Did you know that SEO translation and localization are two different things?
In all fairness, both these processes should be performed by a trained translator and both are about online content, but there is a big difference between them. Still, the goal is the same – to create better content for your followers and widen your reach by including audiences that don’t speak English.
So how do you do that and why are SEO translation and localization important? Moving forward, we’ll talk about the importance of these two processes for multilingual websites and how they differ.
What is SEO Translation?
When you translate the content of a website, there are three main approaches you can take:
- Have the entire website translated in a word-for-word fashion;
- Localization, where the translated content is adapted to fit the target audience’s cultural level;
- SEO translation, where the translated content is adjusted to rank higher in local searches.
The first option works for clients who just want to translate the content and do the adjustments themselves, at a later date. Of course, the content will still be usable and easy to understand for the audience speaking the target language, but it won’t have any tweaks to make it more attractive.
Localization is a special service performed by native translators who understand the target language’s cultural nuances. In the case of localization, native translators are important because you want the end result to look as natural as possible to native readers or viewers.
Lastly, SEO translation should be performed by a translator who understands SEO concepts and can adapt the content to fit local keywords. Plus, when you adjust your content for a new location, you may have to do SEO for a different search engine (for instance, the Chinese market doesn’t work with Google but with Baidu).
SEO Translation vs Localization
Now that you know the differences, it’s easy to see how translation localization can be confused with SEO translation if you don’t know how content marketing works. Still, both processes are important if you want to give your multilingual website a solid chance in a new market.
You need localization to “speak the natives’ tongue” and make sure to avoid embarrassing translation mistakes that can hinder a product’s popularity right from the start. Also, localization helps you overcome cultural barriers and create content that your target audience will truly enjoy.
SEO translation, on the other hand, is more technical in nature and focuses more on how the website looks for search engines. So it’s not your typical translation. In this case, the translator also needs to make sure the content will perform well in searches. This includes finding new keywords that fit better with the translation, understanding the target audience’s intent and preferences, and working towards the client’s business goal(s).
Why Multilingual SEO is important?
A multilingual website has many benefits, but from the point of view of online marketing, it is a gold mine. First of all, it widens the reach of the brand to new markets that may have never heard of it before. Second, it allows a more accurate audience segmentation, which improves personalization in marketing campaigns.
Therefore, if you want to translate your website (or social media content), it’s important to understand that SEO usually looks different in other languages. Plus, if you want to get closer to your target audience, you’ll need localization.
Is Google Translate Good for SEO?
No. For now, Google Translate and other similar automated services only do word-for-word translations. And while there may be situations where the platform seems to understand context, in most cases the translation is dry and often-times senseless.
In short, if you want to get your brand known to as many people as possible, all around the world, you need high-quality translation services that account for context, understand localization, and can help you with SEO translation.