How do I translate my product texts for SEO?

Over the past few years, it has become more common for online stores to sell their products worldwide. This is an aspect of globalization which requires action from online stores to make their store more accessible. If you decide to only publish texts in English, you will miss out on a large group of potential customers. Though some people may perfectly understand these texts, others will be less interested in buying because they do not. When you want to sell products worldwide, therefore, it is of great importance that you offer the possibility for customers to choose their preferred language. This article will clarify the importance of accurate product (text) translations which will in turn increase the international accessibility of your eCommerce website.

The importance of product texts in multiple languages

If you want to (start) selling worldwide with your web shop and choose to only use English on your entire website, your findability on search engines will decrease. This is simply caused by the fact that not everyone enters their search query in English. Some non-native English-speaking countries (e.g., The Netherlands) are proficient in the language, and people from those countries may be capable to use search engines in English. However, there is still no guarantee for this. Additionally, many large non-native English-speaking countries (like France and Spain) are averagely less proficient in English. People from these countries, however, are also potential customers and that is why you should at least offer them the possibility to choose their preferred language. This is supported by the fact that when you allow customers to access your website in their own native language, you demonstrate commitment to improving their customer journey. By enriching the customer journey, you establish the demand for products in a certain language market or geographic area. In this way, the odds of them deciding to buy products from your store could increase.

What do ideal translations look like?

So, providing multiple language options on your website is important when selling worldwide. The next question occurs: how to translate my website in multiple languages? The first crucial tip is that translation machines are not reliable enough for translating entire texts without monitoring them. These artificial translators have significantly improved over the past decade, however, they always require a human eye to check the output.  Furthermore, business specific language is not included in their dictionary, which could lead to even more problems in translations. It would be a shame if your automatically translated texts contain mistakes: this appears rather unprofessional and costs a lot of time to correct. Moreover, the translations need to be relevant to your target audience. Target audiences may differ per country, which complicates things even more. In some situations, it would be desirable to have a one-to-one translation of the original text, but in other situations it could be more desirable to emphasize specific product characteristics because they are more relevant in certain countries.

How do you automatically generate ideal translations?

Manually translating is an extremely time-consuming process, especially when your web shop sells a lot of products to multiple countries. Though manual translations are probably the most accurate, the time consumption of translating a text makes it extremely inefficient. In this case, a solution could be to automate text translations in a smart and natural way. This is where software could be useful for your organization. Powertext has developed smart algorithms which are able to automatically translate texts for your website. Additionally, the software allows you to add ‘dictionaries’ which may contain business specific language. In this way, you can upload a list of words and their correct translations, so that our algorithm automatically replaces the wrongly translated words with the correct translations. Translations now can be done quicker and more efficiently, which gives you more time to spend on other business activities.

Our tips for automation

To automize the process of translating texts, you could utilize certain tools. When choosing the right tools, it is relevant to keep your target group in mind. Some translating tools may generate more informal translations, while others generate formal translations. It completely depends on your target group to decide which tool to go with. Moreover, it is important that you decide to go with a flexible tool. As mentioned, customers in specific countries may perceive certain features as more important than customers in other countries. To emphasize those different product features per country, it is crucial to utilize a flexible tool.

Lastly, the tool should allow you to check the translation and easily adjust when necessary. Since the translations are made by computers, they will probably not all be generated perfectly. Human checks will give a final touch by improving the translations while, obviously, not consuming as much time as manual translations.

Joey Jacobs

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