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What Is Website Localization?

Website and marketing translation involves the adaptation of content on websites and in marketing collateral from one language to another. Website translation services focus on several components:

  • Web pages
  • Blogs
  • Media content
  • White papers and eBooks
  • eLearning materials (e.g. product demos, training videos)

Localized Websites Sell More Products

Over 3 billion Internet users do not speak English.
50% of all online commerce is conducted in languages other than English.


Internet users are four times more likely to buy products from websites in their own languages.

Top 3 Tips for Website Translation Success

Remember your global audience.

Keep international users in mind when creating website and marketing content. Certain linguistic and stylistic elements within your content can be perceived negatively or confuse target audiences overseas.

Choose linguistic elements (e.g., terminology, expressions, idioms, slang, symbols) that are translation-friendly, using those elements consistently throughout your content. Articulate ideas clearly to foster higher translation quality, lower project costs, and faster turnarounds.

Select stylistic elements (e.g., layout, colors, graphics) that are suitable for each target audience to help your content make the best impression possible.

Being conscious of your global audience when creating content will ultimately help your brand image become more global and boost your global presence. This is a crucial step to effective global brand management.


Provide source files for translation.

Providing source HTML or CMS output files (rather than just a website URL) to your website translation company allows for simpler, faster, and more accurate analyses of web content.

With a website URL, localization engineers need to download the HTML files tied to the website, then identify the translatable text, and finally extract the text for analysis – this can take time and may result in an inaccurate cost estimate, with important text in the CMS excluded or repeated text that only appears once in the database considered on multiple pages.

Similarly, for translation of marketing collateral, it is best to provide source files (e.g., Illustrator, InDesign, FrameMaker) instead of exported PDFs. Although analysis of content is possible using PDFs, text extraction from PDF can result in inconsistencies in format and could increase costs.

Leverage SEO keyword localization.

Improve translated website performance by revisiting search engine optimization from an international perspective. Because speakers of different languages use keyword searches differently, optimized keywords in one language may not be optimal in another language, once translated.

Optimize keywords for each target language to achieve higher website search rankings and more web traffic due to web content being more searchable.

SEO keyword localization happens during the glossary development phase, before translation of core web content. Source keywords and their synonyms are identified. Optimized keywords in the target language are determined based on how often they are used as search terms. Finally, optimized keywords are applied by your website translation agency consistently throughout the site.


Learn How to Localize Your Website

Get our eBook

Our 7 Wonders of Effective Global Content Strategies eBook provides helpful advice to help you craft website messages that messages that are both locale-specific and consistent with the international messaging and tone of your brand.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What files should be provided for professional website translation?

If you are using a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Adobe Experience Manager, Drupal, Kentico, Sitecore, or many others, ideally you can use your website translation agency's integration to automate the extraction of content for translation. If an integration is not available, you should be able to export the content as XML, provide that to your localization partner, and receive localized XML files in return.

If your website is more traditionally created, without relying on a CMS, you can provide HTML, PHP, JavaScript, ASPX, and other source files. As long as user-facing text is clearly delimited it should be easy for a localization provider to identify and extract content for translation.

Do you recommend a translation management platform, like Smartling?

Yes! Smartling provides integration with many authoring and content management tools, facilities the management of translation projects and updates, and offers greater context to translators. SimulTrans loves working with the Smartling platform, used by many of our clients.

How do we show the right language to users?

You may add code to your website to automatically select a language based on the IP address location or browser locale of a user. As a backup it is helpful to provide a menu of languages (each translated into its own language) to allow a user to select a preference.

How much does website translation cost?

Costs for website translation services vary by language, typically corresponding to the cost of living in the target countries. For example, translation into Simplified Chinese is about a third of the cost of translation into Swedish.

You should expect to receive discounts based on repeated text and leveraging from the translation memory (in essence you only need to pay to translate content once, not again and again for each update).

To try to calculate a rough budget for translation alone, without engineering and testing, we usually recommend the following formula:

Cost = Number of Languages × Number of Words ÷ 4

How long does it take to translate a website?

Translators usually translate about 2,000 words of web content per day. You can generally accommodate almost any required schedule by adding more translators, but this also reduces consistency. SimulTrans has some projects with over 100 translators per language working simultaneously to translate millions of words in a matter of days.

If you are not in a huge rush, we usually recommend limiting your translation team to three translators and two reviewers per language. A group of this size would complete about 6,000 words per day. Since the translators for all languages work simultaneously the number of languages does not have an impact on the schedule.

Aside from translation, there are usually a couple days for set-up and some time required for quality assurance at the end of the project.

Why Choose SimulTrans?

Comprehensive Professional Website Translation Services

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Translation of Web Content

SimulTrans is accustomed to translating a plethora of web content, starting with Netscape in 1996 and working with hundreds of leading Internet brands over the subsequent decades. Our translators have created the foundation of common international website terminology. They are brand specialists who cleverly transcreate marketing content.

While translating, SimulTrans creates a translation memory, a database of the work of our human translators. This is applied in updates and across pages, ensuring you do not pay to translate the same content multiple times. The memory also helps ensure consistency of terminology.

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CMS Integration

SimulTrans provides integrations for top content management systems. These integrations allow us to be automatically notified of new website content created, undertake the translation, and upload the target language text directly to your site.

With close to 60% of the CMS market, WordPress powers millions of websites, many translated by SimulTrans. We offer a WordPress plugin that can easily be installed in your site.

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Video Localization

The rise of video in digital marketing has resulted in a surge of marketing videos hosted on countless websites and video streaming platforms.

SimulTrans has comprehensive video localization capabilities. We create subtitles, edit multimedia project files, and offer text-to-audio localization. For these projects, our multimedia engineers work with many applications, including Premiere, Captivate, Camtasia Studio, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro.

SimulTrans has two formal recording studios in our offices. Far from just a computer and microphone, these studios include sound-proof rooms, foam covered walls to eliminate echo, and professional recording equipment.

We edit sound files using advanced audio software. These tools allow us to convert digital sound to the required file formats, remove noise, time recordings correctly to match on-screen animation, and normalize the volume across files and languages.

Localization of eLearning materials can also involve video localization – videos include the visual learning aspect and have proven to be highly effective educational tools.

The management of the localization files is a wonderful benefit to use. By this I mean when we ask for updated translations you "diff" the files and know what has changed. This is of tremendous value to me.

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