Your potential customers abroad need to be able to understand your content. A website is an important way to be found. Everyone googles or searches information online. People tend to do searches in their own language. Translated and localized website improves your performance in finding customers.
Translation is the process of changing your content from one language to another. Localization is a step further. Localization is the process that makes the locals feel like you speak their language. Changing currencies or units are examples of localizable content. Or changing some cultural references to make the content feel more local.
It’s good to remember that translation and localization might be needed even inside the country borders. Some expressions or preferred tone of voice can differ in the different regions of a country. Likewise, there might be people speaking different languages. For example, Finland has three official languages. In addition, many people living in Finland speak none of these three languages but some other language. The situation is similar in many countries.
Here is a short 2-minute video by Google. It explains the importance of website translation and localization extremely well.
Hopefully going global is now a little bit easier for you to do. Keep calm and start localization. If you can do it yourself, outsource or utilize a localization tool. And don’t forget to check the outcome with the help of a native speaker.