SEO – Search Engine Optimization – plays one, if not the most important role in successful online marketing. It is only by using the right keywords, creating unique content, and knowing how algorithms and user behavior work that web content can be created that is found by search engines and increases user interaction. This requires specialist knowledge.
However, it gets complicated when a website is to be translated, for example because an online shop wants to expand its customer base, a hotel chain wants to offer better service to international guests or an international company wants to portray this international status accordingly on their website. Here you must balance a fitting translation and a SEO-compliant presentation in the target language.
Find out below why the professional translation of websites is so demanding and what you as a customer have to pay attention to when choosing a professional translation service.
Below are the challenges of translating websites
When translating websites, there are several things that need to be taken into account that are often not initially considered by a layperson. For this reason, to ensure high quality results, professional translators should always be involved in the process. According to the project manager of the online translation agency Linguation, demands for professional website translations are increasing by 20% each year.
While it is undoubtedly understandable that a translation must be technically and semantically flawless no matter how many scientific or technical terms are used, it is often overlooked that a straightforward translation itself is often not enough to address the target audience in another language. This especially applies to advertising slogans, quotations, or idiomatic expressions: Here, a carefully localized translation is usually necessary, taking into account the cultural background of the target language.
Professional website translators also need to have marketing expertise, because knowledge of the needs and requirements of people in different countries is essential for a successful translation, as these often differ precisely in those areas that a layperson does not initially think of.
Finally, and this is probably the most important point, as already mentioned, it must be ensured that the web content is translated in accordance with SEO. After all, the best translation is useless if the page is simply not listed in the search results. To avoid this, it is necessary to study the search behavior of users in the target country and to know the algorithms of the search engines used there.
China, for example, is a huge market but is dominated by search engine technology from Baidu – a search engine for which you must pay close attention to using keywords that are not filtered. Since these can often be the most basic terms, it is important to assign translators with the appropriate knowledge.
These translators are familiar with the needs and requirements of Internet users in the target country, know their search behavior and have dealt with the functions of the search engines most commonly used so that they can provide you with translations that can overcome these obstacles.
How to recognize competent translators
Because basically just anyone and everyone can, in theory, call themselves a “translator” according to Linguation’s project manager, caution should be exercised with translation providers. First, you should always contact a reputable translation agency, because when selecting the translators for your assignment, these agencies make sure to select translators fitting the requirements of your documents.
Most of the time, they also put together a team of translators with different foci, so that your website translation is comprehensively processed in the areas of marketing, SEO, and localization as well as content management. In addition, translation agencies act as mediators between the client and translator, should any problems occur.
However, there are some points you should pay attention to when choosing a translation agency: You should definitely refrain from providers offering questionably low prices, as here you usually get low-quality machine translations that you could have created yourself for free. In addition to fair and clear pricing, you should also pay attention the corporate masthead: Does the address given exist? Are there easy ways to contact customer support (e.g. phone number, e-mail, live chat)? Is it a registered company?
Make sure these points apply to the translation agency of your choice and your e-commerce is almost guaranteed to succeed in overseas markets.