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Written by Steven Bussey
on August 02, 2022

Costly Mistakes When Localizing: A blog about 8 of the common mistakes made when localizing.

You’ve built a great product and you’re ready to take it global. But before you start selling in new markets, there’s one important step you can’t forget: localization. Localization is the process of adapting your product or service for a specific market.

And while it might seem like a straightforward task, there are actually a lot of potential pitfalls. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at eight of the most common mistakes made when localizing.

Table of Contents:

  1. Not Building a Localization Strategy
  2. Not being clear about your goals
  3. Not Prioritizing the Right Languages
  4. Not Incorporating Local Market Research
  5. Overlooking SEO
  6. Not Using Professional Translators
  7. Not Assessing All Costs
  8. Not Working with a Professional

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Not Building a Localization Strategy

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is not building a localization strategy. A localization strategy is a plan for how you will adapt your content to a new cultural context. Without a localization strategy, you are more likely to make mistakes that could cost you time and money.

Some of the things that should be included in a localization strategy are the target audience, market research, legal requirements, translation technology & outsourcing strategy. Localizing can be a complex and costly process. However, by taking the time to develop a localization strategy and doing your research, you can avoid making costly mistakes.

Find out more about localization strategy and see how mature your localization model is.


Not Being Clear About Your Goals

Not being clear about your goals is one of the most common mistakes made when localizing. When you are not clear about what you want to achieve, it is very easy to make decisions that are not in line with your goals. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and money.

It is important to take the time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve with localization. What are your goals? What do you want to change? Once you have a good understanding of your goals, you can start making decisions that will help you achieve them.

Not Prioritizing the Right Languages

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is not prioritizing the right languages. It is important to research the target market and choose the languages that are most commonly spoken in that market. 

Another mistake that is often made is assuming that all speakers of a certain language are the same. This is simply not true. There are countless dialects of every language, and each one has its own nuances and slang words. It is important to do your research and make sure you are translating your content into the specific dialect that your target market speaks. Otherwise, they may not be able to understand what you are trying to say.

Finally, many companies make the mistake of thinking that they can get by by using free machine translation solutions without any form of editing. While machine translation has come a long way in recent years, and is a great translation aid, it is still not as reliable as human translation and therefore should always be paired with human post-editing to elevate the translated content to the desired quality level. It is always best to use human translators when localizing premium marketing content.

Not Incorporating Local Market Research

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is not incorporating local market research. This can lead to a number of problems, such as not understanding the local market, not knowing what products are popular in the area, and not being able to effectively target advertising.

Local market research is essential for any company that wants to be successful in a new market. Without it, companies run the risk of making decisions that are based on assumptions rather than facts. This can lead to wasted time and money, and can even damage a company's reputation if they are not careful.

There are a number of ways to incorporate local market research into your localization efforts. One way is to hire a local market research firm to conduct a study for you. This will give you access to accurate and up-to-date information about the local market. Another way is to talk to locals directly. This can be done through online forums, social media, or even in person. Talking to locals will give you a better understanding of what they want and need from a company like yours.

Overlooking SEO

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is overlooking SEO. Many businesses think that they can just translate their website and it will be found. However, this is not the case. It is important to do keyword research for the target market and use those keywords on the website, just as you would for a website in your own language. 

Another common mistake is not using country-specific domains. For example, if a business has a website for the United States, it should also have a website for Canada with a .ca domain. This shows customers in Canada that the business is willing to cater to their needs.

Non-localized social media accounts are also a mistake. Businesses should have separate social media accounts for each country. This allows businesses to post country-specific content and engage with potential customers in that country.

Overall, there are many common mistakes that businesses make when localizing their website or online presence. It is important to do some research and avoid these mistakes in order to succeed in the global market.

Not Using Professional Translators

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is not using professional translators. This can lead to a number of problems, such as inaccurate translations, mistranslations, and missing information.

When you use professional translators, you can be confident that your translations are accurate and complete. Professional translators have the training and experience necessary to produce high-quality translations. They also have access to tools and resources that non-professional translators may not be aware of. As a result, they can often provide more accurate and effective translations.

Using professional translators will help to ensure that your message is properly conveyed in the target language. They can ensure that your meaning is clear and that your tone is appropriate. This is especially important if you are trying to reach a new audience in a different culture.


Not Assessing All Costs

One of the most common mistakes made when localizing is not assessing all costs. This can lead to unexpected expenses and cause problems down the road.

When localization, it is important to take into account all costs, including those for research, translation, and software development. These costs can add up quickly, so it is important to have a clear understanding of them from the start.

Another mistake that is often made is not understanding the target market. It is important to research the target market and understand their needs before localization. This will help to ensure that the localized product is successful in that market.

Finally, another costly mistake that is often made is not testing the localized product before launch. This can lead to costly mistakes that could have been avoided with proper testing.


Placing Too Much Focus on Cost Over Professional Services

One of the most costly mistakes you can make when localizing is choosing the cheapest option in favor of working with a professional agency. A professional localization company will have the experience, technology, resources and expertise needed to ensure that you succeed in your new markets. Choosing the cheapest agency may end up being more costly in the long run in terms of delays to launch and unfulfilled potential and ROI. There is often a justification as to why some agencies cost more than others. So, while it is important review cost, it's essential to evaluate the complete package the localization agency brings to the table.


Localizing your content is a great way to connect with new audiences, but it's important to do it right. Making one of these common mistakes could cost you time, money, and customers.

Whether it is your first time taking your products/content abroad or you are looking to step up your global presence, consulting with a professional agency eliminates the stress and takes the mess out of the localization process. Book an obligation-free live meeting to get expert advice on the best localization strategy for your business. 

Contact Andovar

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