Content and in particular text content is critical for any website: Search engines use the quality and substance of website content to make a decision on how relevant and interesting a website is in relation to a topic searched. Equally website visitors make decisions on how long they stay and to what extent they engage with the website based on content.
So, it goes without saying that content is key to a website, in particular text content:
- For websites for English-speaking countries, this means the content should be well-written in a style suitable to the target audience, containing the relevant keywords that users would use to search. Special care should be taken when localising and SEO-optimising a website for markets such as the United States, where a ‘translation’ to American English (words and spelling) is required.
- For websites for non-English-speaking countries, this means that the web content needs to be professionally translated into the target market language (both national as well as target audience specific) and SEO-optimised. In addition to excellent translation skills, any translator chosen for this work ideally should also be able to polish and improve text to make it appealing to the target audience as well as weave in the respective native language keywords selected for SEO.
At e-Vorsprung we provide a number of translation and language services for the German language.
German Translation Services
If you target the German market your website content – as well as ideally any other marketing collateral you use – must be in German. Or, as late German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said:
“If I am selling to you, then I will speak your language, aber wenn du mir etwas verkaufst, musst du Deutsch sprechen”
[…but if you are selling something to me, you must speak German].
Willy Brandt made this statement well before the Internet and was only referring to the need for German language to support the sales conversation. Today, of course, search engines make this need to have a native language website even more urgent, as a non-German website will not be seen as relevant to a search done in German language. And when it comes to translation, quality is key: A bad quality website translation will reflect negatively on your company image and your overall attitude to quality and your customers. In contrast, a good professional translation shows you value quality and your customers. A really good translation, or often transcreation (see below), will persuade and convince your customers. And last but not least, a professional SEO-optimised translation will ensure Germans looking for your kind of products and services can easily find your website.
The translation process can be daunting to many businesses, as they basically outsource an activity, where they cannot judge the quality of the deliverable. As in any other industry, there are quite a few black sheep out there and care must be taken to select reputable, professional translators. In addition, translation cannot be treated as a standalone activity and the process and outputs need to integrate with the rest of the website localisation, in particular search engine optimisation (SEO). As a professional translator since 1989 and a member of the Executive Committee of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association, I have a good understanding of the translation market and, of course the website translation, process and its requirements. e-Vorsprung provides consultancy to help you select translators and/or manage and – very importably – QA the translation and localisation of your website in situations where you are working with other translation providers.
Professional German Translation
We provide professional German translation of website content as well as, at request, any other collateral relating to your business. As a qualified English-German translator, I regularly provide German translation myself, or alternatively, in the case of high volume and urgent timelines, select and work with reputable high quality German translators.
As an IT professional, I am also a strong believer in the use of the technology to aid the translation process, where possible and appropriate. Unfortunately, machine translation is not suitable yet for website translation. However, where possible I use technology that makes the translation and localisation process more efficient, such as SDL Trados Studio and its translation memory and terminology management software, which ensures consistency of translations and speeds up and streamlines the translation process.
Web Text Transcreation for the German Market
Given a website is about marketing the business, a pure translation is often not sufficient, but instead there is a requirement for transcreation of content, i.e. translating the text with focus on localising the marketing message the text should convey. Transcreation, in particular, requires an experienced translator who has the confidence and experience to translate the message rather than the individual words and who has an insight of the target market to do so in the right manner.
SEO-Optimised Website Translation for German
One of the biggest translation-related challenges of localising websites is the translated text not only needs to be well translated and often transcreated, but it also needs to contain the relevant native language keywords, so that the text will be found by potential customers searching the Internet. These keywords need to be integrated into both the text content visible to website visitors as well as certain metatags in the website code.
One of our specialities at e-Vorsprung is to produce high-quality SEO-optimised translations for German, i.e. translation that are not only professionally done and of high quality, but also contain an element of transcreation to ensure their marketing appeal, and most importantly contain keywords relevant to your business and value proposition, so that you website scores well in German searches.
As we have the skills and knowledge in both translation and SEO – and if we work with you on other aspects of localisation also a clear understanding of your business strategy and value proposition for the market – we are able to integrate these two activities (SEO and translation) into one, thus considerably improving the quality of the German website content and its search visibility to your German customers and prospects.
German Translation and Transcreation of Social Media, Blog, Newsletter Content
While our recommendation typically is not to translate social media, blog or newsletter (email marketing) content word by word, but rather create a market specific content strategy and approach, there are situations, where German translation of social media messages or blogs can make sense, especially as an initial step to create some visibility and traction in a new market. We provide service to translate and transcreate content from social media and blogs for the German market and help you build more visibility in Germany via fresh content and by opening the dialog with German customers and prospects.
Proofreading and Quality Assurance
Building trust is key for foreign websites, where website visitors – and especially the typically quite risk-averse and careful Germans – are usually more sceptical initially. In addition to trust-enhancing features that can and should be included in a foreign website, you also need to build trust implicitly, i.e. via the implicit statements the quality of your website makes about your attitude to quality, your attention to detail, your standards of quality, your attitude towards your customers.
To this end, we provide a comprehensive quality assurance service to vet your foreign market website and ensure it conveys this implicit quality – especially with regard to the cultural and linguistic aspects of web presence localisation: We proofread and QA your website with great attention to detail to make sure that there are no spelling mistakes, no contradictory messages (due to content written by different authors/translators), a clear architecture, no formatting issues, no non-working links or forms, no culturally inappropriate graphics or other design features – in other words, no gaps in website localisation that could subconsciously reduce the trust in your company and have people bounce your website before you get a chance to engage with them via your web presence.
Post-launch Ongoing German Translation and Language Support
If you are serious about the German market, you will typically need to think about providing German-language support to your customers and prospects in Germany during all stages of the sales cycle: pre-sales, sales, and post-sales. In the initial days of entering the German market, this might not justify employing dedicated German-speaking staff. We can support you here with flexible models, so that you can create new German website content on an ongoing basis as well as deal with (understand and respond to) customer queries and social media conversations in German.