If your company is online, you can’t afford to ignore search engine optimisation (SEO for short). As part of this process, make sure that you optimise your content not only for Google, but also for your users. This is particularly important if you want to expand into new target markets. In such a case, you will also be relying on SEO translation, which means that not only linguistic but also technical and cultural differences have to be taken into account. Foreign language SEO is therefore an ideal task for a localisation specialist. The following three fundamental principles should be observed.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a science with a scope reaching far beyond language itself. It encompasses all the elements that improve a website’s ranking on a search engine such as Google. These include:
- Technical elements: How fast does the page load and is it optimised for viewing on smartphones?
- Backlinks: Do trusted websites link to your site?
- User experience: How do users navigate their way around your website?
- Content: Is the content relevant and practical for users?
If you would like to learn more about this topic, the Search Engine Journal provides interesting articles covering everything related to SEO and how you can improve your ranking.
Practical and relevant content
Technical measures are easy to implement, but things get more difficult when it comes to content. It has to provide exactly what users are looking for – nothing more, nothing less – because search engine algorithms have become very good at recognising whether what a website offers truly corresponds to what users are looking for. So, it’s actually better to attract fewer users to your site, but make the ones who arrive as happy as possible.
Simply accomplishing this part is difficult enough in your home market, but as soon as you expand into new markets and other countries, you will have to figure out what else you need to pay attention to for SEO translations.
3 tips for SEO translation
- Search engines
Google is the clear market leader in Europe and North America, so SEO on these continents is based almost exclusively on the Google algorithm. However, did you know that in China only 2% of search queries are made using Google? Baidu holds the largest market share there with 72% of all internet searches. In Russia, Google is the market leader but handles only 53% of all search queries. If you want to succeed in the Russian market, you also have to take Yandex (45% market share) into account. These search engines operate slightly differently from Google – and you need to bear that in mind when translating your SEO content.
Do you know the difference between translation and localisation? During localisation, the content of your text is also adapted to the target market. This includes both the cultural and linguistic adaptation of your entire content, from images and graphics to formats (time, dates, units of measurement, etc.). From an SEO point of view, however, keyword localisation is even more important because in other countries, different search terms are often used for the same target. This means that for optimal SEO translations, you must research the keywords for each market from scratch. Or, you can leave it in the capable hands of our localisation specialists.
- Important for webshops: Contract law and practices
Local laws must naturally be taken into account when formulating GTCs, as they concern such things as the right of return and warranty services. In addition, users always have a certain expectation of how the ordering process should be carried out. This expectation is influenced by their experiences with local websites and may differ significantly from what is usual in your home market. If you want to acquire new customers abroad, you need to know what they expect from you.
Machine translation does have its advantages in certain areas, but SEO translations are certainly not one of them. Invest in professional translations provided by language experts who are familiar with the local context. Enlist the services of a localisation specialist who also knows something about SEO and we guarantee you won’t regret it.
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