As any online business manager or owner knows, driving traffic to your website is challenging. But even success in driving traffic is only winning half the battle. Getting visitors to convert and buy online is the other and more important half of your success.
The Challenge Facing GTS Translation
GTS Translation has been selling professional translation services online for several years. And while traffic is robust due to our dedication to organic SEO and our lofty standing in the SERPs, conversion rates were low-less than 1% of all traffic. If we are physical brick-and-mortar store, that would amount to less than one sale for every 100 customers.
Organic SEO Success
At GTS, we have been engaged in digital marketing for many years. This has been a slow and painstaking process, but one that has born fruit. We are on the 1st page of the SERPs for many competitive keyword phrases with a high KD (Keyword Difficulty) factor. This includes the following keywords: document translation services, online translation services, medical translation services, technical translation services, legal translation services, French/German/Italian translation services and many more.
Getting to YES-a 2-step approach
One of the things that we did to increase conversions is a 2-step approach that we implemented about a year ago. The first step was to integrate coupon codes into our website. Using coupon codes, we can offer our customers flat-rate or percentage discounts. We developed the coupon code software internally.
The second step was to implement a cart-abandonment popup window that is displayed upon signs of exit intent. We only implemented the popup window in our Price and Delivery window, which is displayed after the customer requests an online price quote. The popup window offers a 10% discount to the customer and displays the coupon code that should be used to redeem the discount.
We found that this greatly decreases the bounce rate in this window and dramatically increases user engagement at this critical stage of the buying process. We also saw a sharp rise in conversions to about 2% of all traffic. Which brings us close the conversation rate of physical stores. Since our website is based on the WordPress CMS, we implemented the PopupMaker WP plugin (https://popupmaker.com/). We are very happy with this plugin as it is very easy to configure and does the job well.
As someone who has been working in the language industry for many years, one of the most common typos I make is typing ‘Soanish” instead of Spanish. This is a common typo, as the ‘O’ and ‘P’ keys are located next to each other in QWERTY keyboards, both in mobile devices and on PCs. So on our translation company website, should we optimize for this keyword? It may be a good idea-according to the SEMrush keyword magic tool, over 1.2 million people search for the keyword phrase ‘Soanish translation’ in a 12 month period. That’s a lot of traffic! Another common typo, ‘Spanish to English trabslate’ gets searched for 1.5 million times a year! That’s even more traffic.
Finding the high traffic/high volume typo keywords
You can use a keyword research software tool to check the volume of the searches relevant to you. You will find some very high volume keywords that are misspellings.
Here are some other high traffic keywords that people use in searches related with translation services. All of them are typos.
* Englisg to Spanish Translate: 5 million searches per year * Translate Engliah to Spanish: 5 million searches per year * Translate Engish to Spanish: : 3.35 million searches per year * Engilsh Spanish translation: 1.2 million searches per year
The SEO experts on the Internet seem to be unanimously agreed that optimizing for incorrectly spelled words is not a good idea. First of all, the major search engines will automatically correct the spelling and return the same SERPs as for the correct spelling.
So if you mistakenly entered a search for ‘Soanish translation,’ the results will be mostly the same as for ‘Spanish translation.’ Secondly, optimizing for incorrectly spelled keywords can damage your website, as the search engines may tag your content as being of poor quality.
But Google is not the only search engine!
It appears to be conclusive that optimizing for incorrect spelled keywords will get you nowhere with Google. But there are a lot of search engines that are not called Google. True, Google dominates search with over 70% share of the market. But as an SEO, you can’t overlook the other engines. For example, at GTS we get quite a bit of traffic from DuckDuckGo. When I search for ‘Spanish to English translate‘ on DuckDuckGo, the free translation tool by Cambridge appears in the first SERP. But when I search for ‘Spanish to English trabslate‘ Cambridge is not on the first page. Is this just a coincidence or does the search return different results based on user input, even when it is an incorrect spelling?
Using typos in anchor text
So should we build incoming links to our site using the anchor text “Soanish translation?’ Some SEOs say that it works to drive traffic to your site. But it may be challenging to find reputable sites that want to put on their website anchor text with misspelled words.
Using typos in image alt tags
Google and other search engines use the image alt tags to index images. Using a high traffic misspelled keyword in your alt tags will not look visibly bad to the user, but may be enough to tell the search engine to consider your website in the relevant SERP. This may be a good option and worth trying.
This seems to be a non-starter so I would not waste time or money on it.
Keywords with syntax errors
In doing some research for this post, we found some high volume long-tail keywords which are not typos but are not correct either. I refer to keywords with syntax errors such as:
* Translate English to.Spanish: : 6.12 million searches per year * Translate from English to.Spanish: 2.24 million searches per year * Translate English.to Spanish: 1 million searches per year * Translate Chinese to.English: 673.000 searches per year
Here the search engines do not correct the spelling and seem to automatically disregard the spurious period. Upon close inspection, the search results seem to be slightly different for each search string.
Optimizing for these kinds of search keyword strings may be easier as it may be possible to work it into the content without it sounding funny or incorrect.
Your website content should be high quality and with no spelling or grammar errors. Writing poor content for search engine ranking is never a good idea and should be avoided.
However, when doing keyword research look for high volume misspelled strings. Once you have identified them, try using them in image alt tags or as anchor text in inbound links. It may get you more traffic.
When you want to take your business in an exciting new direction, you’ll inevitably start thinking about expanding into new markets and countries. It’s certainly a great place to be in, but what about all the various bits and pieces you need to get in order before you can really start expanding?
There’s the service provision, distribution, insurance, legal requirements; and the list goes on and on. There is however one area where you can get started in just a few minutes, provided you know the right steps to take: content translation for SEO optimization. To give you a head start on the competition, we’ve put together everything you’d ever want to know.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of ensuring that your content appears as high up the SERP rankings (Search Engine Results Pages) as possible. It’s something you’ll hear just about everyone talk about, for example no list of the best content marketing strategies would be complete without some reference to the all-important art of SEO. But do you really know what it means?
The best approach is to move away from the technical details for the time being, and remember the true purpose of search engines: to display relevant content. ‘Relevant’ is the operative word here, so make sure you never lose sight of it and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
What is SEO translation?
When you’re moving into a non-English speaking country, you’re going to need to translate your content into the language of the locals. At the same time you’re also going to need to optimize it for SEO all over again. This is because the keywords people search within one language aren’t going to be the same as those in another. Just because you’ve translated the phrases, doesn’t mean you’ve captured the way in which your new audience will search for you.
Why would you want to translate your content?
There’s a whole host of reasons for this, but let’s focus on the three main ones for now:
* You can reach a much larger audience by connecting with them in their native language * You can grow faster than the competition by moving into a market that’s relatively untouched * You can enhance the SEO of your main site by linking up your content across all your various different language sites
These may sound like common sense, but you’d be amazed at the number of businesses who overlook the key benefits. Now that we’ve covered why you’d want to do it, let’s impart a few words of wisdom that will show you the best way forward.
Paying attention to cultural norms and practices
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when they expand into a new market is failing to get to know the locals. When you step back and think about it for a moment, it’s almost impossible to see how this can happen.
If you were launching a new product into your own market, you’d do your market research to check that people will actually want to buy it. So, if you were moving into a new country that you had limited knowledge of, why would you assume the approach that worked back home will work just as well there? Different countries and cultures have different social norms and practices that you need to be aware of before you even consider how to structure your copy. It’s the foundation on which the rest of your efforts will be built, so make sure you take the time to get it right.
Knowing what your audience are searching for
Your new audience is highly likely to be searching for you in a different way to your existing audience. Perhaps your product fulfills a slightly different need where they are, or your service is going to prove popular for a reason that would be far less common than with your audience at home.
The key thing here is to understand how they’re searching for similar products and services by undertaking a thorough competition analysis. From there you can start thinking about how to present your offering to the masses.
Translate before optimizing for SEO
It’s so important that you translate your copy before trying to optimize it for SEO. If you try and do two things at the same time then you are bound to get yourself in a muddle as you try and juggle two competing demands. Take your time crafting a clear message that will allow you to connect with your audience, and only turn to the SEO side of things once you’re happy with your core message.
“I’ve seen so many businesses fall at the first hurdle in their expansion efforts because they were obsessed with SEO. The key is to get your message right first. SEO should always come second to the quality, readability, and relevance of your content” — says Marie Fincher, Head of Content at TrustMyPaper, and Lead Writer at Studicus.
The importance of a bilingual copywriter
One of the most common SEO mistakes is trying to force in long tail keywords that just don’t make any sense. People may well be searching them in their droves, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they belong on the page.
With a bilingual copywriter, not just a translator, you can have an expert ensure the keywords you select are woven seamlessly into your content. That way you can move up the rankings without sacrificing the quality and fluidity of your message.
Why you should avoid literal translation
No list of the most common translation mistakes would be complete without someone using a literal translator and thinking they’ve solved all their issues with the click of a button.
Different languages have completely separate structures and hierarchies of language, which means you simply cannot translate word for word. It would be great if you could, but unfortunately you can’t. All literal translation does is fill your new website with pages of largely unintelligible copy your new audience will instantly dismiss. It doesn’t matter how good your choice of keywords are, if it’s not good quality content, it won’t make any difference to your conversions.
How to select localized keywords
Last but not least, you need to remember that it’s not enough to translate your English language keywords. Do a completely fresh round of keyword research in the new language so that you don’t make one of the most common mistakes out there.
You’ll also want to localize your choice of keywords and phrases by adding local towns, cities, and regions. That way you can ensure your new site is generating hits in the right part of the world so you can move your business forward the smart way.
Now that you’ve heard all about how content translation can take your SEO to new heights, it’s over to you to make it happen. By finding an expert who will be able to ensure readability in the new languages you’re adding, you can add value and informative content that will help take your business in an exciting new direction. Ideal if you want to expand your offering and reach out and connect with a new global audience of potential clients and customers.
About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at BestEssays and GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog. You can see Kristin on Facebook.