Case study: ARTDECO

Achieving high Google rankings with quality translation and internationally suitable keywords

The global cosmetics and body care industry has been booming for many years, and the outlook remains positive. In addition to the industry’s big hitters like L’Oréal and Beiersdorf, start-ups and smaller companies are rapidly gaining ground – particularly in relation to ecommerce. If you want to win through in this fast-moving market and play a decisive role, it’s essential to adopt digital strategies and keep an eye on current market developments.

The cosmetics producer ARTDECO is a German retail market leader and has already established itself in the world of online trading. As the company planned its international website roll-out, ARTDECO relied on Kolibri Online for SEO translations and keyword research to enhance its visibility on Google and other search engines in international target markets and to respond to the search behaviour of target groups worldwide.

The international website of cosmetics manufacturer ARTDECO

Services provided by Kolibri for ARTDECO’s international website roll-out

  • SEO translations into English (US), Spanish, French, Italian & Norwegian
  • Assembling a fixed translation team
  • Creating a glossary
  • International keyword research
  • Project management
  • Quality management

The company: ARTDECO

Helmut Baurecht founded the cosmetics label ARTDECO in Munich in 1985. In keeping with the idea of offering high-quality cosmetics at an affordable price, he sought to make luxury products accessible to all. Today, the family-run company based in Karlsfeld near Munich is a leader in the German retail market. More than 900 employees work for ARTDECO in its back-office and field-based operations (as of 2020). Meanwhile, customers in around 70 countries enjoy these high-quality cosmetics. You can find ARTDECO products in around 7,500 cosmetics institutes and spas, 7,500 perfumeries, 300 leading department stores and 60 duty-free shops all around the world. In addition, ARTDECO has an online shop with a wide product range and helpful makeup tips.

The challenge: Translations with SEO requirements

Since 2014, ARTDECO has operated its own online shop, integrated into the company’s German website. ARTDECO uses the shop to sell its high-quality products – from mascaras to concealers. It also regularly posts makeup tips focused on important keywords for the company’s target group, such as “smokey eyes”, “longer lashes” and “wedding makeup”.

As the company turned its attention to the international roll-out of its German website, ARTDECO sought a translation agency capable of covering a wide range of languages and offering considerable expertise in the field of search engine optimisation (SEO). ARTDECO’s entire German website had been extensively revised and optimised with regard to keywords, topics and text content for Google and other search engines – applying these considerations to international copy was of paramount importance so that past work was not lost. The highly competitive environment of online cosmetics retail calls for a professional SEO strategy to ensure that a website ranks in the top positions on Google and other search engines – both nationally and internationally.

A further challenge lay in the fact that the initial translations were to be produced before the German site was officially relaunched, which meant that the source texts would not be accessible online.

The international website of cosmetics manufacturer ARTDECO

Challenges in a nutshell

  • Providing high-quality translations with language perfectly tailored to the target audience
  • Ensuring that SEO review of source texts is retained in translation
  • Starting translation process before German site had been relaunched
  • Carrying out proofreading and reviews directly in CMS
  • Providing translations of product texts continually on a day-to-day basis

The customer’s experience of working with Kolibri Online:

“We appreciate the highly professional and exceedingly well-structured collaboration with Kolibri Online. On a project as large as relaunching the ARTDECO website in six languages and across nine different countries, it was important that we had an agency by our side capable of providing high-quality, SEO translations for each language from a single source. With their years of expertise, Kolibri helped us to make the right SEO-specific decisions for our respective local markets.”

Alexandra Postrach

Project Manager, ARTDECO Website Relaunch

ARTDECO logo

ARTDECO cosmetic GmbH

The solution: High-quality SEO translations for the cosmetics industry

ARTDECO’s desired combination of search engine optimisation and high-quality translation was a top priority for the international website roll-out. In an initial consultation and test translation, Kolibri Online impressed ARTDECO with the quality of our translations and the vital importance of international keyword research for each target language. Thanks to the wide range of over 25 languages we cover and our network of SEO-trained translators and project managers, we successfully met all of our client’s requirements. By the end of 2020, Kolibri Online had translated ARTDECO product texts, category texts and makeup tips – including all metadata – into English and Spanish. There are plans to do the same for French, Italian, Norwegian and other languages.

Test translation and set-up phase

At the start of the project, Kolibri project managers held preliminary meetings with ARTDECO to discuss all key information regarding the target audience, tone and workflow for the requested translations. Following this, Kolibri Online assembled a fixed translation team with knowledge of the cosmetics industry and SEO expertise, ensuring that all team members were intimately familiar with the client’s wishes and requirements.

The translators then produced a test translation which was followed by an intensive feedback round discussing content, style and SEO with SEO. Thanks to our expertise in the field of SEO, we were able to provide useful pointers at this early stage and illustrate why additional international keyword research for each language would be beneficial and ultimately necessary.

We then integrated the results of the feedback into our briefings and passed this information on to the translation team. This ensured that these insights were applied in future translations.

The international website of cosmetics manufacturer ARTDECO
The international website of cosmetics manufacturer ARTDECO

Creating a glossary

Compiling a good glossary (also known as a terminology list or termbase) is an important step at the start of a translation project. Kolibri Online worked closely with ARTDECO to create a glossary for each target language for the translations, detailing specific considerations and notation styles for corporate and brand terminology, industry-specific terms and instructions for SEO keywords. This meant that our translators and proofreaders and native speakers of the various target languages at ARTDECO always had a document to refer to if they were unsure about anything. In addition, we input the glossary into the CAT tool used for translation, which ensured the use of correct terminology in all texts.

International keyword research

The ARTDECO website had already been revised based on a local keyword set, with the German source texts optimised to incorporate suitable keywords. However, the same term can return entirely different search volumes in different countries, which means that translating keywords directly is often not the best solution. It is therefore better to identify suitable keywords through international keyword research before starting the translation stage.

Our native-language translators conducted tool-based keyword research for each language and incorporated the results in their translations for ARTDECO. In the case of the English translations, for example, this research yielded a series of key insights.

  • When translated literally, the German keyword “Business Make-up” (written “business makeup” in US English) has a monthly search volume of 270. However, the term “office makeup” is searched around 340 times per month, which makes it a more suitable keyword in English translations.
  • One key search term was “Tages Make-up”. Our team decided to translate this as “simple makeup” (search volume: 4,100) instead of “everyday makeup” (search volume: 1,700) due to its higher search volume, but also because it fits the search intent more closely.
  • “Urlaubs Make-up” was translated as “travel makeup” (search volume: 1,000) rather than directly as “holiday makeup” (search volume: 1,100) as the latter English term relates to festive makeup in the USA – and because another alternative, “vacation makeup” (search volume: 70) is a rarely searched term.

These are just a few examples to illustrate how international keyword research can define search terms that address search intents more effectively and have higher search volumes. Our team was then able to integrate these terms into the translations.

Excerpt from the results of international keyword research for ARTDECO

Tool-based international keyword research by native-speaker translators produced vital insights regarding suitable search terms.

High-quality SEO translations and streamlined workflows

Kolibri Online assembled a team of translators who are native speakers in each target language selected by ARTDECO. These translators all had knowledge of the cosmetics industry and SEO expertise, which resulted in high-quality translations tailored to the target audience. In addition, Kolibri Online always applies the four-eye principle in its translation processes. This means that a translator who is a native speaker of the target language translates the text, which is then reviewed by a second native speaker. This means that two sets of eyes – four eyes in total – always look over a translation.

Kolibri Online always uses databases in translation projects and selects suitable tools based on each client’s wishes and requirements. In our work for ARTDECO, we worked with the online version of the CAT (computer-assisted translation) tool memoQ. This ensured that files were handled smoothly and guaranteed consistent and up-to-date use of terminology. The fact that the tool is web-based means that its translation memories always contain the latest entries.

As the optimised German pages were still not online at the start of the translation project, our translators were given access to the new texts in a staging environment. This allowed them to get a better feel for the texts and see the accompanying images. This context is a key precondition of successful translation.

Once the site was relaunched, we reviewed all buttons, headlines and short teasers in the CMS backend – a tried-and-tested process at Kolibri Online that helps to streamline workflows for our clients.

The result: High-quality SEO copy for the cosmetics industry

Thanks to in-depth, tool-based keyword research for each language, standardised processes and a team of native-speaker translators with SEO and industry expertise, we produced and implemented texts for ARTDECO’s international websites on schedule. ARTDECO had asked us to incorporate the SEO-based changes to the German source texts into the translations – and we were able to fulfil this request. In addition, a fixed contact at Kolibri oversaw the entire project, acting as a key link between ARTDECO and the translation team to ensure quality, select appropriate tools and control day-to-day activities.
Are you looking for a content agency for your next project? Maybe you have questions about developing long-term content marketing strategies or how to implement high-quality, SEO-compliant online content in practice. We’d be happy to talk it over with you. Call us on +49 40 5247774-0 or email us at  info@kolibri.online.

About the author

Jana Finklenburg
Project Manager and Content Marketing Editor
+49 40 5247774-22
j.finklenburg@kolibri.online

Kolibri Online GmbH
Bernstorffstrasse 128
D-22767 Hamburg