Have you ever Googled yourself? Don’t lie :)
When you do, you will notice the first few results are often tied to the more frequently visited platforms where most of your online engagement takes place.
Since I started blogging for Smartling, my professional SEO has evolved.
As I have been planting Smartling-centered SEO into my writing, it has enabled me (and Smartling) to always land on the first page of Google’s results when I search for my name.
In this case SEO is mutually beneficial and positions both parties as industry leaders because we have good ranking.
It’s not a mystery and it’s not luck. It is because SEO is doing its job.
What is multilingual SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it helps people find your content online through search engines like Google.
Multilingual SEO involves incorporating localized keywords and search terms in your translated content to ensure it can be found by users in their native language.
Why bother with SEO? Well, by implementing proper SEO techniques, brands can amplify traffic to their site by ranking high on popular search results.
Because your content is easier to find, it's easier for your audience to learn who you are, what you do and what you offer. SEO helps brands stand out among competition and formulate trust with an audience as a reliable source of information.
To understand how to to make SEO work for you, remember these fundamentals:
1. Understand what you want to be known for.
Are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader? Want to cement your business as an innovative industry staple?
2. Research the demographic you want to pull in.
What words and phrases does your audience search for? What type of content do they consume? Which questions do they want answered?
By implementing a few smart tricks, you can help improve and raise your visibility online. You just need to know what to focus on!
So how does this all tie back to translation? Well, what good would your localized content be no one finds it? What if French users do a google search for your app or website, and are directly straight to the English version? That wouldn’t be very helpful.
The importance of multilingual SEO
If you are branching out into an international market you probably know expansion requires intensely methodical strategies. SEO and localization are essential parts of the puzzle.
When you make the switch into a new location all the rules of SEO and localization efforts apply. Translations must be finely tuned to everything from cultural beliefs to the nuance of the language to make your content both accessible and searchable in a new language.
In order to roll out a unique international presence that resonates with a new audience, you must first conduct proper and in depth research:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their habits?
- What do they search for?
- What do they want to know more about?
- What has been their response to the competition’s efforts to reach them?
Armed with this knowledge, your brand can tailor content to meet users where they already are. After all, we want to make it easier for customers to find your content in their native language.
Best practices for multilingual SEO
In order to optimize your translated company site, consider these Smarling-approved tips:
Translating with SEO keywords
Do not limit your company to mere industry terms! Conduct research to find out what words your target audience tends to search for and include them on your home page and throughout your site.
Pro tip: Make sure your keywords appear early in your content! If you are already a Smarling customer, be sure to translate your Style Guide & Glossary. This will pull in all your pre-approved branded content and preferences.
Swap Meta Tags
You may need to change and replace a section of content on a specifically translated site for the best possible results.
If you’re using Smartling’s platform already head over to our help section where we break down the easy ways to swap meta tags.
Keep Content Flowing
A stale site is a wasted opportunity. Churn out the content by letting employees share projects, hire bloggers to capture your evolution (hi!), tie your site to your social channels and get regular visitors to your site by enticing them with promotions, webinars and free services.
Call to Action
We always want to steer our audience in the direction of taking action. Encouraging visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, learn more to get them around your site, comment on a blog, share a thought piece to LinkedIn, follow on Twitter- it all adds up. Always tell your audience where to go next (and, obviously, have a strategy in place for this intended journey).
SEO has the power to open doors to international audiences. Don’t miss out on opportunities- get your SEO straight!
We can’t forget about translation quality
Now, an important rule is to never sacrifice quality for search rankings. Google explains that the best way to rank high in search results is to write informative, high quality content.
Quality standards are necessary to establish when it comes to translation in particular. Every effort you communicate - whether it is via app, ad, site, social platform, document - must be accurate.
If a prospective customer decides to Google your company to learn more about your services and sees glaring grammatical and linguistic errors, you are likely to lose their trust and their business.
There is a lot on the line when you tap into the potential of international business; accuracy is one vital component.
A cloud translation management system is a scalable and easy way to get the ball rolling in your localization efforts. You can see it in action here!
When you reach international customers with well translated content you are more likely to reap the benefits of your expansion: increased engagement, accelerated conversions, and an unparalleled foundation of trust on which future business can grow.
The bottom line
If you would like to learn more about Smarling, drop us a line! If you have a specific question about SEO, email us and we will try to address it in this extended series.
Laura Wyant is a freelance digital strategist and writer/editor. She is currently working with start-ups, tech companies, and health and healing spaces. Laura has been contributing to the Smartling blog on topics around cloud translation, digital strategy, and overall creative translation process. When she isn’t working in media, she is working to educate herself on matters such as intersectional women’s health and advancements in technology.