What is Metadata?

Context.

It can be the difference between “live” and “live.”

And “run away,” “run a company” and “runny nose.”

It can also be the difference between the success and failure of your localization project.

This is why metadata is so important.

Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. It ensures that your translator—who could sit many miles or oceans away—understands the intent of the author or brand messaging. It communicates context.

Metadata can be inward facing (client-side only) as well as customer facing (think website metadata, which can include titles and page descriptions). It makes life easier for the user and gives them a “cheat sheet” for a much larger amount of content.

User-First Localization

Localization is not a means to an end. It is necessary for successful communication between two people. (And yes, your brand and/or company can very well be thought of as a “person.”)

The most successful localization projects put the user first. This is why your company should insist on professional translation teams that know the ins and outs of your target market.

When you start with the user, you can see how important context is for every project. Even the smallest mishaps can make your company look unprofessional when venturing into a new market.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Metadata within the walls of your translation team lets them know the original intent of your messaging. It’s a valuable cheat sheet that should accompany every project, and can include intentions, product specs, goals and meanings of unusual phrases or sections.

Professional translators imagine themselves as the user. How would they speak? What syntax would they use? What true meaning would they receive from translation?

Don’t forget that meanings and syntax differ from language to language. The better notes a translator has, the more accurate every translation can be.

Website Metadata is Still Vitally Important

When it comes to websites, many companies have their content translated yet ignore their metadata. However, when users search for common phrases and keywords found within your site, they will often view meta titles and meta descriptions first (in a Google search for example, a user could base their entire decision to visit your site upon how they view the content of your metadata). If it’s talking to them in their language, they’re more apt to click. If not, they may head to your competitor.

The lesson: Localization of website metadata is a must for search engine optimization (SEO). Also, the better the metadata that accompanies a localization project, the higher the chances of success. Metadata offers a clear path to your intended messaging for every person who touches your project.

Need a professional translation team to tackle your next localization project? Acclaro can help. We’ve enabled many Fortune 500 companies to expand into new countries on time, on budget and without surprises. Contact an Acclaro specialist to find out how.