Best Practices

What Is Content Localization?

Content localization is a constant process of keeping your information up to date in all your target languages.
Gabriel Fairman
2 min
Table of Contents

Content localization is a constant process of keeping your information up to date in all your target languages.

While that’s the technical definition, it’s not the best representation of the term. The definition tends to flatten out the idea to simply translating content, but it’s much more than that; it’s about knowing how to prioritize information to get the highest ROI out of your efforts.

Content is more than just strings floating through a translation system; it represents your sales strategy, legal obligations to customers, and support pages. When asking “What is content localization?” it’s essential to always keep in mind that the strategy should be driven by genuine business value.

What Is Content Localization and Why Is It Important?

Content localization encompasses everything it takes to introduce your product to a new market. You have very little time to make a positive impression on a visitor to your website. Seventy-five percent of consumers base their view of your brand’s credibility on your website. Consumers will leave your website within seconds if their first impression is a poor one, showcasing the importance of localization. Your homepage is likely the first experience your new foreign audience will have with your brand. In only a few seconds, they will decide on:

  • Reliability: Fifty-seven percent of consumers will leave a website that doesn’t load in under three seconds. A website slowed by broken code will turn off consumers and make them unlikely to continue working with a brand.
  • Expertise: While it’s easy to establish expertise in a native language, this becomes considerably more challenging when dealing with a new market where the writer isn’t fluent. It will be up to the linguist to carry that expertise over.
  • Security: Poorly written content gives the impression of relaxed standards. That may make consumers hesitant to conduct business if they must share personal information like credit cards or banking details.
  • Product value: Perceived product value stems from a customer’s initial impression of a brand. A website with grammatically incorrect content will lower that perceived value and cause them to anticipate a similar experience with the product.
  • Customer service: When a consumer first goes to a website looking for information on a product, it will set the tone for all future interactions. If they’re unable to find the information they need, they’ll expect customer service to be lacking as well.

Every important impression a prospective customer will have stems from your website’s design and its content, and good content localization will ensure a high level of accuracy and detail to enhance the experience. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all the content on your website has the same weight. Prioritizing translation based on what drives customer experience helps to control budgets and improve the overall ROI.

Prioritizing the Content Strategy

Prioritizing content localization concentrates on viewing translation as part of a business goal rather than just an administrative process. Most organizations jump into it thinking all content is the same and end up giving it all the same priority. However, this approach is a mistake as it fails to place appropriate importance on the more impactful pieces of content. You can break the content down into three categories: sales, support, and legal.


Sales content isn’t just global content marketing; it’s anything that drives consumers to trust your brand. For example, blogs typically present your company as the expert in the field. As a result, this content needs to be a top priority because it establishes a connection that will later drive sales. A complete process that involves translation, review, editing, and a focus group review ensures better results; you may even leverage A/B testing. In short, this content deserves maximum effort to drive consumers to your page.


Support doesn’t require the same level of attention as it’s designed to help guide users through a single action. Consider something like a page that tells them how to reset their password, which is written in relatively straightforward language. As long as the consumer walks away knowing how to reset their credentials, they’ll be happy. As a result, you can lower the priority of this content. You may, for example, leverage machine translation at first and then send it through an editing review to ensure accuracy.


Legal pages–like user agreements and the terms of use–will be signed hundreds of thousands of times and establish a contract between parties. Accuracy is essential to protect the company and the user. That means that content should be translated, reviewed, edited, and re-reviewed several times. It may also help to have an in-country legal team evaluate the documents. Of course, things like A/B testing won’t be necessary as the goal of the content isn’t conversion–it’s legal protection. As such, the customer impression of the content is less important.Accurate prioritization also applies to budgeting. If you have a $30k budget, you don’t just spend an equal amount across all three categories. Instead, you might pay $20k for your home page, $2k on support, and allocate the rest towards legal. This ensures you focus on what matters in localization and limit costs on low-value information.The definition of localization isn’t as robust as it could be because it doesn’t clarify how you need to prioritize your content to succeed. Focus on the information that drives value to consumers and delivers a positive brand impression. That way, your strategy will support your overall business growth.Bureau Workssupports a prioritized content localization strategy with our intuitive platform. To discover how we can help you understand what content localization is and streamline your process,contact our team.

Gabriel Fairman
Founder and CEO of Bureau Works, Gabriel Fairman is the father of three and a technologist at heart. Raised in a family that spoke three languages and having picked up another three over the course of his life, he has always been fascinated with the role language plays in identity and the creation of meaning. Gabriel loves to cook, play the guitar, tennis, soccer, and ski. As far as work goes, he enjoys being at the forefront of innovation and mobilizing people and teams together toward a mission. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Gabriel was honored with the 2023 Innovator of the Year Award at LocWorld Silicon Valley.
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