SEO content shockers that Convert Readers





Blog Date

June 2, 2024


UK, Manchester

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SEO content shockers that Convert Readers

The Shocking Truth About Translating Your Content (Hint: It’s a Waste of Time)

I’ll never forget the day a client of mine referenced a blog from the “online marketing god” Neil Patel that suggested translating your content as a way to increase traffic. My reaction was a mix of frustration and disbelief – frustrated that such a renowned expert could dish out advice that is, quite frankly, terrible. And disbelief that anyone would actually follow through on it.

You see, I’ve been down that road before. About 6 years ago, I decided to translate a super popular English blog of mine into 6 different languages. Sounds like a great idea, right? Well, let me tell you – it was one of the biggest wastes of time and energy I’ve ever experienced.

The Hidden Costs of Translating Your Content

Sure, the concept of translating your content to reach new audiences sounds enticing. But the harsh reality is that it’s a monumental undertaking that comes with a whole host of hidden costs and challenges.

First and foremost, it’s not as simple as just plugging your content into Google Translate and calling it a day. Nope, to do it right, you need to not only translate the text, but also localize the terminology and transliterate the URLs. And let me tell you, that takes a lot of time, effort, and coordination.

But wait, there’s more! Even if you manage to get the technical side of things sorted, you then have to tackle the issue of maintaining the translated content. Who’s going to catch those pesky little typos or grammatical errors? Who’s going to ensure your content isn’t being stolen and reused by competitors in other languages? It’s a never-ending battle, my friend.

The Harsh Reality of Monetizing Translated Content

Okay, so you’ve gone through the painstaking process of translating and maintaining your content in multiple languages. Surely the financial rewards will make it all worth it, right? Wrong.

As it turns out, the harsh reality is that readers in other languages simply aren’t as valuable as their English-speaking counterparts. Whether you’re talking about ad revenue, sales conversions, or social media engagement, the numbers just don’t add up.

In fact, from my own experience, I can tell you that the value of readers in other languages is a mere fraction of what you’d get from English-speaking audiences. We’re talking like, $10 per 100k visitors kind of numbers. Ouch.

So, let’s say you manage to get 100k visitors to your translated content. Woo-hoo, right? Not so fast. That’s only going to net you a measly 10 bucks. Meanwhile, those 100k English-speaking visitors could be worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

The Trap of Chasing “Easy” Traffic

I get it, the allure of “easy” traffic from other language markets is strong. But trust me, it’s a trap. Deciding which languages to translate for based on things like internet user numbers or existing site traffic is a recipe for disaster.

Sure, those countries might have huge populations and plenty of potential readers. But the harsh reality is that a large portion of those users either have no money or limited internet access. And the ones who do have money and decent internet? Well, they’re probably already fluent in English and prefer consuming content in that language.

The best approach is to carefully consider the cultural compatibility of your content with the target audience. Is your niche something that will resonate with them? Do they have the same interests and pain points as your current English-speaking readers? If not, all the translation in the world won’t make a dent.

Focus on Your Main Language (and Do It Well)

Look, I know the temptation to “go global” can be strong. But trust me, your efforts are always better spent on your main language. It’s simply easier to create quality content, connect with readers, and effectively market and monetize in your primary language.

Think about it – can you honestly say you’ve completely saturated all the possible content you could make for your own language? Probably not. So why waste time chasing after other languages when you could be doubling down on what’s already working?

The Smarter Approach to Expanding Your Reach

If you’re still hell-bent on reaching new audiences in other languages, there is a smarter way to go about it. Instead of diving headfirst into full-blown translation, consider starting with just creating an English version of your site.

MCR SEO, the Manchester-based agency I work with, has found great success with this approach. By offering an English version of their site, they’ve been able to tap into a whole new pool of potential clients without the headache of managing multiple language versions.

And if you do decide to take the translation route eventually, make sure you do it right. Invest in a professional translation service (not just Google Translate!) and implement a robust content management system like WPML to handle the technical side of things.

The Takeaway? Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

At the end of the day, the key to success in the world of SEO and content marketing isn’t about chasing after the “easy” wins. It’s about creating high-quality, engaging content that truly resonates with your target audience – and that means doubling down on your primary language.

So, the next time someone suggests translating your content as a quick-fix traffic hack, remember my cautionary tale. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me when you see the real results start rolling in.

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