The Story of an Unlikely Couple – SEO and Translation

The Story of an Unlikely Couple – SEO and Translation

22nd May 2014

An Unlikely CoupleThis is the story of two individuals, who are very important and are very successful on their own. They are quite happy to work independently, produce some great results and for a long time have struggled to see why they should have any interest in each other. However, one day they were brought together and a new, prosperous relationship was born. So let me introduce them to you.

First, meet translation. He has been on the scene for a long time and is very versatile. He works with any type of sector and any type of content, traditionally with offline content but he has embraced the web and helped many a business expand their web pages to multiple languages.

Then we have SEO. She is a bit younger than translation and is all about online. Her focus is helping businesses all over the world get their content found by a relevant audience.

Translation and SEO have worked with many of the same people over the years, one after the other and their combined efforts have resulted in increased revenues and profits for those connections.

Then one day…..

Upon walking into meet with a client, both SEO and Translation were surprised to see each other. Have I got the time wrong, they both wondered, as surely we shouldn’t both be here, together!

It became apparent that the meeting was intentional and both tried to hide their bemusement of why this would be, as the client began to explain…… “We have customers all over the world and we want to reach them in their language, through the internet, as we know that’s the way they are most likely to try and find our type of product and where they want to buy it. So we need to have it translated into our target languages and optimised for SEO”.

“Great”, said Translation. “I’ll get working on the language content and then you can let SEO do her bit once they are done”. He assumed the client must be busy, so couldn’t spare the time for two meetings and started to get ready to leave.

“Actually”, interrupted the client, “I was hoping we could do it a bit differently this time. While you are both very efficient and I’ve heard you do a great job, I want to get these websites up and running soon. And while I can launch them as soon as I have the translation, without SEO people won’t find it when they search and I won’t get the traffic I need to make sales.”

He continued, “As well as costing me time, it will also cost me more money. SEO will end up making changes to the pages, so we’re almost doing the same work twice.”

But this is how it works!

Translation and SEO looked at each other now, not really sure what to say. SEO piped up, “But this is how it works –we translate and then optimise. How else should we do it?” “You’ll find a way”, said the client, before he promptly left. Translation and SEO were left wondering what had just happened, and if the old chap had lost his mind.

They left together, thinking that this had been a wasted journey but as they walked, they began chatting – at first almost laughing at the suggestion but as the conversation continued, it turned to possible solutions for the apparently impossible task……

SEO and Translation - FriendsWeeks later….

Translation and SEO no longer work at home alone. They sit together; to enable them to work together on projects to create quality multilingual content that ranks high in global search engines and appeals to a relevant online audience. Combining the expertise of SEO in understanding keywords and online behaviour and Translation in writing accurate, high-quality content that flows and projects the appropriate message, the resultant SEO Friendly Translation or SEO-Localisation is more cost and time efficient for the client and a great experience for the user.

The Moral of the Story

Any good story should have a moral, and in this case, it’s a simple one. It’s like Peanut Butter and Jam (or Jelly). It doesn’t sound like it should go together and many of us would not even consider even trying it, but there are many who will tell you after eating it that it’s a perfect combination. Don’t just assume that two different elements, like SEO and Translation, must stay siloed and that each works better on its own. You may be surprised by the results, and efficiencies mixing the two can bring.

Written By
Gemma Birch has been working in international search since 2007 and leads WebCertain’s marketing team. She is responsible for managing WebCertain’s online marketing activities around the world as well as organising and programming the International Search Summit.
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