If you are selling services or products online, you’ll already be familiar with the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). These benefits extend to having your website and SEO strategy translated into other languages. But just how hard is it? And is it worth it?
If you don’t translate your website you are missing out on a huge opportunity to expand in the global market place. Machine translation doesn’t cut it and as a poorly translated site will put clients and customers off, it’d be a waste of time. Avoid partial translation of a website as this will leave huge holes in your offering. For example, if you neglect to translate a key FAQ, any customer or client seeking that info would be put off.
Read on to discover the reasons why multilingual SEO is crucial for companies engaged in cross-border business.
If you’re capable of selling products or services across borders, it doesn’t make sense to not have a multilingual translation of your website. This is especially true if you want to reach out to more consumers in the global market place. Businesses should optimise their websites to enable potential clients or customers to easily understand the company, what it is offering, and its services or products. In order to be able to generate revenue from the international market place and reach out to global audiences, it is advisable to translate your website and create a multilingual SEO strategy.
How to develop a successful website translation strategy
You need to settle on an overarching strategy. The strategy should include a defined user experience, how the site should be navigated, and how it should look and feel. So, what language should your website be translated into? A good place to start is with the language you use in the CMS to create your content. Assess which market would bring in the biggest return on investment.
From there, it’s not a straight forward process. You need to consider which parts of the website you will translate and into which languages. The best website translation services will help you decide the optimum level of translation.
The importance of UX in your translations
Some changes are simple and easy to do. For example, changing a price in pennies to dollars, or adding a some translated press releases. These changes are useful, though to many they appear as merely cosmetic. However, other changes can be pretty challenging to translate as they require a high level of skill and accuracy. For the content to have the same impact in another language and indeed culture, the translation needs to be refined and based on the knowledge and cultural references of the audience that will be accessing the content. To make sure you get it right first time, check your potential provider has ecommerce expertise, web page translation services, website localization services and multilingual blog SEO capabilities so you can access the full range of services required to produce a professional finish. Not many website translation companies offer the full range of services.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimising a website to appear higher up search engine results pages. This is important as research shows most people do not click past the first page of search engine results. If your company isn’t on the first page of search results for the keywords that matter, then you may as well put a billboard up in the middle of the Pacific. Of course, consumers in different locations use different search terms. Not only that, but they use different search engines. For example, in China, Baidu rules. Therefore, you should look for a company that is proficient at multilingual content management.
SEO has evolved into a multi-faceted strategy and includes factors such as:
- List building
- Social media marketing
- Backlinking and indexation
- Keyword research
Backlink building is one of the most powerful SEO tools. You need to know the current ranking of your business, so that you can learn how to improve it. This will give you a strategic advantage over other businesses in your industry. Remember to keep things in context, don’t make any drastic changes and to adopt a measured approach. This is not just about ranking higher, but focusing on ranking better.
Multilingual SEO optimisation, or MO SEO, involves using different or multiple languages when structuring a website and optimising it for search engines. Information on this subject is constantly evolving. However, we have identified some core guidelines that we recommend.
Thinking of how a user would like to access your site is a good starting point; this then helps you design it optimally. Often, it’s necessary to do a ‘crawl’ to fully understand the structure of your website, and develop a strategy to optimise it in another language. SEO tools are available to help with this process. Use optimised content to rank higher for you target keywords. All key attributes like layout, pictures and content should match the intended language.
The importance of SEO
If you do not optimise your websites, you are missing out on a big opportunity. SEO plays a huge role in the global market place. It is only going to get bigger. There are many challenges in the global market place for online businesses. For a start, it’s a crowded place. The average internet user in most countries has a fairly new smartphone. So to start off, you need to optimise your website for the mobile user experience. With reference to China, that would require a presence on WeChat.
The benefits of website translation and multilingual SEO optimisation
Websites evolve with the frequent addition of new products and services, or additions to FAQs, or company updates. The process of website translation should be an ongoing process so that all the updates are current and can be efficiently translated and applied as and when required.
The benefit comes in the form of user satisfaction. In today’s online business world, trust is vital. This can be a problem for foreign language websites. Getting website translation and multilingual SEO will go a long way to building trust with the consumers you wish to target.
Having a multilingual website and SEO strategy mean you will open up myriad opportunities to effectively and efficiently engage with consumers across the world. If your website was available in Mandarin, Spanish and English, for example, you’d have 38% of the world’s population covered. The return on investment for website localisation services and ecommerce translation services is usually more than worth the effort.