Why are translations important for SEO?
Which language do you Google in? It will most likely be your own. This is the same for the majority of the online community. While English may still be the predominant language on the internet, others are slowly but surely catching up. This is because internet penetration is increasing globally, and less develop nations are getting access to the online world. And of course, they will want that access to be in their native language. This is where international SEO comes in.
Translation, more specifically keyword localization, is an integral part of your Website Localization Strategy. How? Think about the On-site SEO-Strategy you are implementing for your website in the source language. You are no doubt focused on provided catchy meta-descriptions & headlines, image alt texts, linking strategies, and so on.
But, each individual rule matters less than the natural, well-structured content that provides the reader with what they need.
This is how Keyword Localization should be approached as well. As a powerful strategy that maximizes your ranking factors, while offering an authentic and relevant experience to your audience.
Keyword Localization In A Nutshell
What does this mean in a more practical sense?
Before you can approach and LSP with your international SEO plan, you should create a term base. This term base includes important terms that you wish to be localized. These should include:
- Product keywords
- Keywords that are unique to the identity of your brand.
- Informational keywords. These are keywords that effectively describe the features of your products, services, and solutions.
- Transactional and navigational keywords. These are keywords that will guide your new users through the buyer’s journey.
What matters most in the selection of these keywords, is that you create an authentic user experience by using the most appropriate terminology. For this reason, don’t only provide your LSP with the keywords, also provide them with the context in which these keywords are used.
Only Human Translation Will Do!
Perhaps, after reading this, you are wondering why you can’t simply run the keywords through a Machine Engine and get your translation that way. Machine Translation does have a place within a well-developed content strategy, but not when it comes to Keyword Localization. Using a qualified linguist for keyword localization will offer key benefits such as:
- The expertise native, in-country professionals who understand your audience (because they are your audience). They will never settle for a general translation but select those that are culturally and linguistically optimal in the context and for the target audience.
- A skilled linguist, especially one employed by an LSP, knows how to effectively utilize a Language (CAT) Tool. This allows for glossaries and a Translation Memory (TM) to streamline the process for this and any future projects, and also adds a level of Quality Assurance.