When expanding internationally, there is common misconception that SEO, and in particular technical SEO, should be done once the website has been built. However, by implementing any SEO recommendations after a website has been translated, there could be extensive rework which will delay a website launch and impact on budgets. There are also some aspects in a site’s infrastructure that are essential to optimize in advance to avoid extensive rework later. So, how do you go about building this into the translation process?
The old approach to translation
For a while now, companies have been aware of the need for a local language website when targeting new global markets. Back in 2014 a Common Sense Advisory report stated “75% [of web visitors] prefer to buy products in their native language. In addition, 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites.” Competing in global markets with a non-translated website is no longer seen as a viable option if a company wants to compete against local business.
The traditional approach has been to focus on translation only, with the key debate being around whether you should use a human translator or machine translation, such as Google Translate.
This approach is now shifting as companies have begun to realize the benefits of localizing their content and website for their target markets. Instead of a single piece of content being translated word for word, companies are now adapting the content to resonate and engage, allowing them to compete more effectively against local competitors. This is known as transcreation, where marketing messages are adapted to different cultures and languages whilst maintaining the original context and intent of the messaging.
However, localization and transcreation are still not