Whether you are an independent blogger or a company representative, chances are you have given content localization some thought. There are numerous benefits to site localization, including a wider audience and better public reception of your website.
However, optimizing the WordPress website for adequate SEO can be troublesome. Without further ado, let’s take a look at several SEO mistakes which you should aim to avoid when translating your website into other languages.
Not communicating your efforts
Depending on the scope of your business and the following you enjoy, you will have to communicate your localization efforts to the readers. After all, your translation process aims to improve their quality of life while browsing your website.
Make sure to formally announce any language additions you make to the content of your site, as well as to hear the thoughts and opinions of your following at large. This will give you a good indication of which languages to add and which ones to avoid. It will also drive traffic to localized content and further improve your SEO ranking as a result.
Using translation algorithms
Automated translation through cloud platforms rarely bears any tangible fruit – especially when SEO is concerned. Platforms such as Google Translate are effective in the minimal translation of UI elements, and basic communication. However, they are completely inadequate for website translation and SEO optimization.
Be ready to allocate some of your budget towards a professional localization service before considering the process. Sites such as Pick Writers and their translation services reviews offer a good overlook of how much you would have to spend on site-wide translation, depending on the languages you choose to pursue.
Partial content localization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works best when there is a multitude of content types present on a website. Images, video and audio files complement written materials well enough for readers to enjoy the website.
When it comes to localization, the content you create should be translated fully, without exception. This goes for infographics, video materials, graphs, as well as audio content. You can offer transcriptions, subtitles, and other complementary materials to amend for the lack of content in each language.
Lack of language-specific keywords
Keyword optimization works both ways, as it will be required on each of your localized website pages. Finding relevant keywords for each language should be difficult since tools such as Google Adwords and SEM Rush offer extensive support in that regard.
However, it is worth noting that you shouldn’t gloss over the importance of keywords in multilingual website optimization. Each language that goes live without keyword optimization will detract from the point of localization in the first place.
Poor internal link-building
Building internal traffic is important in regards to your SEO. You should strive to keep the audience engaged with your curated content as opposed to leading them away to other resources. In that respect, each of your added languages should follow the same logic.
Make sure to use your own content as references, resources and further reading in each respective language. This will create a strong incentive for international readers to devote more time to your website and not look for other content providers for the time being.
No localized customer support
Speaking of engagement, customer support plays a pivotal role in SEO, especially since Google favors user-friendly websites in their ranking. Customer support in multilingual websites is a double-edged sword, however. You can’t hire specific support agents for each language and keep them on a payroll – the budget simply doesn’t make sense.
What you can do however is implement chatbots into your site’s content. Chatbots are machine-learning AI algorithms able to cater to each language’s audience. You can then extrapolate their data and review any queries made by your visitors, no matter the original language.
Mechanical translation without localization
There is a stark contrast between translation and localization – especially in WordPress website’s content optimization. A translation shouldn’t be mistaken for localization in blogs and conversational content. It is suitable for corporate websites, medical pages and other technical sites with legal obligations to be as true to their original texts as possible.
However, in every other case, content should be localized so that it reflects the cultural views of each respective language. What works well for US audiences might not go well for Greeks, Russians or the Chinese. Pay close attention to who you are localizing for and choose your wording wisely.
Poor site content structure
Content audits are a useful way to get a better overview of your website whenever you lose sight of content organization. Audits should be done before any translation takes place in order to gauge the scope of localization and how much time and money you will have to allocate to the task.
Jumping into localization without any goal or deadline will likely end in failure or bloat your costs out of proportions. Make sure to organize existing content into legible categories and then proceed to translate it, using the same categorization system.
Partial site localization
If you choose to translate your WordPress website into different languages, make sure that you are ready to commit to it. For example, your original, native website might have 30 articles already published and available to read. On the other hand Italian, German and French websites only have five each – this is not the way to go.
Your global SEO will suffer tremendously if you offer partial content to other languages while maintaining a steady flow on your main site. All languages should receive equal ongoing support if you want to enjoy the SEO benefits which come with translation and localization.
Lack of ongoing monitoring
Don’t rest on your laurels once the initial translation process is finished. Just as you track the performance of your main website, so you should do for other languages.
Some languages are naturally more popular than others and will attract different readers depending on the industry and topics you cover. You can use one of several content tracking tools to stay ahead of the curve and optimize your SEO as you go along.
Making sure that your content is available to as many readers as possible is a noble effort. However, it does require patience and commitment in order to bear fruit. Opt for languages which are popular in your industry and work your way towards a multilingual offering slowly.
Your WordPress website’s initial idea and a reason for existence should come first no matter what SEO strategies you implement. With time, the right audience will find you and you will be able to enjoy the products of your labor through better SEO ranking and higher subsequent traffic.
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