Mistakes in translating international SEO

International SEO

En ATLS siempre destacamos la importancia de traducir tu web a varios idiomas para internacionalizar tu empresa y aumentar así tus oportunidades de venta en mercados extranjeros. Una traducción profesional de los contenidos es indispensable para penetrar en nuevos mercados, pero para que esta estrategia de internalización se traduzca en conversiones y ventas, es necesario prestar atención a la traducción del SEO internacional para que no afecte negativamente al posicionamiento de toda la web. This post looks at some of the most common pitfalls when it comes to positioning your website into several languages.

Not putting translations in the hands of professional translators

A lot of websites and even online stores put their trust in machine translations to translate content into other languages. But this can result in a number of inaccuracies and spelling mistakes, leading to future customers losing confidence in the brand's professionalism.

And what's more, not working with native speaking professional translators means your content won't be adapted to the people reading it, with no attention paid to the geographical, ethnic, religious, or social norms and sensitivities of each country. One of the most striking examples of this was the damage to Spanish company Mango's reputation in France for selling a line of "slave" bracelets (in Spanish the word for slave can also mean a type of bracelet). The company was forced to apologise and immediately correct the translation error.

Not doing a keywords study for SEO translation

It's a common pitfall to think that having professionally translated content in the languages required is enough. But no matter how well those texts are translated, it could be that the keywords you're using in the source language don't work in the same way in the target languages.

In many cases, the words users search for on search engines could be different depending on the country, even for the same product. That's why it's important to do keyword research for every new language, making your search terms for potential customers more accurate.

There are a lot of really useful keyword tools which you can use to refine your international strategy further.

Not using, or incorrectly using, the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” tag

The “hreflang” tag is one of the most powerful tags Google provides to optimise international SEO. So it's extremely important that each page correctly includes the “hreflang” tag on each of its versions. This tag always needs to be in the head of our page's code.

This is how Google recognises the language each version of the page is in, and it will give better positioning to pages which have these tags properly placed.

Use the rel=canonical tag to prioritise the preferred language

This is an error that can render your whole positioning strategy useless. If you use this tag you're saying to Google that, regardless of the language the user wants to see, the most important page is the one in the main language.

For example, the Spanish version is not relevant to a French visitor, which Google will consequently penalise your positioning for. We always need to remember that the “rel=canonical” tag was created to be used on duplicate pages in order to avoid a penalty from Google.

These are just some of the most common pitfalls when it comes to optimising international SEO, but there are a lot more. Por eso te invitamos a traducir tu web a varios idiomas con ATLS, ya que disponemos de traductores profesionales nativos. Además también podemos ayudarte con tu estrategia de SEO internacional y otros servicios de traducción, así que te invito a que visites nuestra web.

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