Sometimes SEO Just Doesn’t Translate

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August 18, 2010 – Anyone who’s played around with an online translation service like Yahoo’s BabelFish or Google Translate knows that there’s no comparison to a native-speaking human translator when developing multi-lingual content.

When you’re looking to have your website content available in multiple languages, you should seek the services of a professional translation company. Many companies have suffered humiliation from poorly translated advertisements, so it’s best to consult a professional when you’re looking to write an entire article.

Mature man reading old book surrounded by heaps of books

Translation is best left to the professionals.

The world of SEO doesn’t quite translate when it comes to converting content from one language to another. The problem is that not all languages search using the same terms. For example, a budget airline writes a landing page in English using the words “cheap flights” as a key phrase for their SEO. When they go to translate to French, this isn’t a term commonly used. In fact, there’s no good translation for “cheap” in French.

As the landing page content is translated, the translator will have to understand the common phrases French consumers would use to search for cheap flights. Phrases like “vols pas chers” (“non-expensive flights”) or “vols bas prix” (“flights low price”) are good approximations for the types of keywords French customers would be searching with.

When your website is seeking to reach a broader clientele by translating your website into another language you should be aware of the nuances of that language.
Discussing your keywords with a native speaker of your target language is the best way to restructure your newly translated content so it meets good SEO standards.

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