The Role of Languages in Website Localisation and SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. International SEO requires combining numerous different practices that all work to help your website rank higher in search engine results to increase your traffic and sales. Nowadays, as SEO changes and develops, we also refer to this process as Website Localisation. This is because ranking well in specific countries is no longer about just using the right words and the right language. Search engines like Google pick up on everything from local business listings to area specific information, maps and more. Professional translation however is still a big part of it.
Much of Google’s guidelines for SEO emphasise how important it is to have a great website and provide a great service that customers are happy with and return to. Manipulating your site purely to improve SEO can even result in penalties. But one thing is for certain, having an awareness of the words that your customers may use to try to find you and ensuring those terms are someone where on site can begin to SEO process is a healthy way.
Consider this as an example. If you want to look for a dry cleaners in a certain area of Dublin, let’s say Swords, how would you look for it? It’s pretty likely that if you decide to use a search engine, you’ll type in something like ‘Dry cleaners Swords’, or ‘Dry cleaners Swords, Dublin.’ Customers seeking out services or products that you provide will probably search in a similar way. In order for Google to know that you are indeed a dry cleaners, located in Swords, Dublin, those words should exist somewhere on your site.
It’s going to be relatively easy to figure out what words and phrases you should be using within your website and blog posts in your native language – maybe even in a second language you’re fluent in. But are there other markets you’d ideally like to be targeting online who don’t speak either of these languages?
Localisation of your site can mean having multiple sites, or multiple versions of a site that each contain content professionally translated into local languages. You’ll be more likely to be incorporating phrases and terms that people whose native tongue that is actually use. Not using the right tone and perfect grammar and spelling could even result in losing the trust of your customer and can lead to them thinking you may be a ‘spammy site’. Trust is of key importance online and not something to be taken lightly.
Launching a website may seem like you can suddenly sell your products to the whole world, but if customers can’t find you, they can’t buy. Ensure your site communicates with a broad customer base all over the world, and make sure Google.de, Google.ru and all of the other global Googles take your site and your business seriously by having it translated professionally.
Thanks to the world wide wonderful web, there are numerous ways to translate bodies of text – without ever hiring a professional translator but it’s important to be aware of the dangers of using an automated service when it comes to website translation. They may be free, but they come with a cost and we’d propose it’s best to leave them as a tool for customers that are stuck for a translation, rather than your website localisation strategy.