5 tips how to translate a website for more SEO traffic

Vanessa Anderson

To reach the target audience in the new markets, it is very important to create and maximize the visibility of your products or services.

Website translation is not enough to succeed in the local markets. Customers need to be able to find your site. To do this, SEO keyword research rules have to be integrated into the website translation and localization workflow. Below you will find the most important tips how to translate a website and get more organic traffic.

#1 Tip how to translate a website: start with seed keywords

Seed keywords are the baseline words most relevant to the web page in the target market. They define the niche and help identify the competitors in the niche.

At this stage, these words involve the process of describing a product or services with your own words, or brainstorming how other people might search for it.

Let's consider an example of localization from a Russian translator at hannasles.com, who was recently translating a big project for a drugstore store. The target consumers of the online store is Russian-speaking users located in the Russian Federation, the project involved translation services from English to Russian. According to Multitran (online dictionary), plus a bit of brainstorming, the list for this translation project included:

#2 Tip for a website translation: generating keyword ideas

The next step after figuring out the baseline words is to generate the relevant ideas, while getting a good understanding of what people in the target niche are searching for in Google.

One of the best ways to do it is to check what keywords the competitors are ranking for. It is obvious, that the competitors have already performed all the tedious keyword research in their niches.

If you don't know who the competitors are for the web pages you are translating, just put the seed keywords into Google advanced search form choosing the relevant country in the search. In this way, you will see who ranks on the first page.

Coming back to the list above, we get the following keyword for the word "drugstore":

From this example, it is obvious, that if to translate a website from the drugstore niche according to the dictionary, the customer will be doomed to failure to enter the Russian market. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out competitor keyword research in the target market in order to find the keywords rather than translate them. And as the result, you will get the words which people use while searching the web for similar products or services.

#3 Tip: understanding keyword metrics before site translation

When you find the main competitors on the target market for the online store you are translating, you can switch to the second stage of the site translation defining keywords for the main categories and keywords for the main products or services. These keywords will help you understand the website structure which has been built according to the cultural mentality and which has proved to be effective in the local market.

When dealing with the keywords, you will have to understand general keyword metrics:

#4 Tip: translating web pages with translation memory tools

When the target keywords and the localized site structure define, it's time to move to the next step to translate a website for better SEO traffic. At this point, it's necessary to compile glossaries and develop style guides. These resources will state the main keywords, clarify the meaning of special words and phrase used in the company, give rules about the language usage. In this way, the language and the voice of your company will represent your brand and values in the target markets. On top of that, the glossaries and style guides will help improve the speed and accuracy of the website translation in general.

When everything is set, it's necessary to choose the best translation memory tools which will perfectly meet the web pages requirements. Today there are a lot of different translation tools, and their application depends on the platform on which the site is built. If a website is built on WordPress, it's better to translate a web page using WPML plugin. If it is built on a different platform, it is possible to implement desktop translation tools or web-based translation tools.

#5 Tip: language quality assurance and website localization testing

Now that the website has been translated, it is important to begin language quality assurance and localization testing. This process involves inspecting localized web pages for language that seems inappropriate for the context. Besides that, it refers to checking bugs and technical issues that may have been introduced during the translation process.

When web translation project is completed and the translated site goes live, it is always important to track it in order to understand:

  1. How does the target users interact with your translated website?
  2. What are the most popular translated pages?
  3. Does it have the expected conversion rate? Why or why not?

Further, based on the research that you have done on your target audience behavior on your translated site, you can begin developing unique content for that translated site. This unique content can speak particularly to the demands of that market and will drive more traffic and bring new users to your selling pages.

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