In the previous post I explained why it was a bad idea to provide the translator with a Word file to translate a web site. I highlighted that translating the site page names helps your pages to score better, but also highlighted that the anchor text for the links -if selected incorrectly- might actually promote the page for keywords of no importance whatsoever, thus hurting your search engine position. None of these can be achieved by sending a Word file for translation.

Translated “Alt” attributes contribute to your ranking juice!

But there are other issues that cannot be solved when sending a Word file. For example, it always helps if the names of the figures correspond to one of the targeted keywords, but what people often forget is that the search engines also consider the “alt” attributes of the figures. The “alt” attributes contain the text that should be shown in the event that the figure cannot be displayed. An example image link might be for example:

<img src=”images/160.jpg” alt=”Rolex watches” width=”100″ height=”150″ border=”0″ align=”bottom”/>

Note the “Rolex watch” attribute, which will be displayed if the 160.jpg image is not available, is meaningless if you translate an English site into another language. A proper translation into Spanish should be like this:

<img src=”images/160.jpg” alt=”relojes Rolex” width=”100″ height=”150″ border=”0″ align=”bottom”/>

Translate also the image file names!

If you really would like to squeeze out every SEO ounce of this page, the name of the figure should be also translated. Now, I know that “160.jpg” does not have a translation per se, but a really good website translator would rename the image file and translate the image link as follows:

<img src=”images/RelojRolex.jpg” alt=”relojes Rolex” width=”100″ height=”150″ border=”0″ align=”bottom”/>

Take note that the image now says “Rolex watch” in Spanish – I have used the singular instead of the plural, so as reinforce even more the basic keyword without actually repeating it. I have also spelled both words in upper case. This would be incorrect in Spanish, which frowns on the use of upper case, except for own names. But the image name itself is not visible to the user, and it helps the search engines to distinguish that there are two words.

Both the “alt” attributes and the image names are considered by the search engines to discern what a page is about, so it makes no sense to use meaningless names or leave them in the original language. A potential Spanish-language customer will search for “relojes Rolex”, not for “Rolex watches”!

Of course, none of this will be possible if the translator receives simply the text in a Word file – and the webmaster which commits this mistake will not be able to really squeeze out every ounce of SEO of his translated page unless he is aware of these stupid things… and in most cases he is not.

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