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How to translate a website

Written by Dorota Pawlak – localization specialist, translator & writer

In order to sell your quality products on the global market you need to ensure that your content is engaging and speaks the language of your target audience. But how exactly do you achieve that?

There are three key ingredients that are required for a successful website translation: tools, people and processes. Below you can find out how to combine these ingredients in the right proportions to obtain excellent results.

1. Website translation tools

The days of using merely text editors to translate website content are long gone. To make sure your website is professionally translated you need to rely on Computer Assisted Tools (CAT), Translation Memories (TMs), or termbases, all of which help to ensure consistency, higher quality, and faster turnaround times. Using website translation and localization tools allows you to process a variety of file formats, so you don’t have to worry that your website developed in html, php, or Python won’t be accessible to your translators. With a few clicks, you can create a website translation project, add your source files, create a translation memory, select a termbase, and then assign the project to translators. 

Of course, you can leave all these steps to your language service provider, who will decide what the best approach to translate your website is, then choose the right tools, and assign skilled team members to your project. In this case, all you need to do is to provide your vendor with the website source files to be able receive your high-quality website translated into the languages of your choice.

2. Processes involved in website translation

How do you translate a website that features marketing texts, banners, CTAs, or creative product descriptions? By enhancing your website translation process with three more essential stepstranscreation, localization and SEO keyword implementation.

What is localization?

Localization takes place when you adapt your digital product to the new market. This goes beyond translation, and involves adaptation of the layout, images, colors, or navigation patterns to the local culture. The goal of this process is to ensure that your website is clear and engaging for the local users in every single aspect. 

What is transcreation?

Anytime you deal with creative content, such as marketing copy, you need to transcreate it, if you want to preserve the same message in another language. Transcreation is a combination of translation and copywriting, because the text might also be rewritten in the process. The content is adapted to the local culture, for example, by adding idioms, metaphors, cultural references, or word puns. The goal of this process is to ensure that content resonates with the target audience and creates the same emotional experience as the original message.

What are SEO keywords?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and reflects the visibility of your website in search engines. If your potential customers can’t find your website, you won’t sell your products. In other words, implementation of the correct keywords and phrases in both your on-page headlines and body text, and also SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions is essential in order to gain organic traffic to your website over time. Some keywords are difficult to implement and require the creative mind of an experienced translator or transcreator.

Why are these steps important when you translate a website?

To make sure your high-end business website remains relevant for the global users, you can’t focus on the text translation only. Your checkout process, product description, CTAs, slogans, the brand story displayed and the SEO keywords on the website have to be adapted to the needs and preferences of your local audience. In this way, your users will notice that you don’t only speak their language, but also fully understand their cultural background. That’s the first step to ensure smooth user experiences and convert random visitors into regular customers.

3. Professional website translation team

If you want to offer your products and services to global customers, you’ll benefit from working with experts who will help you create content in multiple languages. As tempting as it may seem, using machine translation or asking “a colleague with a good language command” for help is not the best option from a business perspective. Finding the right vendor with the correct skillset and experience in your industry is the key to successful website translations. A professional language services provider will make sure that the same translator is assigned to all of your projects – not only for your website, but also for your newsletters or social media posts. This approach guarantees that all your content types created for the new market are consistent, use appropriate terminology, keywords and tone of voice. Another important step is to involve reviewers who will double check that the content reads well. 

Finally, if your aim is to create a multilingual website it’s worth working with a vendor who can offer translations into all of your preferred languages and ensures smooth communication between you, your project manager, translators, and reviewers. 

To translate a website is an essential step if you want to grow your business internationally. High-quality, consistent, and relevant content will help you gain trust and loyalty of your local users, which ultimately leads to more sales. 

How to translate a website the best way

At Syntaxpoint we work with all the essential tools, processes and people to make sure your website is perfectly translated into a new language. If website translation isn’t part of your expansion strategy yet, take the first steps today to quickly tap into the global market full of business opportunities.

Read more about our solutions here.