The Business of Globalization: Translating Websites with International SEO in Mind

SEO the source language, then propagate the SEO to all other languages

Importance of SEO when you translate websites

By 2020, the United States alone will spend $80 billion opens in a new window on search engine optimization (SEO).

This figure indeed looks astounding! But it’s little wonder when you consider how many companies and entities around the world now vie for the same coveted top rankings in Google.

But hitting number one on search engine results pages (SERPs) comes with its own unique challenges. These only get complicated when your company markets on the international level in multiple languages. 

Remember that adage, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater?” Keep this in mind when looking to create websites for other countries. You don’t want to throw your local content nor SEO strategy out with localization.

Read on to find out more about SEO translation. Also, learn how to keep all your websites, no matter the language, on page one of Google. And don’t forget other important international search engines!

Why International SEO?

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of translating your website so that it performs well on SERPs, let’s talk a little more about why you need international SEO.

Global SEO represents your most convenient and affordable means of expanding your business into new markets and countries across the globe. Once you understand the ropes, you can use the following to up your international SEO:

  • Websites
  • Software/Apps
  • eLearning / Multimedia modules
  • Localization of your content
  • And more

Why work with a translator or translation service that thoroughly understands SEO? Well, you’ll put yourself on a level playing field with companies and corporations much bigger than yours.

You make your website searchable to a diverse segment of the Earth’s population. You also stand to ramp up your brand authority and ROI.

Clearly, your business won’t thrive on the world stage without it. But how do you ensure future website translations prove successful?

What You Need to Know About Global SEO

When it comes to translating your website and its SEO, there are two approaches that may be used by a private translator or translation service company:

  1. Translation of your website simultaneously with keywords and SEO 
  2. Translation of your site into the new language prior to keyword optimization of the content and adjustment of meta tags as needed

Both approaches have their pros and cons. For example, with the first approach, your translator can stick more closely to your original SEO strategy. But it does require more steps than the second method and may result in stilted language flow.

When it comes to best practices in international SEO, here are some general rules to follow. This is no matter which approach your translator or service prefers.

Mapping Out and Selecting the Best Keywords

As you would with any SEO revamp of your website, your translator should start by mapping out English keywords that you want to optimize for each page. Stick with one keyword per landing page for best results. 

Then, transcreate these keywords for each one of your target languages. As they do this, a good translator will watch out for synonyms and terms that might add value to the translated website. 

After that, they should hop on Google Adwords, the Keywords Explorer in Ahrefs, or SimilarWeb to research the search volumes on each of these translated keywords. They should also look for keywords and phrases that rank low when it comes to competition. 

Why Keyword Research Proves Crucial

Keyword research represents a crucial component of the overall process. If your website doesn’t get optimized for the best keywords and phrases, then the right customers won’t find you. You’ll spend a lot of money for naught.

How do you avoid this? By making sure you enlist the services of a translator who knows SEO inside and out and does impeccable research when it comes to finding keywords used locally. 

That way, you can take advantage of low-hanging fruit when optimizing your website. 

Your translator should also check out SEMrush to identify websites like yours. That way, you can glean more keyword ideas from your competition.

Since SEMrush supports 25 countries, you’ll get an international nudge in the right direction when it comes to how other successful websites have optimized. 

Organizing Translated Keywords and Plugging them In

After your translator has translated your keywords and chosen the best ones to optimize for, they should go back and assign a keyword to each of your original website pages.

To streamline this process and organize your keyword information in a usable document, ask them to consolidate the information on a spreadsheet. This will be your keyword/glossary database.

After they’ve mapped each of your translated keywords to your website pages, then it’s time to start translating your website one page at a time.

A good translator who’s familiar with SEO should use the keywords you’ve agreed upon in crucial places sprinkled throughout each page including:

  • H2 headers
  • Body copy
  • Meta description
  • Meta title
  • H1 title
  • The URL

If your source language content was already search engine optimized, then this will happen by default. The translation environment that the translators use however has to enable this effort.

Firstly, translators need to remain consistent in their translations. This requires access to the translated keywords and glossary databases. Secondly, the environment should allow the translation of hidden text in the markup language, meta tags and URL slugs consistently without breaking any code.

But here’s a caveat. Google continues to make major strides when it comes to recognizing and rewarding natural-sounding content that flows well. They also have made major in-roads in punishing websites that rely on keyword stuffing opens in a new window to rank.

So, when using international SEO services, make sure your translator places a premium on readability and smooth flow over and above keyword placement. 

Your translator should also have a clear understanding of the culture in your target country. It’s crucial that you avoid cultural mishaps in your marketing. 

Translating Websites to Increase Your Piece of the Global Pie

We live in a global economy. There’s no way around it. So, why not take full advantage of it through international SEO?

When you translate websites using a translator or service that’s well-versed in current best practices in SEO, you guarantee visibility for your company and its products.

You target global users by localizing and optimizing your websites to attract traffic from all over the world. And don’t skimp on localization when it comes to other English-speaking countries around the world. 

Keywords are different from Ireland to Australia and beyond. So is English usage, spelling, and culture. You want to optimize for your intended audience, even when they’re English speakers in another part of the world. 

Ready to find out more about the best translation service company to take your business international? Check out our article on what to look for in a translation firm.


Global Search Engine Optimization (SEO) White Paper

Global Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Whitepaper

This whitepaper presents important steps to consider before you embark on your next translation or localization effort of your website. Spend 15 minutes reading it and you will learn the importance of Search-Engine Geo Optimization and how to save on SEO costs for each translated language! Download it for free.

You can also register and immediately view the 15 minute free Taking Your Website Global.

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