Keyword research

The initial project phase involved a period of extensive German-language keyword research by SEO linguists, which allowed us to identify the terms with the highest Google search volumes in the German market for this specific sector. These are the definitive terms used by potential German-speaking tourists when researching and planning their holiday in Ireland, and from an SEO perspective, it was critically important that they were contained in Celtic Cottages’ new German-language website content.

Content translation & optimization

All original English-language content on the www.celticcottages.ie website was automatically extracted by our specialist website localization software and converted into a suitable format for professional translation. Using the keywords identified in the research phase, the content was translated and optimized by a senior, native German translator based in Germany, with extensive experience in tourism translation.

celtic cottages website translation

On-page SEO

In addition to optimizing the content by incorporating high-value keywords at the right density, our team translated other page elements such as meta titles and descriptions, H1/H2 titles, and image alt text, which are also factored into Google's algorithm.

Domain strategy

Given that the original website domain, celticcottages.ie, is a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) – which sends a very strong signal to Google that the content is English-language and explicitly intended for Ireland – a new, more SEO-appropriate domain was required for the new German content. We had two options: the country-specific domain for Germany, i.e celticcottages.de, or a top-level domain such as celticcottages.eu or celticcottages.com, which would support a sub-domain or folder strategy. The celticcottages.eu domain was secured and a strategy of serving language-specific versions by way of sub-domains and Google-based “international targeting” was decided on. The sub-domain de.celticcottages.eu is now used for German content, and any future language versions can be deployed using the same domain – at no additional cost.For example, if Celtic Cottages decide to launch a new French website at some point in the future, its unique URL would be fr.celticcottages.eu.

Website publication

Prior to final publication, all optimized and translated content was deployed to a non-Google-indexed staging environment, where a second senior linguist completed a thorough QA review of all German content. This in-context testing approach means that reviewers have direct access to the new-language website in the exact format it will be published in, and can make informed decisions based on the context at hand, thereby ensuring the quality and credibility of all new translated content. Full-coverage functional testing was also carried out by developers, ensuring that there were no technical issues. For example, our developers verified that the contact pages were routed correctly to designated emails and that all plugins were functioning correctly.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to all of the basic yet essential SEO configuration tasks that need to be carried out to ensure that search engines are “informed” of how your content is organized and who your content is intended for. Without a proper technical SEO foundation, any time and money you spend on other SEO activities is an inefficient use of your resources. In this Google-dominated search environment, a Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) property for each URL is an absolute must. This is the nerve centre from where the essential technical SEO tasks for international websites are managed. The technical SEO configuration for de.celticcottages.eu included the following:

  • Creation and submission of a multilingual sitemap with hreflang tag implementation
  • Submission of each website page/URL for indexing
  • International geotargeting for Germany
  • Validating Google crawl status and correct format of robots.txt file

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a widely used analysis tool that provides data and metrics on website traffic and user behaviour. Full Google Analytics integration is included with all TranslationLoft website translation projects.

Custom language switcher

For the Celtic Cottages project, TranslationLoft designers created a custom language switcher component, which was implemented in the original website to allow users to switch between different language options.