Efua Aidoo

Transcreation and SEO: Optimising Content for Global Reach

Transcreation is an SEO tool that allows companies to expand into international markets. It is a critical tool for websites and other marketing communications in order to infiltrate new and different international markets. English continues to be one of the most dominant online languages, but there are still many other languages and customers who want a localised website which caters to customers in their localised language. As a result of this, consumers want websites that speak to local communities in their native tongue. Which is where transcreation comes in. 

However, some brands choose to simply directly translate their SEO keywords and strategies without actually considering the localised SEO keywords or trends for that community or country. Using automated translation neither provides high-end content or specialised keywords. It is not reflective of a target market. And indeed, this method of translation does not work well when listing pages with major search engines. As John Mueller, who is the Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, stated on its product forum in 2010, sites that use Google Translate and automated translation will not allow brands to produce content that search engines accept. He stated:

“In general, when we determine that a page contains only auto-generated content, we may remove it from our index.If we determine that the largest part of a site consists of auto-generated content (such as when it’s automatically translated and crawled & indexed like that for several languages), then we may opt to remove the whole site from the index.”

Transcreation is the best way to optimise content and make it accessible on a global and international level.

So, What Exactly is SEO?

To understand transcreation, it is important to understand the essence of SEO. Essentially, this is search optimization ranking and the means by which Google ranks a page. The process of augmenting it successfully into a page means that that page will register higher in the rankings. 

What is Localisation?

Localisation is a content process that focuses on adapting content to a particular region or country. It therefore includes translating that content into the local region’s language or dialect. It will also bring certain local and cultural differences and preferences.

Essentially it is a form of contextual translation as well as a formal one linguistically. It embraces the importance of style and tone, whilst it is important for a page to be grammatically correct it is also important for it to perform on a tonal and culturally significant level. This results in a more authentic and natural webpage.

What is Transcreation?

Transcreation is a mix of translation, creation, and copywriting. With transcreation, there is less of a focus on recreating a piece in exactly the same way (letter by letter and word by word) for a different language. The focus is more on the intent of the piece and how that message will be received in a different market. Ideally, advertisers and marketers want their global campaigns to evoke the same response in every audience, no matter where they are in the world. To do this, transcreation is key. 

While localisation focuses on culture, transcreation is a blend of translation and creativity.

When Do You Need SEO Transcreation? 

SEO transcreation is the step before building and optimising a webpage. A localised and transcreationed webpage is one that prioritises SEO and allows website copy to be translated.

However it should be noted that transcreation can disregard SEO and instead prioritises  creativity and the more creative aspects of the content of a page. This therefore can trump intent and other important metrics such as search volume.

When localising, SEO is important in order to ensure content is viewed. By localising content, there are a number of ways SEO services can present benefits:

  1. It can identify keywords that are similar to other localised intended keywords.
  2. It optimises culturally aligned or pejorative terms easily.
  3. It removes translated keywords without search volume in new markets.

So the goal of transcreation is to simply find a way to talk to a local market in their tone of voice but within the original voice that a marketing message was conceived.

So, What Are the Positives of Choosing Transcreation Instead?

Unique Content

Content that is created with the transcreation mindset in place centres the target audience and is therefore truly unique and focuses on key regional demographics. It sidesteps search engines and translation tools, instead brining content that means that each page on your site effectively communicates to your local market.

More Click Rates

Choosing to develop your page titles, subjects and their consequent meta descriptions to the localised market means that you will see higher click through rates from organic search traffic. In turn this then informs major search engines, which means that the content posted is relevant to search queries which means that it is posted higher in rankings.

Reduced Bounce Rate

When users arrive on a website from a search engine, but then quickly sign off, it sends a negative signal back to that search engine. It makes it seem that content is irrelevant or of a low quality. But transcreation minimises bounce rate and therefore boosts the rate at which browsers stay on a page.

Increased Dwell Time

If content is engaging, then users and browsers will spend longer viewing a page and this reduces bounce rate. As a result this informs search engines that a page is legitimate and the content is worth considering and relevant.

Repeated Visits

When an individual repeatedly visits your site it sends quality signals to search engines and it helps build personalised search results. The more repeated visits that a site receives, the more respected it becomes in collective search engines.

Social Media

Sharing content on social media has been shown to increase following and response on pages. By sharing on social media, brands drive their SEO by simply increasing the likelihood of it being found.

Increased Trust and Authority

Search engines are subject to multiple factors. But the authority and relevance of a page is in part down to its authenticity and local translation;

Higher Conversion Rates

SEO focuses on driving conversions and bringing people to your page. This can then translate into sales or customers.  So a nuanced SEO strategy is imperative particularly one that encompasses localised business opportunities in overseas markets,

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