Content Localization: Step-By-Step Guide for SaaS Companies

Content Localization: Step-By-Step Guide for SaaS Companies cover

Content localization is absolutely essential for SaaS companies. It enables them to reach audiences across the globe to drive market expansion and product growth.

Our article provides guidance for SaaS teams on how to effectively localize their content.

Let’s get right to it.


  • Content localization is the process of adapting your content so that users in different countries feel as if it was originally written for them.
  • The process includes translation. However, it often requires wider changes like cultural adaptation, search engine optimization, or adjustments to the UI, date formatting, currencies, and payment systems.
  • Benefits of localized content for SaaS companies include extending the market reach and improving customer experience and satisfaction.
  • SaaS companies can start localizing content from the beginning to attract global customers.
  • Start building your localization strategy by identifying the right market. Track where most of your current customers come from or where similar products are successful.
  • Next, decide which content to prioritize. Website copy, in-app communication, product documents, or legal content are often good places to start.
  • Decide if you’re going to outsource the localization project or do it in-house. If the latter, pick the right tools for the job, like Userpilot which offers AI-powered localization.
  • As you publish your content, track metrics like user engagement, conversion rates, or SEO performance to gauge how successful you’ve been in translating to the target audience’s native language.
  • To avoid misunderstandings and communicate clearly, use simple vocabulary.
  • Engaging local experts and partners can help ensure accurate translation and avoid cultural blunders.
  • Before rolling your localized content out for everyone, test it to identify errors and optimize its performance.
  • Userpilot is a product adoption platform that allows you to automatically localize your in-app messages, surveys, and resource center materials. Book the demo to see how it works!

What is content localization?

Content localization is the process of adapting written and audiovisual content to the needs of the local audience in a different country. Its goal is to make the readers feel as if the content was originally created for them.

Achieving this requires more than translating the content into different languages. For example, to accommodate longer string lengths in other languages, you may need to change your UI.

Languages differ in string lengths
Languages differ in string lengths.

Apart from linguistic changes, content localization usually involves adapting the content to the cultural norms and customs of the target country. For example, you may need to make allowances for different date formats, currencies, or preferred payment systems.

A content localization project may also involve search engine optimization for different regions.

What are the benefits of localized content?

Content localization can benefit SaaS companies in a number of ways.

First, it expands the company’s reach into markets that would otherwise remain inaccessible. This will help them engage with larger and more diverse audiences.

Second, localization improves customer experience and satisfaction. When customers interact with content that resonates with their culture and language, they’re more likely to have a positive view of the product. This translates into greater customer loyalty and potentially higher retention.

When should you engage in the content localization process?

SaaS companies don’t follow the same trajectory as traditional businesses.

Because of the nature of the digital product, they aren’t bound by geographical constraints or limited to local markets. This means they can start to attract global customers without intentionally targeting specific markets.

Consequently, it makes sense to start localizing your content from the get-go.

You could start by using localization software to automatically translate the UI, onboarding flows, or resource center modules. Once you see higher interest in specific foreign markets, you can expand the localization project to include other kinds of content.

What is an example of content localization?

Let’s imagine you’re the product manager of an accounting platform. The product is very successful in the American market but you also see that many of your customers are based in Germany. You decide to localize the product.

Some of the aspects that require localization are:

  • Website copy
  • Testimonials
  • Product UI
  • Onboarding flows and in-app guidance
  • Support resources (for example, to reflect differences in tax law between US and Germany)
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies

Some of the content, like in-app guidance, is localized automatically by localization tools. To localize the more technical and creative content, you contract linguists and marketers with robust knowledge of the German market.

Tooltip localization
Tooltip localization.

How to create an effective content localization strategy?

Creating a robust localization strategy normally includes 4 main stages. Let’s look into each of them.

Step 1: Research your target market and the languages they speak

Start your localization project with solid research to identify the best target market. This is essential to ensure you get a good ROI.

There are two ways to go about it.

First, you can use your web analytics to study the current traffic for expansion opportunities, like in the example above. If you can see that there is particularly high interest in some countries or regions, they may be worth exploring further.

Some questions you want to ask here are:

  • Where are the visitors from?
  • How significant is the traffic from different locations?
  • What’s the average session time and bounce rate?
  • How many customers do you have in the region?
  • What languages do they speak?

The other way is by looking at how similar products are doing in different markets.

If one of your competitors has a strong presence in a particular market, there may be a way for you to get a slice of the pie too. However, if the market is really saturated, you can look at markets where your competitors aren’t present yet.

If you choose the latter, make sure to validate the idea before you commit.

Follow up with more research to check if there’s actually demand for the product. If other companies, especially the big players aren’t operating in a particular market, there is often a good reason for that.

Step 2: Identify which existing content to localize

What content you decide to localize will depend on your product, the market, and your GTM strategy.

In-app messaging

In-app messages play an important role in the product onboarding process. They enable users to discover the relevant functionality and learn how to use it to achieve their goals.

Consider localizing the following:

Modal localization
Modal localization in Userpilot.

Product documentation

Product documentation is another kind of content that you may want to localize sooner rather than later.

New users, regardless of where they live, always need some support. The catch is that your support team, who are already stretched out supporting the current customer base, may not be able to deal with support tickets in a different language. That’s why robust self-service help is even more important.

Initially, focus on written docs. As you cover these, consider localizing audiovisual content like video tutorials. This kind of content is more challenging to localize but also more effective, so it will be worth the effort in the long run.

Resource center localization
Resource center localization in Userpilot.

Marketing materials

Localizing marketing materials will allow you to acquire and retain more customers, drive account expansion, and consequently, increase your market share.

Which materials you localize depends on your marketing strategy. For example, if like Userpilot, you rely on content marketing for lead acquisition, that’s where your money should go first.

Bear in mind though that marketing content or strategies that work very well in one market may not be as successful in others. The choice of the best ways to market your product to the intended audience should be a part of your localization strategy. Make sure to cover it in your market research.

Blog content localization
Blog content localization.

Legal content

Localizing your legal content, like your terms and conditions, is essential for 3 reasons.

First of all, it makes the documents more accessible for users who aren’t native speakers of your language. This helps users fully understand their rights, obligations, and the terms they are agreeing to.

More importantly, you need to ensure that they are compliant with the local laws. For example, different countries have different consumer rights or data protection regulations. By localizing legal documents, you minimize the risk of legal issues.

Finally, localized legal documents can be crucial in case of legal disputes. Make sure that your agreements are legally enforceable in the local jurisdiction.

Legal content localization
Legal content localization.

Step 3: Create a workflow for your localization efforts

Once you decide what to translate, it’s time to organize your localization workflows.

The first decision to make is whether you’re doing it in-house or outsourcing to a specialized localization agency.

Your in-house team is more familiar with the product but they may lack the linguistic expertise and knowledge of the local market.

An agency, especially a local one, will most likely be better equipped to take care of the linguistic and cultural aspects of the project but they may need time to learn about the product. And they cost more.

A good compromise could be localizing some content in-house, for example, the in-app messages, and outsourcing the more demanding ones, like legal docs, to the experts.

If you decide to go the in-house way, you will need the right tool stack. This may include dedicated localization suites, like Lokalize or Fraze.

Apart from these, many products support integrated localization functionality. For example, Userpilot offers an AI-powered localization feature that you can use to translate your in-app messages, surveys, and resource center materials.

Userpilot offers AI-powered localization functionality
Userpilot offers AI-powered localization functionality.

Step 4: Measure the success of localized content

Once you roll out your localized content, track how it performs.

What metrics should you focus on?

This will depend on your goals and what content you’re monitoring. Here are some examples:

Survey automatically translated into Spanish
Survey automatically translated into Spanish in Userpilot.

Best practices for executing a solid content localization strategy

Let’s check out some good practices that will help you maximize the benefits of your localization efforts.

Prioritize localizing content for important user journey stages

Ideally, you would want to localize content across all stages of the customer journey. However, this is usually not possible if you’re only entering a new market.

For that reason, prioritize those aspects which are essential for the users to find the product and start using it efficiently to solve their problems. This may include your landing and pricing pages, product UI, and onboarding materials. They are fairly easy to localize with the right tools.

Once you nail these, start looking at other aspects such as your upsell modals, blog content, video tutorials, or case studies.

Which content localization should you prioritize?
Which content localization should you prioritize?

Use simple vocabulary when adapting content to the local market

Simple vocabulary makes it easy to communicate your ideas clearly and avoid misunderstandings. For example, in English, the shorter the words, the easier they’re to understand.

Avoid jargon and technical terminology unless it’s absolutely essential.

Benefit from the services of local experts in the translation process

While AI-powered localization tools are great for translating simple things like your surveys or resource center modules, they won’t cut it when it comes to more technical or creative copy.

For localizing such texts, your best bet is an agency that is familiar with the local market or business practices. They will be in a better position to professionally localize your legal content or digital marketing materials.

Be mindful of cultural differences

Localization tools also lack the cultural sensitivity of human translators. This can be a proper minefield.

There are plenty of large companies that messed up big time when expanding to new markets because they neglected this aspect. Like Nike whose Air Max logo on the shoe sole resembled the word ‘Allah’ (God) in Arabic.

Seek the help of your local partners to avoid such pricey blunders.

Test localized content before publishing it for all

One way to avoid issues is by testing the content before publishing it for all customers.

In this way, you will be able to pick up linguistic or cultural errors. What’s more, it will help you to tweak your localized content to better meet your goals.

Split and multivariate testing are two ways to choose the best copy. In short, it involves enabling a different version of your content to different groups and tracking their performance.

A/B testing
A/B testing in Userpilot.


Content localization enables SaaS companies to reach more customers around the globe and win their trust. It increases your brand’s credibility and drives your product growth in international markets.

If you want to see how Userpilot can help you localize your in-app communication, book the demo!

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