It has been my pleasure to attend a BDÜ webinar "Translation of websites and online texts" presented by Jutta Witzel (mehrperspektiven.de)where she discusses factors that should be taken into account when working with online texts, from design to cultural differences.
Although one hour was not enough to discuss all of the topics included in the webinar in any depth (as Ms Witzel has pointed out, SEO alone is an extensive topic), it has been a very interesting overview of factors that should be taken into account. For example, in different countries users might have different expectations regarding design, such as space to text ratio or color usage, not to mention different social media preferences and technical capabilities.
Similarly, not all arguments in favor of purchase might be as convincing in a different country (except, possibly, the "good value for money" argument - who doesn't like a good deal, after all?), and tone of online texts might have to be slightly adjusted to conform to readers' expectations. It would, therefore, makes sense to be aware of the most common characteristics of online texts in the target industry and to adapt online translations according to them.
Seems far-fetched? Try comparing copy for different types of products and services in different languages. In fact, try comparing copy on localized websites of international companies, and you'll see how different they might be. I remember being astonished by it while working on an exercise for the copywriting course I'm currently completing. Of course, there are many websites where neither design nor content are adapted - you can judge for yourself whether or not it would have been better otherwise.
Although time has run out before Ms Witzel has been able to go into detail on steps of localization, she has kindly provided presentation slides to the webinar participants, including items to during a briefing, as well as recommendations on pricing such services.
Ekaterina Howard, Pinwheel Translations
English to Russian and German to Russian translator working with business, marketing and real estate materials. ATA and CATI member.