Popular search engine platforms such as Google and Bing have effectively made Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a necessity for online businesses. Whether you offer digital marketing services, run an eCommerce storefront or write blog articles for a living, content localization can help your cause significantly.
According to Shutterstock, 80% of US, French, and German marketing experts believe that content localization is essential for reaching new audiences, while 60% of customers rarely or never purchase items from English-only websites.
There is a clear need for content localization in both digital service sales and eCommerce industries in terms of customer satisfaction and SEO ranking. With that said, let’s take a look at several tips to create a professional content localization strategy for your business in order to boost SEO and reach new audiences through organic ranking.
Before we get into the tips to improve your content localization strategy, let’s take a look at why you should consider the process in the first place. In essence, content localization represents the translation of your website, blog posts and related content into multiple languages.
Content can be localized in order to make it accessible to more people and to improve multilingual SEO and search engine ranking of your website. However, content localization can provide your business with multiple other benefits, including but not limited to:
One of the most important aspects of content localization is the original content you intend to localize. Your content creators should always focus on original, creative topics, titles, and content which would attract new readers. Avoid reiterating popular opinions without original thoughts or ideas.
Instead, create original content about the trends in your industry, case studies about your products or services, as well as tutorials and how-to articles for your audience to enjoy. Once you have sufficient original content available on your website, content localization itself will be much easier to implement.
In order to make your content viable for localization into multiple languages, you should instruct your content creators to keep their vocabularies simple. Don’t use complex words, technical terminology, long phrases or complicated sentence structuring.
Rely on direct, informative writing without country-specific humor, inside jokes or culturally-inappropriate comments. This will make your content much faster and easier to localize, allowing for better turnaround times and higher SEO ranking as a result.
It’s not a good idea to jump into content localization with multiple languages at once. Every industry has languages that are more popular than others – make sure that you choose the right ones. You can always choose global languages such as Spanish, Italian, French, German and Chinese to attract a sizable audience to your website.
More niche languages such as Greek or Eastern European Slavic languages such be chosen only for specific purposes. For example, if you aim to expand your business into Europe, European languages should be a top priority for you.
Local SEO plays a large role in your business’ visibility in language-specific territories, so make sure to look at content localization as a strategic decision. Don’t stretch yourself too thinly and only choose a few languages for your content localization strategy.
Content localization is different than one-to-one translation. In order to “localize” content and boost your SEO with local customers, you will need to approach translation with adequate tools at your disposal. Never translate content by hand and without services or platforms to aid you in the process.
In terms of general text editing and content management, Evernote can provide your writers with a great localization platform. In order to avoid a situation where content localization slows down your original content’s production pipeline, you can refer to a platform such as Pick Writers, which is a translation and localization review website.
Lastly, spellcheck and proofreading tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway can ensure that your content is legible, well-formatted and free of typos and errors. Even a small grammatical error can lower your SEO ranking considerably, so make sure to check your localized and original content thoroughly before publishing it.
Multilingual SEO will require your content creators to get creative with the keywords and phrases they use. Every language you feature on your website will require specific SEO optimization which relates to its keywords and formatting.
For example, a keyword which is trending in English might mean nothing in Hindi or Turkish. To that end, you can refer to platforms such as Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush to find out what type of SEO optimization you require. Implementing language-specific optimization will boost your SEO tremendously and ensure that you attract local customers far more frequently in the future.
Multimedia content pieces such as images, videos, audio podcasts or visualized data should also be localized for international audiences. However, you don’t have to hire a professional designer or the original creator every time you want to make it a part of your content localization strategy.
Instead, you can write alternative text data for individual content pieces which have hard-coded text in them. Simply add the information to each content piece and instruct readers to hover over it to find out what the original writing means once it`s localized. This is a far cheaper and faster way to localize multimedia content and boost your SEO without a slow visual content editing process.
Now that we have a better idea of how to create a content localization strategy that will boost your SEO, let’s point out several mistakes worth avoiding. These can create problems for your content’s ranking and contradict your efforts to attract an international audience to your website – keep an eye out for them.
If you choose to localize into different languages – make sure to go all in with the content strategy. Don’t pick and choose which content to translate into another language on your website or eCommerce storefront. Offer complete, one-for-one localization into another language from the original to boost your SEO properly.
As we’ve mentioned previously, multilingual SEO requires individual languages to feature keywords and phrases specific to their respective territories. Check your localized content periodically in order to update it with new local keywords and SEO parameters to avoid dropping off the search result page.
Lastly, translation and localization are different processes, albeit familiar in their intent. Don’t use automatic translation tools such as Google Translate to localize your blog posts, product descriptions, and other sensitive content. Work with a professional translator or use the tools and platforms listed above to make the process viable for your SEO and search ranking.
Your content localization strategy will only be as effective as the original content you create. Stay in touch with your industry and follow related news and trends which can be turned into future content. Once your original content pipeline is set in stone, content localization will be easier to handle and will boost your SEO considerably in countries across the globe.