One of the biggest reasons why we get so many impressions is that we know our target market inside and out. Using Google Analytics and breaking down our demographic at the end of last year convinced us that translating our website and offering it in Spanish would massively increase our viewership. Did it work? Yes and to huge effect. The level of traffic from both Spain and Latin America went through the roof and multiplied our advertising revenue. In this post that you are currently reading I wanted to speak to you about Why, How and What you should do when it comes to Translating Your Website. If you haven’t started your strategy already, then head over to this post first as a starting point.
Why you need to Translate Your Website
You might be asking yourself why you need to translate your website when browsers such as Chrome will do it for you automatically? The answer is simple, search results and more importantly something Google implemented in their search a long time ago. Localization. Basically, if someone searches for a term in Google in their own language, it will show content that is natively in that language and then fall back to English results and offer up translation as a backup plan.
This means if your competitors are just offering their content in English and you offer it in Spanish for example. Then you will get first dibs on the traffic coming from Spanish speaking countries above your competitor just because you took the extra time in Translating your Website.
What Language(s) to Choose?
This definitely depends on your strategy and my advice would be that if you’ve been running your site for more or less than 6 months then you need to take two different approaches when it comes to choosing a Language or Languages to translate your content into. If you’ve been running your website for more than 6 months, then the simple answer is to head over to your Google Analytics account, and open up Demographics. In here you can see the traffic that you are already getting and check what the highest countries are. Use these to guide you into what languages would be best. You do need to keep in mind though, to cross reference this with the highest spending countries on this list. You may have a ton of traffic from India where spending power is extremely low, so increasing this may not be worth the time.
If you don’t have access to this data then it is more difficult and my advice would be either to use your best guess and just start implementing a language anyways as practice. However there are a couple of ways that you can find out what your competitors traffic looks like and then use this as a way to map out your own strategy. Using Semrush FREE trial is a great way to get this information.
How to Translate Your Website?
Now that you’ve understood why you need to do this and what language you are going to start with then you might be wondering how to begin. The key takeaway that I want to offer from this section is that you must understand what we are trying to achieve. We are trying to get our translated version into search results. As such, plugins for WordPress like WPML won’t do the job for you. The reason is they just translate the current content when the user views the page they offer up this translated version. Google will NOT index this auto translated version.
Instead what you need to do is to manually translate each of your posts/articles and using the plugin Polylang is ideal for this, it allows you to link your article together but creates a completely separate article in the target language. This means you can also SEO the content and get it indexed separately in Google in that language.