Website owners want to translate a website to attract more buyers from other markets and tell them about their product or service. That’s why they should provide the site visitors with accurately translated information.

Rude discrepancies, misspellings, inaccurate terms, incoherent sentences will evoke negative impressions and bring negative results. So, machine translation isn’t perfect and thus insufficient. Even though translation programs are fast and have higher performance, their work should be corrected by human professionals. Therefore, it is better to complete the task without online tools.

However, if you think that to translate the site content without errors is enough, you are mistaken. There are at least three major reasons for that:

  1. The site should be localized, not just translated, because the website visitors from different countries must understand the content properly.
  2. The site should be indexed for search, so keyword research in the target language is important. If the website does not contain keywords in the target language, users will never find it in Google search results.
  3. Website content should be unique to avoid penalties.

The guide provides tips on how to translate a website with deep expertise in the website localization industry.

What Is Website Localization?

The site content should be tailored to the needs of the readers in each particular country. That means it should be clear and relevant for the target area. Thus, while everyone is aware of IKEA or Amazon, some local entities require additional descriptions or explanations, this is how localization works in online business.

Localization Strategy

An efficient start is to peep into what your market competitors usually do in that field, how they adapt their product presentation to customers from the target markets. The basic thing is to make the product or service interesting and easy to understand for potential clients. So the more useful information they will be able to find on the site, the better.

This will spare time for customer support. Even though you can easily translate the queries with translation tools to get the idea, never send machine-translated replies. So, expect questions from new countries and hire a professional to translate the answers.

Make sure that your website content won’t sound confusing, perplexing, or rude in the target language. Therefore use the service of human translators with proficient language skills and seek a native speaker’s advice whenever possible.

Logos require particular attention in this regard. Examples of inappropriate ambiguity and misuse include Nothing Sucks Like an Electrolux by the renowned Scandinavian brand in the U.S. market or the failure of Blue Water in Ukraine since it sounds very similar to ‘puke’. Another unsuccessful instance was the attempt of General Motors to expand in Latin America with their Chevrolet Nova while ‘no va’ means ‘can’t move’ in Spanish.

The best solution for this situation is to test the translation and rebrand or paraphrase the slogan if necessary. Thus, the Coca Cola Company could not use their exact brand name in China as it translates to ‘bite a wax tadpole’ in Chinese. They checked several thousand variants, finally excelling with Kekoukele representing their trademark and sounding perfect for a Chinese ear. It means ‘happiness in the mouth, tasty fun’.
When it comes to logos and website localization, it is brilliant to use:

  • rhymes,
  • assonance,
  • alliteration,
  • pun (a play on words).

Prepare Website Content For Translation

Generally speaking, there are four ways to prepare the website content for translation. What to choose depends on your requirements, technical issues, budget and, of course, translator’s skills:

  1. The easiest way to work with translated files is to have them paired in a table with two columns for the source and target language. You will be able to quickly find what you need; it is also helpful for those who have no command of the other language. It is also convenient to create a Google Doc or Spreadsheet. In this way, you can share a link with other members of the project and work at the file simultaneously.
  2. If you are going to localize your website with the desktop translation software like SDL Trados, it is necessary to provide a translator with a series of HTML pages, or, with XML.
  3. If the website is going to be translated with cloud-based translation tools like Smartling or Smartcat, you can upload all kinds of localization formats, including JSON, PO/POT, XML, YAML, etc.
  4. If your website is created on the WordPress platform, you can implement the localization directly on this platform using different translation plug-ins.

How To Develop A Keyword Strategy

People speaking different languages have different mentalities and cultures. For example, Russian-speaking users residing in the United Kingdom search for hotels using keyword in Russian “отель”, while Russian-speaking users in Russia use “гостиница”. In other words, the way people put their search needs into words is not the same everywhere.

To translate keywords to a targe