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When you are trying to reach a new international market or audience, one of the first things you have to do is translate your website and other web content into the language of your target audience.
This is important because people generally prefer to read websites in their own language, and if you don’t translate your website, your competitor will. However, when you’re working with web content, it is not enough to simply get a good translator. If you simply translate your content without optimizing it for search engines, it is unlikely that your content will reach a wide audience. So what can you do to make sure that your content is well translated and also optimized for SEO content?
Choose a Native Speaker
You need a translator who is a native speaker of the language you are translating your content into? Why? A native speaker will be able to localize your content for the intended audience. They will know what words and phrases appeal to your chosen audience, and know how convey your meaning as closely as possible. For example, there may be a slang term in the language you’re translating your content into that may also be a top ranking keyword for your topic in that language, which brings us to the next point.
Research Your Keywords
It seems like choosing keywords for your new website, or other web content should be simple. However, when you’re translating content, it, unfortunately, is more complicated than it sounds. A dictionary translation of the top keywords for your content in English may not necessarily yield the top keywords for your content in another language. So what can you do? Well, you need to find someone who knows the language of the audience you’re addressing inside and out. You need to make sure that your translator knows what keywords you use to optimize your content for search engines in English, so that he or she can find the closest matching keywords in the language of your target audience.
Choose Someone with SEO Knowledge
You need to make sure that your translator has at least a basic knowledge of SEO and knows the importance of translating urls, meta titles, meta descriptions, HTML title tags, etc. A mistake the people often make when translating SEO content into a new language is focusing only on the web copy and forgetting about things like urls and meta descriptions. It’s not enough to have a few keywords sprinkled throughout your webpage. You have to make sure that your translator understands the significance things like meta-titles and knows how to write them in your target language.
While putting keywords in your web copy is important, keywords won’t help you much if you forget about descriptions, tags, the url, etc. For example, if you translate an entire page into Spanish, but the url and meta title is in English, your Spanish speaking audience will only be able to read your content by actually clicking on your page. The problem is, there will likely be endless other search results for the same keywords. This means if your meta titles and descriptions are not in Spanish, your potential readers will probably just move on to pages that do have these items written in Spanish.
Look into link-building
To really make sure your content reaches a large audience in your new market, it is not enough to simply include SEO keywords on your website. You also have to make sure that your new website islinked to other relevant websites. The tricky part about this is that you want to be linked to other websites that rank high for your chosen keywords. The problem is if you don’t speak the language you’re translating your website into, it will be hard to find websites with the same keywords to reach out to and build links with. Because of this, you may need to find someone who can do SEO outreach in your audience’s language and have them link build for you. After all, there is no point in having excellent content no one sees it.
Make Sure You Have Great Content
Lastly, just make sure that your web content itself is high quality. You could have the best translator in the world, but if your content is bad in English, it will stay bad in any other language. Good SEO tactics can bring people to your webpage, but it is good content that makes them stay there. So before you launch your international marketing campaign, make sure that your original English content is high quality and engaging. Second, make sure that you have a translator that can create localized translations. By localized, I mean you want to make sure your translator can take your copy and translate it so that it fits the culture and customs of your target audience. With a combination of great copy, a good translator, and a few SEO tactics, your new website should be getting great traffic in no time.