Online Store Translation – 6 Top Tips

Do you have your own business on the Internet, but you only reach Polish clients?  

Thanks to increasing globalization, you can you can also expand your activities to foreign markets. The first step to do this action, will be to translate an online store you already own. However, how to do it correctly? What should be remembered in order not to overpay on the one hand, and on the other to ensure the highest possible effectiveness of such action? We dispel your doubts! 

Online store translation and daily use 

First of all, it is worth realizing that although the functions of Google Translate (including online translation of a selected page) are becoming more and more perfect, but nothing will provide more effective than the content translated by a specialist. There are several important arguments for this. First of all - changing the page language using Google Translate does not guarantee that the content will be understood.  Secondly - the language version created in this way will not encourage you to make purchases. Thirdly - a good translation is one that not only reflects the meaning of the descriptions, but above all contains a cultural, linguistic or stylistic context for the target audience. 


1. Find out if you have access to the CMS language files of your online store 

The vast majority of online stores operate based on some CMS (Content Management System). In practice, this means that the language files can be extracted from the system. In the context of website translation, this is a great help because translators can work directly on sources that are responsible for the language versions of the pages. This solution is particularly valuable for large online stores with hundreds of products on offer. An additional convenience is the ability to automatically upload ready language files to the CMS, which should automatically create the desired language version of the page. The most common file format is: .xml, .po, .csv or .xls. 

2. Remember about unique content to position your online store on Google 

Having products from other manufacturers in your offer, you can often get their ready descriptions with multilingual counterparts. A tempting solution might be to use these ready-made products to copy them to your online store and not to worry about translating anymore. However, this solution is not recommended, especially from the point of view of website positioning. First of all, in so-called "SEO" (i.e. optimization for search engines) copying existing content to your own site is strongly inadvisable. In this way you will create "duplicate content", as a result of which the Google robot will display your page low in search results, considering that its content will not bring anything new to the user. Therefore, a much better solution will be first to create a unique description, and secondly to order a unique translation. 

3. Remember about SEO 

Creating unique and valuable content is just one of the principles of SEO. An equally important action is to create a list of keywords that will respond to the needs of users in target countries. In other words - if you sell aluminum wheels, for example, then you will not use the word aluminumfelge, but only the more frequently searched aluminum alloy when translating into German. You will increase the chance of reaching a potential customer. 

4. Online store translation and legal issues 

Deciding to expand to foreign markets, you should not only determine the strategy of effective keywords, but also think about adapting business content to legal requirements. This applies especially to regulations, that must comply with local regulations. Remember the conditions of the complaint, the right to return the goods and other key regulations. Otherwise, you may face serious consequences. Being in legal compliance, also pay attention to the provisions on commercial offers. It may turn out that certain phrases or phrases are not allowed - in Great Britain or Germany. Translating this to the Polish market - in relation to food products you can not call them "healthy food" if you do not have the appropriate research confirming this thesis. Similarly, you cannot write that the herbs "heal" unless this has been confirmed in research. Similar analogies may be more in other countries and it is worth getting acquainted with them before ordering the translation of your online store, including documents present on it. 

5. Make sure you translate the URLs 

Well-constructed URLs make navigate on websites much easier for customers. Especially for those,  who want to go directly to the page of the product, they are interested in. Most programs for website translation,  based on WordPress CMS, use an automatic assignment of the Polish URL structure, adding a parameter defining a specific language ( en /, / de /, / fr / etc.). It is worth, however, that you translate the Polish name of the product into a foreign-language equivalent. This will make it easier to re-enter the address in the search engine where the product that interests you is located. 

6. Don't translate everything! 

Remember that translating descriptions an online store is creative occupation. The message must be adapted to the recipients, and new content should particularly take into account idioms, cultural embedding or commonly used phrases. It is worth remember that the customer in Poland, Germany or Canada lives in a different environment. Therefore, Polish marketing content may not convince him to make a purchase. So what should you explain? First of all, the composition, operation or the resulting universal benefits, such as "ergonomic handle" in relation to the hammer or "good quality steel" on kitchen knives. Marketing returns (usually in headlines) should, however, be created anew to best fit them to the cultural context of the country in which you want to sell. 

What else is important in translating an online store?

Although the above tips are crucial in the most important of online store translation, these are not all the challenges, that are appear,  when you decide to sell abroad. The valid moment will be making the decision - do you want to do the translation on your own, or maybe outsource it to someone else? If you choose the second option - look for one translator or choose a translation agency)? In the context of these dilemmas, there is no universal answer. It all depends on your language skills, free time resources, trust in a proven translator or convincing to specialized translation agencies.  

Regardless of what type of translation you choose, knowledge of the above 6 tips will be indispensable. Creating the desired language versions on your own you will know, what rules to stick to, so that the effects of your work are distinguished by high efficiency. However, if you commission this action to someone else - you will know, which aspects is the most important.