Localisation is the process of making something culturally acceptable for a specific target audience. Translation is the process of accurately representing a source text without the creative licence to localise for the intended audience.
Website translation vs. website localisation
In this time of economic slowdown, many companies are looking to international trade to increase business while the UK market is slow. Done correctly this is a proven way to penetrate new markets and increase revenue, benefiting from other currencies strength against the pound. Unfortunately, it is a common misconception that just translating web content will generate overseas business. This is the right place to start but there is more to website translation than you might think.
Translating website content will indeed allow you to communicate with your potential clients in their own language, thus creating the building blocks for a good relationship but, if the website cannot be found on local search engines no one will be able to visit your site to benefit from your language pages.
99% of people who do not have English as their first language will search on search engines in their native language. Search engines then ‘spider’ or ‘crawl’ websites that have relevant keywords and phrases throughout their site, in their metadata, content and page titles. If you only translate the content of your page chances are that vital local keywords will have been missed and the opportunity to generate traffic has been lost as a result.