A vast number of consumers only buy products on websites that are written in their own local language. For this reason, many online marketers want to present their website in multiple languages, in order to attract customers from international markets in addition to their local one. However, many online marketers face the same problem: that the search engine optimised content of their homepage cannot just be translated 1:1. On the following page we explain why this is the case.
SEM text translations require Know-how and gut feelings
Merely having a multilingual website, however, is not the best way of reaching out to foreign buyers. The company who wishes to advertise its products must also be easily identifiable through search engines in the target languages. This is known as localisation, and is one of the main difficulties faced by online marketers. In order to be at the forefront of Google and other well-known search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, all the components of Search Engine Marketing have to be adapted to the particularities of the respective language and the characteristics of the target group. This is because buyers in different countries have different search behaviours from one another.
Terminology explained: SEM, SEO and SEA
SEM is the abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. This term covers all of the measures that are taken with the aim of moving internet users to visit a specific homepage. There, they will find information aimed at leading them to purchase the offered goods or services. Search Engine Marketing is divided into sections entitled SEO and SEA.
SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. This means that your website is edited in such a way (and with the help of various measures), so that it appears at the top of the most important search engines when the searcher enters certain keywords into the search field. This ranking is very important, because statistically only the first entries that appear in a Google search are ever opened. Therefore, whoever’s company is at the top of the list can lure more visitors to their website.
SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising. This is when you create adverts via Google (Adwords) and other search engines that appear before the search results when searching for certain keywords. Since your advertisement is placed right at the top of the page, there is a big chance that the searcher will click on it and enter your site.
The target of these advertising measures is to increase the volume of online sales. Since potential buyers are attracted by key words and targeted, specifically formulated texts, this way of advertising helps to reduce unnecessary advertising costs.
SEM translation – examples
SEO texts and websites are not the only things covered by SEM text translations. Other important elements for Search Engine Marketing can also be translated, such as:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- Keyword lists and
Title and (Meta-) descriptions for search engine optimised websites are especially important, since they also appear in the Google search hit-list. The title, including black spaces, is not allowed to be longer than 70 characters. If its longer than this, Google cuts off the remaining characters. The title should be formulated in such a way that the reader instantly knows what the website is about.
The short description of the website content underneath the title is not allowed to contain more than 155 characters, inclusive of blank spaces. This needs to make the reader curious enough to click and enter the website.
Keyword lists are needed to start an advertising campaign. They contain all of the search terms that potential customers could enter whilst on the search for the desired product. AdWords advertisement translations are not allowed to have more than 30 characters in their title, and the entire text can contain 80 characters at the most.
Keywords, SEO and localization
After carrying out a multilingual keyword search, the translator translates any search terms that were found into the respective target language. However, the SEM translation cannot be translated 1:1 under any circumstances. An appropriate linguistic localisation is absolutely necessary, since foreign potential customers searching for your products will have mostly different search behaviours to your local customers.
A language specific example: the German word ‘Haus’ can be translated into English as ‘home’ and ‘property’. The translator must decide on which variant the English-speaking market is most likely to search for, and which term will therefore have a better chance of success – for example, are they most likely to enter ‘buy a home’ or ‘buy a property’ into the search engine?
In addition, the search terms must precisely capture the intricacies of the respective target language. For example, sometimes different keywords in the source language can be translated into the target language with the same word.
Localisation also means that the translator must consider the cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the target language. Through this they avoid any misunderstandings and legal difficulties which could result from implementing inappropriate linguistic terminology. The currency, units of measurement and the Terms and Conditions stated on your company’s website need to be adjusted to fit the appropriate target country. Of course, the same goes people’s names and place names, which help your company to better identify with customers. For example, customers in England are more like to identify with Jane from York than Brunhilde from Worms.
Diversity of expression also plays a big role: search terms are often re-written, modified or replaced by synonyms. Through this it is possible to intertwine one and the same web page with different terminology. However, here caution is advised: the theme of the site should always be clear – don’t be too creative. Ideally, the translated advertisements should also sound natural.
Additionally, when translating SEM texts, you must always keep in mind to adhere to the rules and regulations of the specific search engine. You must adhere to the limitations set by the maximum character count: for example, Google Adwords advertisements are not activated when the translated text is too long.
The translation of your company’s website should also have an easily readable and unique content. This is because similar passages of text on numerous websites will be interpreted as a copy by the search engine. The direct consequence of this is that your page will slide down the list and end up at the bottom of the pile. Therefore, you should always write your own texts yourself and never copy from other websites.
SEM Translations with lingoking
Would you like to get your keyword lists, advertisement texts or even your whole website translated - and then conquer the international market!? We would be happy to help! Our translators are trained to carry out SEM-translations, are able to perform targeted searches for synonyms, and can even research search volumes for you. lingoking translators will also take a look at your company’s website to ensure a translation that perfectly matches the feel of your company.
Get in touch with us now! We will be happy to create a personal offer for you, your SEM translation or the translation of your website. All you have to do is simply fill out the form on this page, call us on 089-41612200 or write us an email at anfragen at lingoking.com.