How SEO goes HAND IN HAND with website translation
By Orad Elkayam
S.E.O. Advanced Manager
Understanding the Internet's influence on marketing strategy is the first step towards understanding the importance and necessity of website translation to reach not just the native language market but the global market as well.
In today's world, most people use the Internet to find information by gaining access to resources they both normally cannot access or would require some travel and effort to acquire. The Internet bridges the gap between customer need and customer access by enabling any user with a portal to the Internet irrespective of location to access all the information/services/products they desire with a click of a button. This change has led many marketing firms and agencies to evolve their marketing strategies from radio and TV to aggressive online awareness and promotional activities. This change is due in part to the immense potential for growth the Internet facilitates in both the local and global markets for service(s) or product(s).
All this is clear but why translate my website to a particular foreign language?
The above is a very common question that brings the author back to a personal marketing philosophy and direction as manager and owner of a business. Business owners seek to implement marketing strategies that will build awareness among the maximum amount of customer segments that would be interested in my product/service. Operating under this philosophy, once any owner defines the intended goals, the realization that new intended markets are not limited to those in the native country becomes quite apparent. The motivations for translation become self-explanatory.
Translating and localizing ones product or service offering allows exponentially faster growth by removing any language or cultural barriers that would prevent potential clients from understanding the offering and in turn purchasing the product or service.
Even when a website has been translated into a particular language, unless the content is localized, culture can remain as one last barrier to the consumer understanding a company's product offering. English, for example, is spoken in many different cultures; however, English idioms and connotations of words can mean completely different things to people from different cultures. In England , the term bang can have a sexual connotation; while in the U.S. , getting started with a bang means getting off to a great start. This is exactly why the localization process must be done by professionals who not only will translate the message to the target language but also write the content with the target culture in mind. Using key phrases and words that attract and appeal to the target market ensures that the right message is delivered from within the culture and not from outside. This results in success through building awareness among target customers and in turn increasing revenue.
Multilingual SEO and localization
The definition of SEO is Search Engine Optimization which succinctly means 'to optimize ones website in such a way that search engines would deem its content more relevant to specific keywords entered by the user in the search bar than any of the competitors' websites'.
Before consumers can understand this translated content and see that a product meets their needs, they must be aware of the site that provides these solutions. An effective SEO strategy goes beyond localization of a particular site and builds brand awareness and allows potential customers to find the accompanying services or products with relative ease through localization and optimization of the site for local major search engines for a particular language.
According to Forrester Research, an independent technology and research company, if a website is not among the first twenty in the search engines it may as well not exist! Ninety percent of all Internet users do not bother looking any further than the first two pages of the search results. Users now more than ever are aware of what they need and would rather find products and services themselves through the Internet than have information t hr own at them. Potential consumers rely heavily on local and major search engines to find the products and services they desire to meet their needs and thus greater optimization of a website for these engines creates better awareness. Using a professional SEO who understands the specific language and cultural requirements can best equip a site to appear in the first two pages of results.
Return on an SEO & translation Investment
Those who feel they are candidates for SEO strategies must be aware that successful long term results may be achieved by working with the search engine and giving Google, e.g., all the elements it needs for its algorithm. These individuals must also be made aware that such programs take time and cannot be done overnight or within just a few days because it is a very precise mathematical process demanding research and time to any given field or area.
Optimizing ones multilingual website for all major and local search engines helps boost the amount of visits on a particular website up to three hundred percent and sometimes more; usually meaning more business and more awareness for their services as well as disseminating the message to any foreign market which normally would have been out of reach.
In conclusion, taking a translation project for website content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be very complex and time consuming. A non-professional approach can often cause more harm than good to ones business for both translation and SEO. Each process demands professional knowledge and experience which allows one to represent ones business in the most professional way to the broadest market possible. Revenues come from brand and product awareness, and this awareness comes from effective marketing strategies. Translating website content and optimizing search position on search engines are both examples of effective marketing at work.
My experience as an SEO Expert indicates to me that this will change the way business is done and how market reach is evaluated.