Translating multilingual websites: SEO, Google Ads, and content marketing aspects

This article is a part of a series on how to make a website multilingual. When setting up your multilingual website, consider a TLD vs subfolder vs subdomain structure. If you haven’t yet selected a development platform, we suggest using WordPress. Our website (feature list) uses the same and it’s very user-friendly and scalable.

Popular terms may differ, so don’t translate “directly”

We shouldn’t always “directly translate” phrases. Depending on the country, a unique phrase might be necessary. 

For example, for our English content, we might use the phrase “Western management”. For Sweden, we use “Swedish MD”. For Norway and Denmark, we could use “Scandinavian management”. “Scandinavian management” would be more selling/alluring than “Western management” to a Norwegian.

Common phrases might differ a lot between languages. “Systemutveckling” (literally “system development”) for example is a very popular keyword for us in Swedish, whereas in English the closest corresponding phrase would be “software development”, which in English is used less frequently and more broad and vague. A Swede might Google for “PHP systemutveckling” whereas an American would Google for “PHP development”. 

So check what keywords are most popular in your target language – what keywords and phrases do competitors use in their ads, website, page titles, and meta tags? 

Identify competitors and do keyword research

In addition to scrutinizing your closest competitors, use a tool such as “Google Ads keyword plan” or Moz terms to sort out the terms with the most monthly impressions. For example, which version of a term is most commonly used in your target language?

Prioritize high-value content

We can’t do everything at once, so focus on High Impact Low Effort (HILE) tasks that provide a high return on invested time.

Here at LiteBreeze, we use a freelancer for each country, preferably someone with experience of our industry, the experience of WordPress, and a basic understanding of Google Ads.

Step 1

Pages: Frontpage, Get a quote, PHP Services, Laravel Services, Why LiteBreeze??, Developer list intro

Google Ads: tier 1 keywords and ads/ad groups IBNLT: php developers India, hire laravel developers

Step 2

Western management / David Claesson, Why LiteBreeze??, Top 5 portfolio

Google Ads: tier 2 keywords and ads/ad groups IBNLT: web development India

Step 3

Top 10 case studies, developer profiles, solutions landing pages, WordPress services, Angular services, mobile app services, select major blog post such as those that have received most traffic or is particularly interesting for clients

Google Ads:

Discarded:

Low-priority content that probably will never be translated: old case studies, most low-traffic blog posts

Testing

You can make sure everything seems to make sense by translating the website back to English with Google Translate. This will give you an understanding of whether all the links are in place, though just give you hints about the texts in general. 

Don’t forget page titles, meta tags, keywords, form validation fields, perhaps even “form generated thank you emails” etc.

The second step is to get an independent freelancer to proof-read. This would take little time and be cheap if using a freelancer portal like Upwork.

Google Ads (Adwords)

Create identical ad group names in your new campaign based on your source campaign. When we translated into Norwegian, we used Swedish as the source campaign as the languages are similar. You might want to skip ad groups with very few impressions. Norwegian on the left, Swedish on the right:

Pause ads after pasting them into your new language campaign.

Add negative keywords that exist in the English campaign. Test your ads using the “Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool”.

Common and important terms

To start with, the translator needs to get the most common terms straight for a language and use it consistently. For example:

 English Swedish
 Management Ledning / styrning / management
 PHP developers PHP-utvecklare
 Web development company Webbutvecklingsföretag / webbutvecklare

 

 English Swedish
 Software development systemutveckling
 English term is very broad. Swedish term is very frequently used and overlaps “(custom) systems   development”

Evaluate freelance consultants

Recruiting the right talent can be hard just looking at their CV/portfolio. And selective recruitment is crucial. Evaluate translators carefully such as setting up a Google Sheet with columns for the total experience, B2B experience, Google Ads experience, WordPress experience, pros and cons, LinkedIn profile, hourly rate, and more.

Freelancer job ad example

Subject: Finnish B2B translation/copywriting for software development website 

Are you a native Finnish-speaker with experience of B2B content/copywriting for the software industry?

Our immediate requirement is to translate the text of a few key pages on our website (about 5-10 from litebreeze.com) and Google Ads ads and their extensions.

We’ll share a Google doc of the texts, or you can translate directly through our WordPress interface.

Long-term, we might also need you for the coordination of projects originating from Finland.

You will be asked to answer the following questions when submitting a proposal:

Do you have experience with Google Ads? Approximately how much (roughly for how long/how many hours)?

Do you have a technical B2B copywriting experience? What’s the content/client you’ve worked on that is most similar to our requirements? Send max two links to the best content you’ve created for them.

What’s your SEO experience? What SEO tools do you use to improve the content and track SEO progress?

Do you have any spontaneous suggestions?

Have you used the WordPress CMS before?

FAQ for translators at LiteBreeze

Many of our leads/clients have technical experience and some are CTOs.

Our business has evolved slightly whereas we focus more on “larger” clients today (those requiring 2+ full-time developers).

The first section of each page is most important to perfect. My thought with the bottom section is to let interested prospects delve deeper, and for SEO purposes. Of course, it should also be as selling as possible, just a bit less important.

Our local project coordinators don’t always bridge the language/cultural barrier by being involved in project management (and David hasn’t been for many years). David works to “instil a professional Western culture” in the company through his involvement in recruitment and coaching etc.

More FAQs can be found here.