Why you should optimize your website translation for search engines

Optimize your website translation for search engines

An English version of your website helps you to offer your products on the international market. But is it enough simply to translate your website? No. You need an SEO translation, meaning you must also optimize your translation for search engines. It is only by doing this that you attract the attention of Internet users.

What does SEO translation mean?

The term SEO translation is composed of the words search engine optimization (SEO) and translation. An SEO-compliant translation considers the linguistic and cultural aspects and renders the web pages suitable for search engines.

What benefits does an SEO-compliant translation have?

An SEO-optimized translation leads to a better ranking of your website in search engines. The higher your homepage ranks in the search engine results lists, the more visible your offer is on the Internet. The number of visits to your website increases and your prospects of gaining new customers improve.

What does an SEO-compliant website translation need?

Your website texts must meet certain criteria to make search engines aware of your business and your products. The individual web pages must include meta data, use the right keywords and match the search query.

Meta data

Meta data is superordinate text that search engines can read. It comprises a meta title and meta description and tells Google and other search engines what the individual pages of your website are about. Title and description are hidden in the Content Management System and are thus invisible on the web pages. However, they are displayed in the search engine results lists.

SEO-compatible meta data is tailored to so-called keywords – single search terms or search phrases. Their purpose is to attract the users’ attention to the respective page and induce them to click on the link.


Search behavior and language have an influence on how people search for information. Do your potential customers enter whole questions into the search field? Do they use nouns or verbs? Or do they search for individual words or entire phases? Only a thorough keyword analysis can provide answers to these questions.

Adapting translated texts to search queries

Search engines are becoming more and more intelligent. They assign a certain search intention to each search query. Are users looking for information, do they wish to buy a certain product or are they seeking a website? If your text matches the query and meets the search intention, your ranking will be high. Only if you make use of the correct key terms in your translation can you offer fitting content to your visitors.

You can carry out an analysis for the foreign-speaking target market on your own or engage an SEO expert to carry it out.

Should SEO-translated websites address machines or humans?

In the age of the Internet, search engines play a crucial role. Machines determine the position at which your translated website content appears in the results lists, influencing the visibility of your content. But professional website translations don’t only go by SEO rules. They are also written for humans because, in the end, you want to use the translations to convince interested parties of your products. Therefore, an SEO-optimized translation of websites must also be linguistically appealing and convincing.

What steps are involved in creating an SEO translation?

An SEO-optimized website translation is the product of a process that calls for a variety of skills. The translation must:

  • be idiomatic in the target language
    That is, it must sound natural to native speakers.
  • be adapted to the cultural differences of the target group
    The text must correspond to the target culture.
  • fulfil the SEO rules
    The determined keywords must be used in the translated text and website meta data in an SEO-compliant way.

The process of SEO translation

Since this process combines different skills, I distinguish several steps in creating an SEO translation.

  1. Analyze the relevant keywords and the search behavior in the target language.
    First, I research the keywords in the target language that are worth considering and discuss them with the customer, if desired.
  1. Localize the website
    Once we’ve determined the relevant keywords, I localize the website. This means translating the website content taking the cultural differences into account. Let’s assume you offer different types of biscuits for afternoon tea on your website. In my German translation your biscuits will be offered for afternoon coffee, because the majority of Germans drink coffee. This adaptation ensures that your target audience feels addressed.
  1. Optimize the translation for search engines
    After localizing the content, I optimize the translation by using all the SEO tricks. This involves using the keywords in the body text and headlines in conformity with the SEO rules.
  1. Translate and adapt the meta data
    Finally, I adapt the meta data in the target language. This step also entails SEO competence. A meta title and description are good if search engines classify them as relevant and if they arouse curiosity in the reader.

SEO experience is crucial

Optimizing your website translation requires comprehensive SEO knowledge. You can hire an SEO agency, which optimizes your website after the translation is completed – or you engage a website translator to consider all SEO-relevant factors while doing the translation. Read my blog post Looking for a website translator? to learn how to find such experts and how they distinguish themselves from other translation providers.

Do you need an SEO-compliant translation of your website? I’ll be happy to support you. Request a free quote.