Translate metadata

Every website and webpage you’ve ever accessed uses metadata. Metadata is crucial to the way we search for and categorise information online. Essentially, metadata is ‘data that provides information about other data’, and contains the page title and page description for a webpage (this what you see in Google’s search results).

Metadata categorises and orders data right across the internet, and people use it to decide whether to visit your site. As such, it’s pretty vital. So if you’re looking to get your website translated, you’ll need to translate your metadata too.

When it comes to translating metadata for your webpage or website into other languages – perhaps when you’re looking to attract new customers from different markets – there are some key things to bear in mind. Read on for our top metadata translation tips:

Imagine how your translated metadata will display

Think about how you want your metadata to look and read in SERPS (search engine results pages) across different languages. This is important, as it will impact how likely new customers are to find your webpage or website, and how likely they are to click on what they find.

Consider the wording of your titles and descriptions

You probably spent hours and hours refining the content of your webpage or website, making sure all the wording sounded just right, and that none of the sentences were too long or too short. We all know poorly written content can put people off.

But when a potential new customer finds your site through a search engine, the fist thing they read is your meta title and description. If this is poorly worded, or doesn’t contain the right keywords, they won’t know what a great page they’re missing out on. Professional translation of your meta descriptions is the best way to ensure that your website stands out (for the right reasons) across search engines in different languages.

Count your characters!

If your meta description is too long or too short, this has a negative impact on the SEO (search engine optimisation) of your page or site, as it’s less likely to be ranked highly by a search engine. Most meta description snippets are between 120 and 155 characters, and although technically there’s no such thing as the ‘right’ number of characters, aiming for anywhere between these two figures will boost your SEO. Otherwise, you risk your meta description being cut short by whichever search engine is displaying it.  

Remember many languages are longer than English, so by keeping your meta descriptions short in English you’ll ensure the translated versions don’t go over that all-important 155 characters. For example, when English text is translated into French it tends to come out around 20-25% longer, which could have a big impact on your translated metadata.

Keep your metadata clear and informative

Make your metadata accurate yet enticing. Remember to use relevant keywords, which will inform your customers about your page or site, whilst drawing them in and making them keen to read more. SEO relies heavily on keywords, so using the right density of them will make sure your site or page is getting picked up across multiple search engines.

Research keywords in other languages

Following on from the above, it’s worth spending some time getting to know the market you’re targeting with your translated metadata. Find out which keywords are associated with your products or services in your desired overseas market, because they might not always be the most obvious ones. See our blog article on localisation for more information on why this is so crucial! Once you’ve established how your target market writes about your product or service, you’ll be better placed to provide your chosen translation company with a glossary of terms, or even just a few general guidelines.

Finalise your meta descriptions before translation

Before you send your metadata off to a language service provider for translation, check and re-check that you’re happy with the wording, length and style. If you ask for updates and edits to be made once work on the translations has already begun, the whole process will take longer, and you will probably incur extra costs. We’ve said it before (and we’ll probably say it again!) – edit twice, translate once. This will make your life much easier, and will ensure your meta descriptions are translated consistently across multiple languages.

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