Peak Translations

6 steps to smarter website translation

Ensuring our services derive maximum benefit for our clients is a guiding principle here at Peak Translations. That involves giving the best possible advice to remove the cost of any unnecessary translation, reduce the number of queries from the translator to streamline the process, and ultimately deliver the project on schedule. We recommend consideration of the following when commissioning a website translation.  

1. Decide which pages can be excluded from the translation

There are many reasons why you might choose not to translate your UK website in full.

If a market entry project, it makes sense that only the top levels of your site hierarchy are translated or perhaps even a dedicated landing page; at least, until the point you can justify further investment.

Similarly, it could be there are some products or services that you do not intend to sell beyond the UK market. It may be obvious that the promotional pages for these products are not needed, but perhaps your Case Studies or Blog pages could also be trimmed as a result?

More generally, translating your website presents the perfect opportunity to audit your UK website, removing any content that is outdated or repetitive.  

2. Localise your content

When assessing how much localisation is needed for your website translation, it is really important to think about the country as much as the language. Of course, to what extend localisation is needed, will be dictated by your overall strategy for your chosen market.

Localisation points to consider include:  

  • Measurements: In the UK, we often use both imperial and metric; on the continent and in the US, just metric will do.
  • Currencies: Your £ references will need to be converted to € or otherwise, and a decision taken on whether you want your converted price to be static or reflect the current exchange rate.
  • Form of payments: PayPal, as one example, is not available in Turkey.
  • The product itself: is it being used in a slightly different way? We have had two recent instances where a children’s alarm clock and a medical app both used the 12-hour clock for its UK audience. These products had to be adapted to the 24-hour clock when targeting those countries that do not make use of AM and PM.
  • Delivery: Might delivery times and costs differ? Will the courier be different? Does your returns policy need updating?
  • Your company information: Your Careers page might extol the benefits of a Nuffield Health membership, free parking or generous holiday entitlement, but these benefits need to be adapted to each country of operation.
  • Images: may require localisation as much as the written copy. As a seller of sportswear, for example, you may be talking to football fans in one country but rugby fans in another, and the images will need to reflect this. Consider too that, in some languages, the copy and imagery are, in fact, inter-dependent. For example, in German, an image of a male or female doctor will require a reference to ‘der Arzt’ or ‘die Ärztin’ accordingly.


3. Consider legal differences

Any references or disclaimers will need to reflect the legislation in that country. Does your Privacy Policy, for example, make any mention of the UK Data Protection Act?

On a related note, are there any differences in how subject access requests are dealt with? In the UK, visitors to your website may have the right to request a copy of the information you hold on them without incurring a charge (unless they request further copies, in which case it is reasonable to charge a small fee). Your legal advisor will be able to confirm whether arrangements are different in your target country.  

4. Think about keywords

Once you are happy that your content has been prepared for your website translation, your next task is to consider your keyword research.

At Peak, we ask our clients to provide one or two keywords for each web page. As well as research to identify common search terms for your product, our linguists use appropriate tools to find related keywords and search terms which can then be used to populate your meta descriptions, meta titles and page titles, as well as the content itself.

Our research can also identify how much traffic a keyword generates, and how expensive it might be to bid for that word. It therefore allows you to weigh up any pay-per-click investment against the value of leads generated.  

5. Decide on a format in which to present your copy

You should inform your translation company at the very start of the project, which format you need for your translated copy.

There are three different options, depending on how the translated copy will be uploaded to your website:  

a. Provide your URL or html files.

This may be the easiest option but some pages may not be visible/identified. To assist, you can also provide a sitemap or simple list of pages you want to be included.

b. Provide the copy in another format, e.g. Word or Excel.

We have previously worked on the translation of the Italian and German standalone websites for safety in healthcare facilities company, Allegion. Our copy was provided in Word documents for upload by the client at their end.

Similarly, we worked in Word when we partnered with the web design company Clickoo to translate from German into French the Sunbelt Rentals site.

Bear in mind that this approach may mean there is more work to do at your end importing the text back into the web format you need. It could be just a few clicks or it could be a full copy and paste job for each sentence / paragraph.  

c. Allow access to the web platform e.g. WordPress or an e-commerce site such as Shopify.

Direct entry into a web platform allows the translations to go live in real-time and avoids the need for any work at the client end to upload the translations. However, the downside is that care has to be taken to log what has been translated in order to ensure the revision stage can be carried out effectively. Secondly, the benefits associated with working in our translation software in terms of cost and time savings are lost.

It is worth finding out too if there are any specific requirements from the team managing your platform. At Peak, we often work hand in hand with our clients’ web developers to ensure all are involved and on the same page from the start.

Sometimes, a blend of approaches works well, as was the case when we worked on the website translation of a technical company from English to German for BSA Marketing.  

6. Consider future requirements

 The completion and launch of a website should not be seen as the end; in fact, it is only the beginning. It is important to have a plan to continually add fresh and engaging content to your website. It not only catches the attention of the reader and encourages them to stay on your site for longer, it optimises SEO and increases the chances of your site being included in the right search results.

Arranging a retainer with your translation company to translate blog content and case studies on an ongoing basis, will ensure your translated content remains relevant and in step with your UK website.




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