Keyword translation is an art. It really is: translating keywords is not the realm for automatic, machine translation. What people search in one country is not what other communities search in another country − and there are differences in search patterns even within the same country. You can easily check what people are searching in different countries and at different times using Google’s free “Trends” tool.
Online keyword competition for top search rankings is fierce. Everybody wants good keywords and with them, that number one spot in Google searches − a coveted position by everyone from medical device companies trying to position their products abroad to freelancers working from home and also offering their services locally and, hopefully, globally. But why is it so difficult to have good keyword translations? What is it about search rankings that is so important? Why is everyone clamoring to reach the top?
Like many things…it comes down to money.
The higher your company ranks on search engines, the more traffic your website should receive. SEO experts know that more traffic should mean more conversions… which means more leads and sales. Even if you are not selling directly from your website, adding click advertising on your blog can generate a good income in monthly revenue if your blog is ranked high enough. However, this is not easy and there is plenty of work to do, though.
Everyone is playing and tweaking the writing on their websites to boost exports and sales packing their blogs and posts with keywords, carelessly sometimes, in the hope of being ranked on the first page by Google and making money. Some agencies sell links, likes and traffic by the millions.
Everyone is playing a little bit at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and “experts” pop on our inboxes promising fast results on whatever Google update… but is any of all this actually working? Moreover, when you focus on an international strategy, have you paid any thought to a reliable translation service providing a good keyword translation as part of your strategy?
Isn’t it time to go global?
It will be very difficult for you to reach the top ten in search rankings without translating your site into other languages and making your information available in other languages. The vast majority of popular websites are multilingual. Large and medium-sized companies have become aware of the power of multilingual websites already. Look at all the top sites online, the majority of them are using translation to make the content available in several languages. And they make their content known by using keyword translation effectively. They do that because their doors are open to all markets, they are ambitious, and they embrace the world as their home market. These companies see their income grow exponentially every month, so translating a website becomes a necessity.
But how simple is it, really? If done by a professional SEO with enough experience in translating a website, the particular product or field you are endorsing, it will be very easy indeed. However, some people decide to save a few dollars, yen, euros or pesos and rely on acquaintances, unqualified personnel or general purpose machine translation software. Results for your website will do more harm than good.
What a bad translation will do for your website
If bad translation is a killer, for the native readers’ eyes will hurt, another huge mistake when translating a website is the use of inaccurate or the wrong keywords. Keywords are the little guiding lights, the breadcrumbs that search engine algorithms look for to lead visitors to your site not once, but many times… A good multilingual keyword translation is the body and soul of good multilingual search engine optimization. Use popular keywords that rank high on searches in your country, but employ an expert to check them in his or native language. Several tries will be required as often the direct translation does not work. If you end up hiring a translator who does not carefully check and research how popular the (translated) keyword is in the country you are focusing, chances are you are translating your website for nothing. Even in English, there are clear differences in meaning in many words between US English, UK English or European English. You need to ensure that the keywords are tailored to suit the locale you are targeting. Otherwise, they whole exercise will have little effect.
And if you are translating an e-commerce or retail site, never forget to check product names. There are well-known examples of offensive and misused names. Sometimes, an item may be known in two or three different ways in other countries. The result can be low and dissipate search ratings. Be consistent on product branding names, popular keywords and terminology and you can be assured that Google will hone on your website and products. Add a good internet strategy, preferably with national domains, and you are onto a winner.
You can cut corners when you are developing a multilingual website, but quality content and good keyword translations cannot be one of them. The Internet is full of terrible translation stories and enough SEO disasters, black hat techniques in a desperate attempt to make quick money. If you want to appear in the first page in Google in other languages, you need to ensure that your content perfectly written in your native tongue and pay equal care in keyword translation and general translation style and accuracy to even the smallest detail.