Since the translation of a website is not a small project for the best of intentions, we have written a guide for you on the subject.
Practical tips on the content and technical aspects of the translation of your website
As the process of globalisation, more and more companies want to be accessible to customers all over the world. All internal and external documents must therefore be available in several languages and adapted to each of the culture-specific requirements. The flagship of the companies is the website in every country. Since 90% of all Internet users in the EU prefer websites in their mother tongue and only 18% are even willing to shop on foreign-language websites,it is essential to use the company website to reach as many users as possible in their mother tongue.
Identical texts are recognized by search engines as duplicate content. Therefore, it is important that the texts on your multilingual website are always unique content. The content must therefore not be literally translated copies of each other, as this is poorly rated in the ranking of search engines, which causes the affected website to slip quickly.
It is important that translators do not use unnecessarily complicated phrases just to be able to accommodate more keywords in the text.
The recommended keyword density was 3.5 percent for years – but today it is more recommended to look at the keyword density relative to the competition. Either way, the frequency of use of keywords should never be exaggerated, as the search engines may consider the text spam. Even then, the website slips in the ranking. Therefore, it does not work to “hide” keywords on websites.
It is important to identify the correct keywords. These are not necessarily identical in every country, so they must first be researched to ensure cultural adaptation. Only then can new content be written. Cultural differences can make target groups different from domestic ones, and thus websites can also be accessed via other search terms. Caution: Especially in the technical field, the best keywords are not always words in the local language of the customers. In Germany, for example, the term “software” is a much more useful keyword than the German counterpart “Program”, since the latter tends to be used to access event programs.
As explained above, you don’t want to achieve a literal translation of your content, but an adaptation to the new linguistic and cultural context.
It also deals with apparent small details such as the format of telephone numbers, data, price indications, and units of measurement. There are also adjustments to be taken into account at the content level. Suppose a company sells air conditioners – not every country needs them. On the other hand, if you sell heating and air conditioning units, you can change the focus depending on the destination country.
Internationally different search engines
Another aspect – and this is not known to many – is that not every country uses Google for searches. In other countries there are also other search engines, and different optimization measures are suitable for each of them. SEO translators are familiar with this.
Your domain and other online presences
If you currently use the UK domain .co.uk, but want to expand into the USA, for example, it makes sense to be accessible under .com. This is more trusting for your (future) customers than a supposedly foreign website, and also promotes search engine optimization.
You should also make sure that your URL looks different in other languages. Your “About Us” page, for example, should appear not only on the website itself, but also in the English URL as “About Us”.