Translating Websites: What is localisation and why is it so important?

If we want to increase our sales volume, the first step in doing so is undoubtedly to create a website so that we can reach a higher number of customers. A high-quality website is crucial for gaining new customers and their loyalty, as well as for positioning ourselves in the national market. Once we have reached this stage, why shouldn’t we go further and take the plunge into foreign markets?

Translating websites helps us expand our business and reach new customers as it removes communication barriers. It also significantly improves our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) positioning.



What is Localisation?

Rendering words when translating a website is not enough. It’s also necessary to adapt the site’s contents to be aligned with the recipient’s culture so that nothing stands out as foreign to them. In other words, as if wasn’t, in fact, a translation. Furthermore, the source code and how each language affects it must be taken into account in this type of translations. This process is called localisation.


Localisation is the adaptation process on which software is adjusted for a specific region.



Is Automatic Translation enough?

There are plenty of bad translations results on the web that might be funny, but how aware are we of their consequences?


What are the consequences of a low-quality translation?

  • It gives the impression of poor customer service. There is a lack of human touch and personalised attention.
  • It creates mistrust, as it could be perceived as fraudulent.
  • It gives the idea of being a small business without enough resources. A professional translation, adapted to the recipients, feels like dealing with an international business that cares about its customers, whereas a non-professional translation produces the opposite effect.
  • Penalises our SEO. A bad translation, that reads entirely wrong, will result in a lower ranking in the search engines’ positioning.
  • It causes a drop in sales. If either the name or description of a product is incomprehensible for any reason, customers will never bring themselves to buy it. Nothing assures them that the product will be as expected.
  • It doesn’t make visitors come back to the site. If customers cannot understand the website’s text correctly, they will leave immediately.


How must a website be translated?


When translating websites, the following aspects are taken into account:


·         Language translation

·         Target culture adaptation

·         Brand’s message transmission

·         Target market

·         Search engine optimisation

·         Webpage code

·         Webpage optimisation



What are the effects of a high-quality translation?


  • The number of visitors increases.
  • The number of customers increases.
  • The brand is internationalised.
  • The positioning in search engines improves (SEO).
  • It gives the brand a better image.



Website translation is greatly in demand due to the increasing internationalisation of trade, new business models and online trading. Just as a bad translation may completely ruin a brand’s image, an expert and specialised one can be the key to success when launching a business in the international market and can help to consolidate a brand’s image in each country.

About Xerezade Ansedes López

Graduate Degree in Translation and Interpreting from Universidade de Vigo, Spain. Degree in English Language and German from Bangor University, UK. English teacher and translator and proofreader in the German and English to Spanish combinations. Published author.

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