How Rover Localizes Content While Staying On Brand

Learn how Rover expanded into European markets while maintaining their brand voice and keeping the content culturally relevant through multilingual SEO, automated translation workflows, and more.


Founded in 2011 in Seattle, Washington, Rover is an online marketplace that connects dog and cat parents with pet sitters and dog walkers in their neighborhood.

In this webinar, Rover’s Localization Program Manager, Jordanna Ber, and Senior Product Manager, Mark Bechtholt, discuss how Rover came to offer their services in eight languages and connect over two million dog and cat parents with sitters and walkers in 10 countries.

How Rover Localized Their Content While Maintaining Brand Voice

Initially, Rover set out to expand their business from US and Canada only to eight additional regions in Europe. The three main focuses of Rover’s localization initiative were internationalizing the Rover brand, fully automating workflows, and ensuring their content is searchable.

1. Internationalizing Rover

Because Rover had to localize their product for multiple locales in a limited time, scalability was critical to them. They were looking for ways to easily scale their product and content for different markets no matter where they would expand in the future.

Their translation projects included app, website, surveys, support document, FAQs, forms, data formats, blogs, legal documents, ads, social media, corporate communication, and emails. They also made sure to make each region’s policies and requirements accessible in the customers’ languages and created a glossary and brand guides in the local tone of voice to stay on brand.

2. Fully Automating Translation Workflows

Because Rover is a niche product where trust is critical, the Rover team wanted to ensure their brand voice was reflected in all of their translations. They brought on board a team of internal customer experience and ops agents who speak target languages to be on the frontline with the customers and serve as the primary resources for localization.

Additionally, they built automated translation workflows using Smartling’s translation management software and language services.

With a one-time workflow set-up, the Rover team could automatically route content to different paths of their choice (a combination of translate, review, edit, publish, etc.) rather than manually assigning content and deciding what action to be taken next each time.

Setting pre-conditions that direct content through the most appropriate workflow steps reduced time to market and saved them human hours and resources significantly.

3. Searchable Content

At the beginning of their global expansion, Rover had no market presence in the European regions. So they began with SEO localization to grow their brand first.

For global SEO to be successful, simply translating existing content into another language is insufficient. Because not all countries use the same term to mean one thing, the Rover team needed to conduct keyword research for each target market.

They searched for answers to questions like, “What terms and phrases are people actually using in their search for services like Rover’s?” because how the internal team refers to their product and service can differ from what their global audience is searching for.

Rover also had local partners review the keyword translations and ensure they make sense in each locale. Additionally, through an ongoing SEO analysis process, they kept up with changing keywords to stay competitive in the eyes of the search engines.

From Zero to Millions of Words Translated

In their first year translating, Rover experienced more than a 400% increase in content translated and only a 1.06% revision rate after Smartling translation. And today, Rover serves over two million dog and cat parents in eight languages in 10 countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, and Sweden.

Want to experience localization success like Rover did? Watch the session in its entirety to learn more!