A Smart Web Marketing Tool? Try Translation
The fuel for your search engine marketing
In the era of infinite information, human-to-human approach seems to become the most important sales-driving force. But implementing H2H marketing, which is a true paradigm shift, can be hard after many years of traditional models. The translation strategy lacks ‘a human touch’ in many B2 companies working with industries and technologies.
A customer-centric strategy might be the most misunderstood component of marketing communications. It requires to focus on the customers’ experience and to understand what they like and need. Meaningful communication—conversational, story-driven, and even humorous—is easier said than done.
A human is delivering the communication and another human is receiving. With corporate values set in stone, with a content workflow in place, it is hard to change the ecosystem. But you need trust to be successful both locally and abroad and not pure algorithms. And a bit of web visibility to ignite that trust. So make translations work for your SEM.
Content: the approach to be changed
At the recent Social Media Week conference in New York, brand marketers kept wondering if they spent too much money on the wrong content. A related challenge is a disproportional breakdown of what brands spend on content creation vs. content distribution.
Developing high-value content can be costly, but brands invest only 10% in creating content and 90% in its distribution.
“The problem is 90% of the impact comes from content creation, not distribution,” Noah Brier, co-founder and CEO of Percolate, said in a session called “The Spiralling Cost of Content.”
Translation fits in that trend, too.
More than a half of the top 10 million websites is in English. 73 percent of internet users don’t speak English, according to Internet World Stats (as of June 2016). That means only a quarter of web surfers use English, and the number is growing.
A lot of marketers see translation as a cost while it is a tool for content creation. Translation is not an extra cost but a major investment. Search engines still index English better than content in other languages. So a multilingual web strategy should be handled with care.
Why translation is good for your SEO
To make a website visible or boost its ranking in unpaid search results, the content should meet three criteria, all based on trust:
– Domain/website age
– Diverse incoming links
– Well-written content with keywords
While the domain age is out of one’s control, you can do your best to get healthy links pointing to your site. And you are able to create relevant content, which should be error-free, non-duplicated, and highly engaging.
By translating the most important pages you make your website better indexed. Engagement is the current standard for content effectiveness. Google favours the content which is useful for the search engine users.
For instance, blog posts continue to drive traffic and generate impressions up to 700 days after they go live, according to the study commissioned by IZEA.
The content should inspire, educate, entertain, and finally, it should convert. Unless the content is in a language internet users speak, they are unlikely to engage with it.
High-quality translated content becomes another step in your trust building and content engagement strategy aimed at current and potential customers from abroad.
What translation is good for your SEO
About five to ten years ago, organic traffic was associated mainly with keywords and keyword density. Now that Google is able to add close variations, synonyms and related searches of your keyword or phrase automatically, the focus has changed.
Highly relevant keywords related to the content your customers browse are still important. But a prerequisite for good ranks and search traffic is the content and it should be translated professionally.
It may sound funny but using the automatic translation like Google Translate is actually against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines saying: no automatically generated content including texts translated by an automated tool.
In addition to possible Google penalties, chances are high that visitors won’t linger on your web page too long if it’s mistranslated. And errors are definitely not adding to their trust.
Great technologies deserve great translation, human-oriented and carefully crafted. For today’s search engine marketing, quality excels quantity every single time.
Things a professional translation can do for your website:
- 100% clear and accurate comprehension of public-facing content
- Better ranking of pages aimed at local audiences
- Better user experience resulting in shares, leads, and conversions
- Gained visibility and trust for major markets abroad
- Better supports of your local distributors
Use translated content to generate new leads, sell your products, build the brand, and divert traffic from your competitors.
A useful test is to ask, “Does this really help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” ElaN Languages decided to show it in its video where a chef is cooking a Japanese recipe as translated by humans vs. automated results.
Your website is your business card so careful phrasing does matter here. Otherwise, it would be inauthentic and ineffective for people not speaking English. Do you want your customers to eat plastic horses and giggle at some stunning mistakes while you claim to deliver state-of-the-art solutions? Show them you care.
Olesya Zaytseva, founder of Just Translate It, is a proficient translator and marketer with 20+ years of experience bringing her clients’ marketing communications to the next level through content translation, creation and promotion. Pursuing writing, archery, and combinatorial creativity. English and German into Russian.