Digital marketing and translation of web content

 In the last two decades, the Internet has changed people’s lives in many ways: it is altering behavioral habits and the way we relate to each other, the way we access information, work systems and, of course, business relationships. In this regard, more and more companies are choosing the global medium of the Internet to make themselves known and expand their business.

At the same time, more and more users are choosing the Internet to search for information, buy products, contract services, etc. This emerging change in consumer habits is mainly due to the convenience of being able to make any query or purchase from any type of device (computer, tablet or cell phone), the time savings involved and the ease of finding offers and promotions on the network, among other reasons.

For all these reasons, it is clear that the presence of companies in the network is now a necessity in order to be competitive and reach customers. In this sense, companies are increasingly concerned about their “online reputation”, that is, the image they project of themselves and the impression they generate among Internet users.

This globalization of commerce through the Internet has contributed to an increasing need for translation services, because without translating web content into the languages of the target audience, companies will not be able to effectively reach the potential consumers of the promoted product or service.


Web positioning: SEO and search engines

The need to be present on the network has led companies to compete with each other to be more visible and to obtain a better position in the search engines. Faced with this situation, the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing, have developed a complex system full of conditions, restrictions and requirements that websites must meet in order to be taken into account by the search engines. This is how the concepts of SEO and SEM have emerged.

Both are related to search engine positioning, but the main difference between them is that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the positioning of web pages for natural searches made by Internet users, while SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a paid positioning as companies pay to be promoted.

Translation, positioning and transcreation

The growing concern for adapting the translation of web content to the target culture has led to the emergence of a term known as ‘localization’, which consists of adapting the product to the target market.

Underlying this localization process is an undoubtedly commercial component, since the text is conceived as an inherent part of the product itself, and not as a mere accessory to it. Furthermore, while translation as such is usually done a posteriori, in localization it is often done in parallel to the development of the original text, as this facilitates the expansion of the product in different languages simultaneously.

With regard to the concept of ‘transcreation’, we can speak in this case of a link between translation and creation, derived from the need to adapt a source text to the culture of the target audience. In many cases, the translation of the text is not enough, but a true interpretation and recreation of the text is required to adapt it to the contextual requirements of the target culture. In advertising texts, we are sometimes faced with the challenge of having to deal with the translation of puns, cultural references and attempts to approach the reader-customer, which requires a creative transcription of the text.


Translator and SEO

When a website is globalized and aims to reach out to foreign language audiences, it is necessary to adapt it to them and make it attractive for them. This makes transcreation a recurring option when translating websites; in this case, the original text has a secondary place, as the objective is to recreate the text in such a way that it works for the new target audience.

In this sense, the translator’s skills cannot be merely linguistic, but must be adapted to the SEO requirements. Therefore, in addition to proficiency in the source and target languages, writing skills are of crucial importance in the field of linguistics. The translator becomes not only a localizer, but also a writer of a new product —a transcreator— since in many cases they must re-create the content of the pages. It will have the information from the original text as a reference, but its main objectives are the creation of an attractive text, the full adaptation to the target culture and the appropriate use of key words.

It is important to clarify that key words refer to both words and sets of words; in fact, the latter are the most recommendable because they are more specific and help to focus the search. Somehow, you have to get into the minds of Internet users and try to guess how they will search for what the website in question offers.

In this regard, the translator’s instrumental competence should also be taken into account, as they must be familiar with some of the available tools that allow them to manage and measure whether they are performing the SEO analysis correctly (choice of relevant keywords, density and appropriate use, analysis of competitors on the network, etc.).

Finally, in addition to these creative qualities, it is necessary to add the translator’s extra-linguistic skills, who, in addition to an in-depth knowledge of the two cultures involved in the communicative process in order to adapt the text to the target audience, also need to have a certain knowledge of marketing, especially digital marketing.


A new facet of the translator

In view of this, there is no doubt that the translator must adapt to the new times and the requirements of today’s market. More and more companies are turning to these professionals to take charge, in collaboration with the IT team, of optimizing their web pages. It is, without doubt, a new field of specialization in translation, a booming sector, and the translator must take advantage of this opportunity in order to establish themselves as the ideal professional in this field.

Like these companies, translators must also seek to differentiate themselves by specializing in a field with less competition and high potential, such as SEO. In the future, these agencies will need a professional profile that not only offers translation and localization, but also knows the requirements of writing web content and its transcreation.

At our translation agency, FAST.txt, specialization is one of our hallmarks, which is why we have the best professionals in multilingual SEO and web content translation. So, if you need professionals in this field and you don’t know who to turn to, contact us: you can rely on FAST.txt.


Carlos Sánchez Luis