With an over-inundation of content, it can be difficult to cut through the noise. Often, services and products are left unseen because of a lack of knowledge on how to join the algorithmic game. 

For a global business that translates digital content, accurate translation is not enough. Translation technology must also work with SEO to optimize customers’ ability to find your products and services. SEO optimization, content localization, and analytics are the three critical pieces of this puzzle.

As the first translation software in the United States, Lingotek has over a decade of experience to help you pick the best translation management system for your business. Here are the critical optimization techniques to ensure that your translated content is getting in front of your target audience.

Content Localization: Understand and Meet Your Audiences Wherever They Are

SEO specialists know that the most essential factor in SEO optimization is localization. 

Localization can be extraordinarily complex when working with webpage translation. Perhaps your website content has been optimized for English, maybe even specifically for New York City customers. However, those same keywords perform very differently in German with customers from Berlin — your German customer base may not be able to easily find what they’re looking for because the SEO strategy was not optimized for the local market in the local language.

To make your keywords relevant to a global audience and improve your customer engagement worldwide, keywords throughout your digital platform should reflect locale-specific search habits, terms, and phrases. This is done in a variety of ways:

# 1 – Global search engine evaluation

In most of the world, Google still reigns king holding around 64% of the market share globally. While that still doesn’t account for a third of searches happening on other search engines, it also discounts huge market holes such as China where Google’s return has been rocky for 688 million users. 

While most digital marketers see SEO as synonymous with Google, if you are running an international business there are some significant local contenders including in Russia, a country with 84 million internet users, and in South Korea with more than 45 million users.

The first step to optimize the market share of search engines in a target location is to find out which search engines are the most popular in that region and then implement a customized search engine strategy.

#2 – In-context & on-page content optimization

As native speakers, we know when what we’re reading is solely machine-translated content. Although the words may be correct, the style can be off. This can cause credibility issues for local audiences and local SEO, making your products virtually invisible online.

With in-context optimization, you can ensure your content is not only translated, but transcreated — meaning that the content is consistently translated with a local style guide according to locale-specific standards.

The other piece to content optimization is making sure on-page content is thoroughly optimized. While this may seem straightforward, many translation tools don’t optimize “non-text” content, which also includes PDFs and other images.

If your webpage is in PDF or image-dense, make sure your translation software thoroughly optimizes on-page content and supports digital collateral. For example, Lingotek’s Adobe InDesign connector allows creative teams to collaboratively edit, translate, and review Adobe InDesign documents together, dissipating language barriers for a global team and streamlining many parts of the translation process with automated workflows, translation memory, and centralized resources.

#3 – Cultural relevance

Cultural relevance and communication aren’t limited to language. A well-performing site also takes into account different ways of customer engagement.

Eighty-eight percent of website users are less likely to return after a poor user experience. Sophisticated translation services work with in-country resources to understand your users and rank content from the most relevant to least relevant so that user experience is optimized.

How Site Speed & Security Affect SEO

In 2019 Google introduced the Chrome User Experience Report with statistics that demonstrate the relationship that speed has with bounce rate and other engagement metrics. According to Google, a load time of one to three seconds has a bounce probability of 32%. If your site takes just two more seconds to load, the bounce rate will increase to 90%. This “weight” becomes even more problematic on mobile, which accounts for 80% of global internet usage.

If the translation software in use is not inherently multi-lingual and you are using a proxy solution, it may be time to reevaluate. A proxy system intercepts new content from your website, filters it through an automated translation management system (TMS) where it is translated, and then replaces it with new content.

While a proxy may be the best choice for a quick fix, it is not a long-term solution for optimizing global content. In fact, it can leave you with added complications that may have expensive fixes. In addition to inaccurate, non-optimized content, proxy services can also threaten your SEO by compromising performance and security.

A proxy system cannot maintain itself. Therefore, in addition to significant time and expense spent in project management of a proxy system, the translation memory (TM) will need to be regularly cleaned and updated to mitigate security risks. According to Search Engine Journal, “The impact to a publisher’s SEO can be devastating because rankings can slip and the site can become blacklisted.”

Choose a translation software that is secure and regularly updated with well maintained preventative security instead of acting as a vulnerable doorway to your webpage. Poor security will immediately affect your website’s speed and SEO performance.

Don’t compromise site speed or security. Some translation softwares cut corners with proxies or other automated systems that end up causing webpage load time latency, poor localization, and compromised security. Invest in translation software that doesn’t negatively impact performance.

Intelligence: “If It Can’t Be Measured It Can’t Be Managed”

The business adage, “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed,” couldn’t be more relevant than when it comes to SEO. SEO analytics are benchmarks for digital marketing KPIs, and your translation tool should perform at the same standards.

Does that mean that translation tools can also report analytics? Absolutely. Your translation tool should be able to provide data to help inform your decision making in a simple dashboard for easy reporting. All translation management systems should report at least three key performance metrics:

  1. How to define quality translation among your target markets
  2. Data to analyze trends and spot common mistakes
  3. Reporting on quality scores over time, and the ratio of pass–fail grades

Performance metrics should provide transparency and ease of use. If SEO specialists can’t easily navigate to the desired data, it can be considered useless. Choose a tool that enables reporting that can be filtered to find exactly what you need.

For example, the Lingotek LQE app produces customer-accessible data and reports with the ability to filter by quality scores. If you only want to see those failing to meet your quality standard, the app lets you add a filter and then provides a user-friendly report.

Choose the Best Translation Tool for Optimization

To succeed in new markets, it’s critical to maximize the visibility of your products and services using an advanced SEO strategy that works with translation services, not against them. By adding the right tools for new markets, you will avoid the wrong additions to your site, which can make you digitally invisible.

Ineffective translation tools translate without human expertise, localization, optimization, and analytics, which can severely affect your SEO. If you are attempting to reach international markets, evaluate how your translation software will affect your website’s performance and security.

Lingotek combines the power of machine translation with the oversight of human expertise to create safeguards around performance and security. As the first to enter the U.S. market, Lingotek is the most trusted translation tool on the market to optimize your SEO on a global scale.

We are committed to creating custom solutions for multilingual sites. We don’t cut corners — we create custom, quality content that optimizes local SEO with premium security and transparent analytics. Contact us today to find customized translation services for your business to improve your online visibility, conversion rates, and, ultimately, your overall ROI.