Keywords: should you translate them?

Search Engine Optimization is a hot topic in the web marketing world. It’s unquestionable usefulness and the constant changes that it undergoes due to the evolution of the search engines drives communications specialists to continuously refine their strategies.

The content of your website was probably created taking specific key words into account. When you have to translate them, the legitimate question is: how can the key words be localized to maintain the efficacy of the SEO strategy? We’ll find out how in this article!


Translating key words for users and search engines

Starting from an assumption: the majority of terms, even the most specialized, can be translated. Someone who works in specific sectors is used to using terms in both English and the local language to identify a piece of machinery, an object or a service with no difference. This means that both of the terms must also be used equally in the online searches.

In any case, even in contexts or countries where bilingualism is common, the local terminology has a value that shouldn’t be underestimated. So, the key words that pertain to your business can (and probably should) be translated! But these considerations need to be supported by data.

SEO is based on the search and analysis of key words. Internationalizing this process means extending the search to the target languages that you want to translate your content to. Through keyword research platforms, you can identify the local terms that your audience uses and that correspond to the ones you use.


Collaborating with translators

If translating content seems like a somewhat linear job, translating the texts of a website with a view to SEO is a complex project. Close collaboration between your team members and the translators is necessary to identify the correct key words and integrate them into your communications.

In the key word analysis phase, the help of the translator allows you to expand the search and simplify the work. Incidentally, it’s not easy to examine terms in a language that you don’t know, much less with another alphabet! In addition, the translator puts all of their experience at your disposal, which is very useful for grasping the subtle meanings of a word and its applications.

A certain flexibility is necessary when translating content in a SEO context. The original texts were probably developed to be “in harmony” with the key words that you have identified. If you want to achieve the same quality with the translated content, you must accept that these texts are truly different from the originals.

What counts is that the message is translated in the most effective means possible and that the correct key words are used. This is why it may be necessary to view the material with an approach more like transcreation than simple translation.


The choice of translating the key words of your SEO strategy depends on factors like the existence of local terms and the characteristics of your audience. Through a careful key word analysis and collaboration with the translators, you will be able to produce content that has been optimized both for users and search engines!

See you at the next article!

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