Surprisingly, many people still think of website localization and SEO translation as the same thing. While they complement each other, the difference between website localization and SEO translation is not too difficult to pinpoint, as we will see below.
While both are forms of translation, their purposes are quite different. A good translator needs to be able to handle both types of translation, but most translators only provide you with one of them.
So what’s the difference? Let’s find the answer and interesting knowledge about SEO in this article.
What is website localization?
Website localization is the translation of the content on your website into another language, ensuring it is culturally appropriate for the target market.
For example, an Iranian soap product with the name “Barf” means ‘Snow’ in Farsi, but means ‘vomit’ in English. Or a case where the name of Mitsubishi’s Pajero car means “Incompetent” or “Idiot” in Spanish slang. In fact, there are many examples such as Ford’s ‘Pinto’ which means ‘penis’ in Portuguese-Brazilian, Mazda’s ‘LaPuta’ which means ‘whore’ in Spanish, and Rolls Royce’s ‘Mist’ which means ‘fertilizer’ or ‘animal dung’ in German. If I have more time, I will tell you more about the series of words with opposite meanings in different countries.
Similarly, a great marketing slogan in one language can be a complete disaster in another. A rather ridiculous example is when American Airlines translated its slogan for its first class seats – “fly in leather” – into Spanish. The literal translation is “vuela en cuero” but in back translation it means “fly naked”.
An experienced translator will avoid such language traps, as the translator will know not only the target language, but also the culture, and will immediately spot unattractive, let alone insulting or amusing expressions and situations in the target language. Thus, localization is translating a text in a way that readers in the target language find familiar and engaging.
SEO translation is a completely different translation type. The main target here is not readers but search engines. Keywords, wording, titles, tags, anchor text (text on the web that contain links), script, and every single feature on a web page all need to be translated in a way that makes the site attracting search engines in the target language. By doing that, when someone searches for something your website offers in another language, your website will appear in the top positions on all search engines. If you score well in the marketplace in a particular language, a good SEO translation will allow you to continue to score well in another language.
The relationship between SEO translation and Website localization
SEO translation helps businesses open the door to potential markets. You can have the best service in the world, but if the translated website doesn’t show up in the search engine results, all your efforts are wasted – and a good SEO translation is not cheap.
Obviously, SEO translation alone is not enough – if your SEO translation is good while the content is poor, customers can still find your page quickly, but there is a very high chance that they will leave as quickly. That means you can increase the number of visitors quickly, but the conversion rate also decreases significantly. This makes your website counterproductive.
Therefore, a good website translator needs to be good at both localization and SEO translation, because you need to combine a good pitch to customers (to make sales) with search engine optimization (so that the potential customers can find out the website). The balance is not easy to achieve, and there are not many translators that can practically handle both.
For the above reasons, webmasters often send translation requests to a good localization specialist and then find an SEO expert in the target language to well optimize the translated websites. Of course this will be very expensive, but it opens up a new market that was previously unreachable. And you’ll avoid inviting guests to ‘fly naked’.
(The article includes information from the Internet)