.

About the author

AB Tasty is Europe’s leading all-in-one conversion optimisation provider. In order that you can convert the visitors to your website into customer, AB Tasty provides you with a complete solution offering everything you need to optimise your website: A/B testing & MVT, personalisation, widgets to increase visitor engagement, the best Insight options on the market and even app optimisation. Website:

Are you looking for a concise overview of all of the points that should be considered when localising and translating your website? Our guide can provide further assistance:

Translation and website localisation: best practices

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