Website translation
08 November 2022   •   Snap Italy

Master Italian SEO and website translation

«Website translation and Italian SEO Master: this is why it is important to open up to the foreign market.»

Italy: the land of gelato, stunning architecture, wonderful museums and, of course, warm and welcoming people. It’s also home to the world’s ninth biggest economy and 14th-largest ecommerce market – and one which is growing at around 6% per year. There’s little wonder many businesses are looking towards new, Italian horizons. To make sure your website has the best chance of success, make sure you’ve done an SEO search first and know exactly what an Italian audience is looking for without forgetting the translation and keywords.

What is Italian SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the art of making your website more prominent in search engine results, making it more likely that you will gain visibility and therefore attract more prospective customers.  It covers aspects as diverse as user experience, the technical functioning of your site, and whether other, similar users have deemed it relevant to them. While you may well have a grasp of this concept in the UK or US, expanding into Italy requires some additional tweaks to your SEO strategy.

Italian culture

It’s not just a question of clotted cream scones and tea, versus a macchiato and some panettone. In fact, many of the key differences between the UK and Italy are far more subtle – but do need to be accommodated when translating your website and thinking about SEO. Aspects such as tone, whether to go for a formal or informal approach and even the organisation of your website can be difficult to pinpoint, but if they’re not carried out correctly, can easily contribute to earmarking you as something of an impostor. Monitoring market trends and preferences peculiar to Italy, as well as audience expectations, ensure your site meets the needs of your future customers. Italians, for example, are known for their appreciation of a discount and need to feel like they are getting a genuinely good deal before committing to a purchase. It’s often helpful to seek out the advice of a native Italian here, as these types of cultural nuances can be hard to grasp from outside the country.

Italian link building

Google prioritises sites which are relevant to that market. That’s why a website in Italy needs to show its pertinence to Italian people. That doesn’t just mean translating your site into Italian; it also means incorporating a range of high-quality links to other reputable Italian sites. Using a specialist Italian SEO agency can be valuable here, as they will have a network of links to trustworthy and highly regarded Italian sites. What’s more, they will be able to advise you on the type of content that will work best for your site as it grows in Italy. Many such agencies also work with native copywriters who can create that content for you.

Website translation

Italian website translation

We’ve all seen effective Google translate can be. Simply put in your English-language site and have it translated into Italian! Except that it’s often not quite so simple… Clearly, AI translation has its place (and when you’re wondering exactly what will be on your pasta after you’ve just ordered spaghetti con polpette, it can be most welcome), but if you’re after a polished, authentic Italian website that appeals to a discerning Italian clientele, it is always worth using an expert, native translator.

Keyword translation

A crucial aspect of both website translation and Italian SEO, the correct translation of your is vital to your success in Italy. You might think it’s as simple as looking up the keywords you target in English, and then translating them into Italian. You’d be wrong. What an English-speaking brand might target, may well not be the same in Italy. Remember, many English and American terms have infiltrated the Italian language, and often this term will be the preferred search term used. This is more often the case in scientific or technical language, but also language associated with social media. Equally, many seemingly English words are used in Italian – but have been somewhat lost in translation, like the following:

  • Fiction: In Italian, it’s used to refer to a TV drama, rather than a text about imaginary characters.
  • Beauty: The Italians use this to talk about the physical object of a cosmetics bag, rather than the abstract noun it denotes in English.
  • Slip: Careful here – this is not a verb in Italian; it’s a noun meaning underpants!

Thankfully, there are many high-quality native Italian translators to help you with your website translation, as well as your website’s SEO. Now you’re aware of the most common pitfalls, all that’s left for you to do is sit back and enjoy that well-earned cappuccino. Buona fortuna!