Let me set up a couple plausible scenarios: You have a website and you’re looking to translate/localize it into a different language (non-English) to do business in a specific region; OR you are already doing business abroad (outside of the US) and have a functioning website that’s already been translated and localized.
The burning question: Aside from the translation and localization of your website, have you ensured that the meta data is also optimized to match the language?
I can’t stress enough the importance of translating/localizing your website and simultaneously optimizing it for SEO purposes. Any time content changes are made to your website, you want to make sure that your SEO efforts (meta data, on-page keyword density) reflect these changes.
Here are 4 reasons why:
- You want people to be able to find your website. For example, say you’ve translated/localized your website into Russian, but haven’t optimized it in Russian – you will most likely find it difficult to get the type of traffic that you want. It will also be difficult for people to find your website and search engines to detect the site for indexing.
- Taking a holistic approach is key. Your end goal of translating/localizing and also optimizing your website isn’t just for the sake of translation and optimization – it’s to drive business, make more money, build your brand, etc. If both translation/localization and optimization are not done at the same time, then your end goals will be difficult to fulfill.
- I continue to emphasize translation and localization in the same sentence because you merely do not want to just “translate” your content, especially the keywords you’re looking to rank for. The keywords need to be localized to match the way people search within that local market.
- Save yourself some time and money. It wouldn’t make sense to translate/localize your website and then go back to optimize it. You’ll essentially have to go through every page and insert the keywords you’re looking to rank for on-page including the meta data. Rather, do both translation/localization at the time same as you’re doing SEO.
Understand that translation/localization and SEO should be seen as complements of one another. They are two separate entities and serve a different purpose, but work together to help push your web presence to where you want to be found and help people in the region you’re targeting to find you.