If you have a website that attracts a global array of visitors then you’ll probably want to know how you can optimize your site to attract more of those visitors.
Why would you want foreign visitors?
We live in a global world 🙂 A lot of visitors to our sites may not speak English as a first or second language but they may be part of our target market. Having your content in a language that your visitors can easily understand improves your chances of converting them to returning visitors or customers.
Can you SEO your site for foreign visitors?
Short answer – yes. I’m going to step you through the process of foreign seo further on in this tutorial. Relax – it won’t cost you a penny and it won’t take too much of your time up. This free method is low cost on time and money. However, what I would suggest is once you have tried out the system, tracked your results and where your visitors are coming from that you invest in some quality translated articles for your site.
There are four steps to optimizing our sites for foreign visitors.
Now before you run away and think I’m going to install a translation widget and that’s it, let me say that there is a lot more to it than that. You need to read the whole tutorial though to “get” what we are going to do.
Head on over to the WordPress repository and download the free WordPress plugin called Transposh. Install and activate the plugin on your site.
The advantage of Transposh is three fold a) it is free b) it translates words on a page to another language and c) it redirects the visitor to a specific language page set up for them.
You MAY also want to install the SEO Search Terms Tagging 2 plugin. This plugin records what visitors are typing into the search engines to find your site. You can then use this data to create content specific to that search term and translate the content for your foreign visitors. However, I would use this plugin with caution. A lot of users have experienced fluctuations in the SERPS as a result of using it (either up or sadly down). We would only ever use this plugin to see the data in our WordPress dashboard and not use it as part of our theme.
Now that we have our plugin/s installed it’s time to identify which countries/languages we wish to target. Initially, you probably don’t want to make too much work for yourself so I’d select a few common languages that are spoken in a number of countries for example; Spanish, German and French.
Transposh comes with a widget that you can use in your theme. The plugin developer also has provided a number of ways that you can show visitors what languages you can translate your content into. You can choose an image selection of flags, flags and text or a dropdown menu. Make your choice and move the widget to a widgetized area on your theme.
Grab your list of keywords that you are targeting on your website and head on over to the Google Translation tool. Translate each of your keywords into your chosen language eg “remove pimples” into say German.
Now pop on over to the Google Keyword Tool. We’ll be setting the country of search to Germany (or any other country that has a high proportion of German speaking residents) and gathering data for each of our translated keywords. Google will also “suggest” a number of keywords to us that are related to our search term. Of course, the suggestions will be in the translated language. Unless you are a native speaker you will need to pop on over to the translation page and translate each term into English so you know that the keyword is relevant to your website and can be used. By now, you should have found at least 3-5 keywords that when translated have good search terms, low competition and are relevant to your website.
Now we are going to start optimizing our pages for the language that you selected. I’ve selected German. I suggest you start with one language at a time and with a small group of keywords. Then you can test your results and add more foreign keywords and languages over time to suit your target market.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and the Transposh settings. You need to check the box as Administrator to do the following work.
For those that prefer video here is a quick overview of what we are doing:
Taking your list of keywords find a post/page on your site that is relevant to one of your translated keywords. When you locate that page click your transposh widget to the relevant language eg German. This will translate the language for you. You will also notice that under your widget you will see a box, tick that box which will allow you to make live edits of the page wherever the yellow markers are.
The yellow markers highlight the text in blocks available for translation. You will see that you can view the original English text and under it the translated version. Now all you need to do is locate the translated keyword you wish to replace in the article based on your keyword research. You do not need to replace any other translated content – just the keyword you want to rank for.
Like all foreign language seo tactics the trick is to be relevant and not keyword stuff. I’d suggest that you also use a few words for LSI or related words and only use the translated keyword in a few places (depending on the size of the article). Remember, do not over do the keyword placement!
Click save and you are done
So far we’ve translated and researched one language on our site. I would suggest that over time you gradually translate and research other foreign languages until at least you have the most popular languages targeted on your site for all round foreign seo.
If you installed the Search Tagging plugin you should notice that in the next few days you will start to see the search terms people are using when visiting your site. This will give you ideas for new content to create and new languages to incorporate.
If you didn’t install the plugin – no problems. You can still find out what are the most popular countries visiting your blog and what search phrases they are using to find you by using Google Analytics (or if you are g paranoid then awstats in your cpanel)
Simply login to cpanel and go to the section that shows statistics. Choose awstats from the available selection. On the left hand side under the heading “Who” you can select a full list of countries visiting your site. Start optimizing your site for the most popular foreign countries that you are already receiving visitors from.
If you look further down the menu you will also see that you can view the keywords and key phrases people are using to find your site. Look for the foreign search terms, translate them and assess whether the term could be added to some of your existing content or if you should create a new post optimized for this term. If you are finding one country/language particularly popular on your site you may want to set up a directory of content translated into that particular language eg wpqueen.com/de (for the German version of the site) or even start a foreign site for that language eg WordPress Königin.com (the German translation – I hope) of WordPress Queen.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.