Every page on your website is static. Think how often do you change your “Homepage”, or your “About us” page? You may have a few other pages related to your business but once published, you probably don’t update them often. This limits your abilities to drive traffic to your website.
The sole purpose of having a website is to be seen by people and what has become a necessity in the digital age, is having a blog. By blogging regularly and by producing relevant to your audience content, you can drive targeted traffic to your site. It is a personal way of addressing an issue by providing an answer that will stay online indefinitely (or at least while your website is online). Many business owners abandon their company blogs, purely because they don’t have a set strategy or simply miss the point of having one.
Blogging gives your company a face and personality, and it’s also a cost effective and efficient way of providing value to your audience. But what if you want to target an audience that doesn’t speak your language? Read on to find out how to approach multilingual blogging.
Take the leap to multilingual blogging
Whether you already have a company blog or you’re just starting up, there a few things that you have to consider before going international with your content.
If your website is not translated
Does your website get visitors from multiple countries? Start by taking a look at popular destinations and analyzing whether they are good markets for you.
If you want to move into a new market you need to see if your existing content is suitable, or whether it should it be transcreated. If you are on a budget and you want to quickly translate your website, you can always use plugins (ie. WPML, qTranslate) for your WordPress (assuming you’re using this CMS) that can translate your content. Don’t go wild and hit “upload” straight away, but rather have someone to proofread it before it goes live. No one likes dry machine-translated text.
If your website is already translated
If, on the other hand, your company is already operating internationally and you want to build trust and generate new prospects, then you can make a content plan based on what your existing audience is already interested in for that market. You can do so by looking at what the most popular services and site pages are, or by checking recent FAQs and international surveys from customers. All these can be used to source ideas for your multilingual blog content.
If you are considering website translation
So you have realized the potential of having multilingual blog content on your website and you’re considering translating your website (link website translation). If you can’t have your full website translated, then just your blog and most important pages (ie. homepage, services) could be in the target language. It is always better to “connect” with your visitors on a personal level. Nothing builds more trust than being able to provide value in a way that is easy to access and easy to comprehend.
What’s next? Create relevant content
Think like a local. What would spark interest in your new audience? Would things that are popular in your country be also popular in the target location? Directly translated content might not be as interesting as it is in its original format, or it may be ideal. Understanding the local interests, culture and events are crucial to deciding.
You might be tempted to just translate existing popular blog posts but if you really want to be successful at multilingual blogging, you need to spend time making a localized content plan.
It’s time to drive targeted traffic to your website
It’s pretty clear how blogging can help your business. But driving traffic to your site is what makes spending time creating content worth it. And this is where many business owners give up. Generating organic traffic takes time and most don’t wait long enough to see results, or others simply fail to do their keyword research.
Writing up content is not enough. Even in your native language, you need to do keyword research. That applies to multilingual blogging even more. Selecting your best keywords and directly translating them into other languages is almost always wrong, and transcreating them is essential.
Make us of the international traffic
There are many ways you leverage your international blog traffic. If you are focused more on B2C transactions then you can build trust, and inform your audience. But if you’re focused on trading with other businesses, you will then be able to educate people by providing valuable information.
What’s very important is to lead people somewhere after they’ve read a blog post. Offer free downloadable content and you will not only build up the list of overseas subscribers but also generate a list of potential international clients.
Geo-Target your blog
If you have gone on the route of keeping your existing site then you probably want to have a separate page for the multilingual blog. You can either have a structure similar to this yourcompany.co.uk/blog/fr or if your blog is on a subdomain it may look like this blog.yourcompany.com/French.
Let Google know that these pages are for French-speaking visitors. With Google’s Webmaster Tools you can mark your multilingual blog as suitable, for example, for the French audience. This is essential for search engines in terms of location relevance. By geo-targeting your content properly, you give an opportunity for it to be indexed without it being overshadowed by your main site.
To sum everything up
Having a multilingual blog allows you to build awareness, trust, and engagement with a foreign audience. Having a blog helps with your SEO by giving the search engines more pages to index, hence attracting more visitors to your site. Having a blog in multiple languages will also bring people who are searching for things in different languages.
Setting up the blog is easy and if you are struggling with finding content, in the beginning, you can always translate your existing blog posts if they are relevant. Many agencies also offer proofreading, translation for marketing, and transcreation.
By providing valuable content to your new audience you can reach more people, build trust, generate international leads, and increase website traffic. The best part? Once you have it published on the website it will stay there indefinitely, search engines will index it and will drive targeted traffic every month.