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How to Use SEO for Your Multilingual Audience

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It’s no secret that maintaining your company’s website ranking is already a difficult task and can be a constant challenge. You know that maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely important when it comes to gaining Internet visibility for your company, product, or service. So, what happens when you decide to sell and market your product overseas or to a multilingual audience? Is translating your website content enough?

Ultimately, that answer is no. While translating your website content is critical to ensure you connect with your international audience, you will also need to consider a multilingual SEO plan to ensure you even reach that audience. After all, what good is a translated website if no one in your intended market is able to find it? Here are a couple of things to consider when updating your SEO strategy to go global with your products.

Know your audience

Your new market will have an entirely different set of customs and culture than your U.S.-based audience does. You must choose keywords and phrases that you know they are using in search engines. This is how you will really draw them in. What is important to your U.S. consumer base may not be at all to consumers in another country. If you do not already know this international market inside and out, be sure to find someone who does. Skimping here could mean a particularly negative impact on your search results, and therefore, your sales revenue.

Analyze competitors who have gone before you

Researching competitors’ success when going international with a product is a great step to figuring out what has worked (or not worked) for them. While you obviously aren’t looking to copy what a competitor has done, it doesn’t hurt to find out about best/worst practices in advance for your own industry if the information is already out there and available to you. If you come up short, ask us. We can help!

Don’t overlook location information

When coming up with a new SEO strategy for foreign markets, don’t neglect to include the country, city, or even the region your new target market is in when deciding on keywords to pair with your product. People use “near me” or addresses in their search often when trying to find a product they’d like to purchase/browse for. Having the location information in your SEO set-up will help your site pop up more often and easily in those search engines!

Figuring up a brand new SEO strategy for your international market can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone! Did you know we offer website audits? We’d be glad to take a look at yours and help create a strategy for your international growth! Feel free to reach out if you’d like to be in this one together.

Global Real Estate Success (Even When You Don’t Speak Another Language)

Global Real Estate Success (Even When You Don’t Speak Another Language)

You may be wondering what it takes to successfully market to and attract international clients. While speaking the language of the clients you are marketing to may be beneficial, it isn’t absolutely necessary when it comes to reaching an international market. We’ve compiled a list of 5 tips for increasing your likelihood for success.

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How Social media in Spanish can boost your ROI

How Social media in Spanish can boost your ROI

Social media has quickly become one of the top ways that businesses market their products and services. Many are also seeing the benefit of marketing to their customers in Spanish. And these days, companies are combining the two: social media in Spanish. Why? Check out these numbers… As of 2016, Hispanic buying power had soared to $1.4 trillion. This is up from just $495 billion in 2000. Of the 54 million U.S. Hispanics, 26 million are on Facebook, 12 million on Twitter and 9.6 million on Instagram.

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5 Tips for Creating Effective Email Newsletter Campaigns

5 Tips for Creating Effective Email Newsletter Campaigns

Creating an effective newsletter campaign is more than just creating good content for your newsletter. From the subject line to formatting and everything in between, your audience is more likely to engage with your email newsletter if it appeals to them. We’ve compiled a list of 5 tips to ensure that your email newsletter stands out and keeps your readers engaged.

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Your Website is Translated... Now What?

If you’ve recently translated your website, then you’ve taken a huge first step in terms of growing your marketing demographic! However, you may notice that your customer base does not necessarily grow right off the bat just based on the translated website alone. Your goal to expand your customer base into other cultures is a great one, and here are some steps to help drive traffic to your newly translated website and continue along the path of reaching this new demographic.

  • Create marketing plans aimed at bringing in your new target demographic. Advertise your content in sources relevant to this group, localizing your advertisements to reach these new customers. If your customers do not realize that there is an entire web page designed with them in mind, you won’t see the full benefit of its creation!
  • Use social media to your advantage! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are just a few popular social media channels that can help you reach more people faster. Know which social media platforms you’d like your company to start with, and focus on those. Learn what drives customer engagement across these channels and begin to implement these. Create a Facebook business page specific to your company’s niche within this target market. Point people to the content on your site whenever it’s relevant to send people there so that they engage with you where you’d like them to end up. Ensure your social media pages are easily identifiable as your own brand, but specific to your new market. If your company’s brand is typically associated with being carefree, make sure your new page adapts that perception, but tailor it to your audience. You might, for example, have someone run a “Business Name_Mexico” Instagram page to ensure the content is relevant. Such relevant and engaging content will drive your customers from social media to your website.
  • Engage with target customers on review sites when possible. This lets them know their voice is heard and that your company is serious about engaging with them in their own language on topics that are important to them.

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Once you’ve driven traffic to your website, it is important to keep these customers engaged to avoid losing them. Make your website visually appealing and tailor it to your target market. Be sure the first things your customers see when they visit the site are relevant to their needs. If it is not visually appealing or puts the customer off in any way, you run the risk of them leaving the website and not returning. You can also get feedback by surveying your customers while they’re using the site. Many people will gladly share their opinion and may help you identify any potential issues on the site as it relates to that culture (or in general!) and how you could possibly fix that going forward. This newly translated website is a great step in ensuring you are reaching your new customer base, and with the right focus on demographic going forward, you should see your website’s traffic increase along the way.

Choose the translation agency to fit your marketing needs: 10 Steps to a successful experience

A lot of first-time translation clients find themselves overwhelmed with the number of agencies that handle multilingual translation. Searching for a company that will fit one’s marketing efforts can be daunting, unless one knows the type of agency to look for when molding a marketing campaign for his/her company, brand, etc. 1. First, make sure to know who your audience will be in the campaign. As important as this is in marketing in general, it’s just as important in translation of marketing (or for that matter, any kind of) materials. Where does the ideal audience live and work? What dialect do they speak? And no, Spanish is not a dialect. Do a little homework on the group you want to reach so that you can provide this information to the agency you choose for your project.

2. Ask about localization of your materials, whether these will be in print, on your website or part of a social media outreach plan. Localization is more than just translation of the text to reach a specific population. It encompasses the entire concept of the message via the terminology, language, images, etc. used to be relevant to the audience in a specific region (you don’t want to use anything that might be offensive in another culture and you want to sell your brand well to this audience of consumers). So, ask the agency if localization is a service it provides.

3. Be sure to ask if the agency utilizes specialized translators for the type of translation you require. You don’t want a medical translator who is a native of Chilean Spanish to be translating your site’s electronic brochures meant for customers in Mexico City.

4. Ask how the agency ensures quality in the translations it provides to clients. This may seem like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised how often potential clients fail to ask this. It’s perfectly acceptable to inquire.

5. Relating to point 4, you may want to know if the agency will complete the service in-house, or if it contracts the translator and proofreader who will work on your project. Either way, both methods are effective and widely utilized in the translation and interpretation industry, but you may want to know this for the mere peace of mind of knowing that the agency has a confidentiality clause in its independent contractors agreements that will keep your information completely classified and safe from third-parties.

6. Make sure to specify turn-around time on the project you need translated. Don’t expect it to be done overnight unless you are willing to pay a rush fee. And if you aren’t asked to pay one, you may need to look into the agency’s methods if it says it can turn around a 100,000 word document in less than 24 hours. This typically doesn’t happen, so be sure to specify when you need the document back and be prepared to pay a rush fee if you needed it back yesterday.

7. Note the payment terms of the agreement you make with an agency and be sure to let your Accounts Payable department know ahead of time. If you are used to paying for services on a NET 60 basis, you may need to get the invoice to AP as soon as possible to meet a typical NET 30 payment term policy. Many times agencies charge late fees for overdue payments, so check back with AP if your company is not used to working with translation agencies.

8. Be prepared to pay for changes. If you decide once you get the translation back that you would like to change something in the original document, it isn’t ok to assume that the agency who worked on your translation will automatically translate the change(s) for you. You don’t ask your hair stylist to change your hair color the week after you dye it because you aren’t sure about how the color looks with your complexion. Don’t expect an agency to make changes to the text without paying for it. Sending the final document the first time will save everyone a headache (and money!).

9. If you are pleased with the work the agency has done in the past for you, it is perfectly ok to ask that they utilize the same translators and proofreaders that handled your previous projects. Agencies keep track of who does each project and ensuring consistency can be as simple as maintaining the same individuals to work on projects that require similar terminology (here’s another situation where dialects affect translation projects). On a parallel note, it’s worth asking the agency if it has the capacity to produce and maintain a running glossary for your translation projects, especially if you plan to have multiple texts translated and localized over a period of time. We are often asked to do this and it helps both our clients and our company to maintain for consistency and accuracy.

10. If you are pleased with the work an agency provides for you, verbalize it. Pass the word on to colleagues and friends who may need or know someone who needs a text translated. The translation and interpreting industry counts on quite a bit of word-of-mouth marketing. You never know when the agency may spread the word about you and your business to others who need your services because they were so pleased to have you as a client as well.

What other tips do you have that would ensure a successful experience?

Bilingual marketing not focused solely on Spanish-speaking customers

It seems that lately a lot of marketing experts are focusing their attention on Latinos, and with reason. This group is (and will be for some time) the fastest growing minority in the U.S. However, some marketing strategists are not simply focusing on this group. Some are zeroing in on other minority groups as well. NPR ran a story last week titled "Corporate America Takes on Multilingual PR", noting the trend to market toward Asian Americans, especially in southern California. In this sense, focusing on such a group includes the need to pay attention to several languages spoken by Asian Americans. Unlike Spanish, a language spoken officially in 21 countries, experts cannot reach such a variety of cultures and countries simply by advertising in one language. The NPR article adds that last year's census is proof to this trend, as it created ads in Japanese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Hmong, Hinglish (a combination of Hindu and English) and Taglish (a mixture of Tagalog and English).

McDonald's and Wal-mart also run ads for Asian Americans, hoping to attract them as customers. McDonald's even has a page on their site dedicated to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, obviously recognizing these consumers as valuable potential clients and showing an appreciation for their cultures and languages, as well as their achievements and successes in the United States. The page points out such achievements with various tabs marked Food, Technology, Sports, Music, Entertainment, Home Décor and Art, allowing visitors to gain insight into the positive contributions Asian Americans have made in our country. Wal-mart has been running ads on television, featuring families who head to the store for their everyday needs. Check out the video clip on NPR's site for this article to take a look at how the corporation targets Asian Americans.

One lesson learned on behalf of McDonald's was the need to send direct mail-outs in both the target language and in English. That way, when customers bring in their coupons, the fast-food chain's staff can read them as well. This bilingual form of advertising, however, also works in the sense that some Asian Americans might prefer or have better control of English than their heritage language. This is a common trend in Spanish-language advertising as well.

What other groups are targeted here in the U.S.? Is it more common to find these ads in certain states due to the larger populations of minority groups? Probably so. That said, how many minorities could we count simply in the state of California? It would be interesting to find out how many languages are used in marketing techniques today throughout the Pacific coast states in comparison to the rest of the U.S.

What trends do you see popping up in bilingual advertising today? What strategies seem to be the most effective?

Girl Scouts reach out to Latina girls and families by launching new Spanish-language campaign

Native English speakers are slowly, but surely, coming to see the great influence and buying power of Latinos in the U.S. today. Latinos currently spend trillions of dollars in our country, yet many people have never thought to market to this community of consumers. More and more we see that businesses launch new campaigns and websites in Spanish (among other languages for other growing consumer groups), but it has been somewhat slow to take off...until now. The Girl Scouts of the USA just launched a Spanish-language campaign to reach out to young girls who wish to be a part of a group that teaches life skills and builds community. They have cleverly added a Spanish-language website, a move that many are seeing to be extremely advantageous these days. They are also producing marketing materials and a guide in Spanish.

Besides meeting the needs of language, the Girl Scouts have met the needs for technology use by creating an app to use during that time of the year when most of us are seeking out the Girl Scouts' cookie order forms. So, it makes sense that they would try to reach Latinas online, especially since Latinos are one of the number one users of the internet via mobile devices.

Giovanni Rodriguez, author of 'The Girl Scout Hispanic Marketing Playbook: 'Be Prepared' mentions in his article on ClickZ.com that content and language need to be linked. He notes, "When thinking of language and content, not only does the company need to think about the preferences of the 2.3 million girls in its organization, it also needs to think about 880,000 adult volunteers that comprise the organization's backbone. More than ever, the preferences of these volunteers matter. Many of them prefer to speak Spanish, even if the girls in their lives do not."

Another fabulous resource for linking content and language in marketing strategies via technology is Joe Kutchera's book, Latino Link: Building Brands Online with Hispanic Communities and Content, which we've mentioned before. However, we think it deserves another mentioning!!

So, what are you doing to market your organization or business? Bravo to the Girl Scouts for catching on to the need for Spanish-language content, as well as to Giovanni and Joe for being leaders in getting the word out about the need for such materials and content!