Localization Tips for B2B Websites – Part II: Foreign Language Microsites

Let’s continue our discussion on localization for B2B websites. In Part I, we gave you planning tips to get you ready to localize your site. In this post, we’re going to look at foreign language microsites and why these might be a good idea for your business.

What is a microsite?

A microsite is a smaller site that links back to a company’s main site. A company may create a microsite for a unique promotion, to highlight a product, or launch a marketing campaign. They often have a specific focus topic. They are often fun and creative. A great example is ElfYourself® from Office Depot. This is a seasonal microsite aimed at promoting holiday gift giving at Office Depot. Since its launch in 2006, ElfYourself® has become a social media phenomenon.

Why would a company create a foreign language microsite?

One of our clients was getting ready to launch a new branch of their company in Brazil. The microsite’s content was largely taken from the English main site because they did not want to localize their entire English site. They wanted to cater their microsite to potential customers in the Brazil (Portuguese speaking) market. There were certain products and services specific to Brazil. Additionally, there was content  on the English site that was not applicable.

If you have the following goals for your foreign language website, then a microsite may be a great idea for you:

  • Targeting and welcoming new audiences
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Customizing to a new market
  • Testing the waters

What should you include on your foreign language microsite?

You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at your English website. Decide which pages you would like to include on your microsite. If you need help deciding, check and see which pages are viewed by the most visitors for the most amount of time. You’ll want to include those popular pages on your foreign language microsite. Do a little research on your target audience. See what kind of content they find most important and be sure to include it. Also, if you include a “Contact Us” form, make sure you have a plan for answering queries in a foreign language.

What are my next steps?

You have the content. Now, you need to put the microsite together. You can apply the tips from Part I to developing your microsite. As you create the English microsite, make sure all of the functionality (links, buttons, etc.) is okay. Decide how you want to link your microsite to your main English site.

When your English site is all set, it’s time to localize it. This includes everything from image choices to videos to any PDF (design) files. Also, research keywords for your target market and ensure that these are used for Search Engine Optimization. A linguist will incorporate these keywords to ensure your content is properly optimized.


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