Listing Translations – Get it Right First Time

David Barry joins to cover listing translations

  • From AMZ Europe that specialise in listing optimisations for Amazon Europe

Funny Anecdotes

  • EU125 pendant on sale and the second word meant ‘rotten’
  • A razor for stainless steel beards
  • HSBC ran a campaign around the time of the financial crisis – the slogan was ‘assume nothing’ but had been mis-translated into ‘do nothing’ across several languages

Listing Translations

  • Danny pays EU200-300 for listing translations
  • Don’t spend next to nothing on Fiverr for a poor listing as it’s false economy and won’t make any sales
  • Danny’s had a confusing listing that read like it had been written in several dialects and not the native tongue
  • Having someone that can speak different languages may not hit the mark for listing translations to convert

Translator, Conversion Optimiser and Marketer

  • A translator isn’t a conversion optimiser and Marketer
  • It is one thing to re-write a listing culturally
  • Do they know how to find converting keywords
  • Spot popular search terms versus relevant search terms
  • Where do they get their data
  • Difficult minefield to go through
  • Tool called uses images to get relevant images for that search term
  • Need to converse with someone with a native tongue for that country
  • Keyword research and localisation of country are different skills
  • Better to split them out as skills

Shoes of the Buyer

  • Instruction manuals, product packaging, eBooks
  • Italian customer but manual is only English or German
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer in that country
  • Reduces refunds and returns, questions from customers and reduced negative reviews too

Chicken and Egg but not on Listing Translations

  • You go to a new marketplace or territory you start small
  • Send in test products to test the market and get a feel for it
  • But with the translation you need to go ‘all in’ and use the right keywords etc to have the impact
  • If you don’t speak the language then you are flying blind
  • Maybe the time isn’t right to do the instruction manual translation as well due to costs
  • European markets are a more moderate risk
  • Spain has lower sales across the marketplaces so more of a risk in going in without the best chance possible
  • But the cost of launching in Germany would be the same but a better success rate in a bigger market
  • It’s not just the listing that needs translating, you need your emails, facebook ads and inserts/instructions too

The Team and Process

  • Start with the Keyword Researcher – look at competitor listings using tools to identify best keywords to target
  • Provide the list to the ‘Localiser’ to take the sales copy from and put it into the Local market – mix of local culture and translation
  • So it reads correctly to the buyer in that country boosting your credibility
  • Proof reader goes through everything to make sure there’s no spelling mistakes etc.

Enhanced Brand Content

  • Have a UK trademark that lets you use it across the US and a door opener for brand registry that leads to Enhanced Brand Content
  • A steady increase in the number of people with EBC
  • European marketplaces are a few years behind the US market
  • Conversion depends on the quality of the listing, EBC can look amazing but if images are poor then you won’t get the boost

Getting your Listing Right

  • The three Ps:
    • Product
    • Price point
    • Photos
  • This gives listing success
  • If your price is 30% higher than the market, no listing optimisation will help
  • Do your research on the market and be sure there are sales there before going in
  • Make sure you work with a native speaker and copywriter – the goal is conversion and sales
  • Just translating a US listing into a word for word translation to German just won’t work

Keyword Indexing

  • German search term campaigns in German were difficult
  • Look at your keyword indexing
  • Danny was using the PIPES symbol in headlines to separate keyword in Germany that caused big problems for auto-campaigns but he didn’t know
  • Launch with a limited number of products into new territories


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