Simplified Guide: Becoming an SEO translator

Your Mission: to become an SEO translator

Content is king and in today’s connected and globalized world having content in just one language is no longer enough. Enter the SEO translator, whose role is to optimize the source text in the target language.

Add the SEO translator superpower to your CV and watch the work roll in!  

We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we will point you to the tools that will help you craft optimized translations and kickstart your journey on the exciting road to the SEO translator hall of fame. Do you have your SEO superhero name ready? Good, let’s begin.

1. Which search engine works better in your target country?

An SEO translator goes beyond language translation and moves further into the localization world. To translate SEO you have to be culturally aware of demographics, location and culture of the market you are targeting, and of course the most popular search engine.

Below is a screenshot from our recommended tool "statcounter" that shows the preferred search engine of each country and will help you focus your attention and curate your keywords. As you can see in the US, Google has the lion's share of the market and is the one to which you should devote most of your attention. The most popular search engine in your desired region is important to know as optimization rules (on-page SEO) have different criteria and will affect your SEO keyword lists.

Statcounter preview

2. What is Keyword translation?  

Keep in mind you are a translator and not a marketing agency, so nobody will ask you for a comprehensive SEO analysis or at least shouldn’t without adding a couple of zeros to your paycheck! As an SEO translator, you will be provided with an optimised source text with a focus keyword and secondary keywords highlighted within the text. Your job is to translate these keywords so they rank high on the preferred search engine and hit the right demographic in the country you are targeting.

To give you a headstart we recommend using the free tool Ubersuggest.You already possess the necessary linguistic and cultural knowledge about your target country, but Ubersuggest will give you up-to-date data on how well the words you have chosen currently perform in the target market. So you have your keywords set and ready to go, but where should you place them? ;) We are glad you asked, so carry on reading below!

Ubersuggest example preview


3. Does the position of keywords matter?

The short answer is definitely! The source text should already be highlighted showing you where to place your carefully translated words, however do not become complacent as optimization rules can change from country to country, so remember to check the rules for your own market.

  • Don’t panic – the differences are normally quite small ;)

For Google optimization the following things have to be optimized to rank highly and for you to earn your SEO translator cape: The url, meta description, first paragraph of the text or H2. You will have to place your keyword translations in each of these locations, while maintaining the natural flow of the text. It is the most difficult part of your mission, testing all your skills as a translator. Are you ready to take on the challenge?

  • The keywords are not marked in the source text? Don’t panic! If you have read the optimization rules you can complete this mission solo – Go for it!

The perfect tool sidekick to help you in this quest is "Yoast". It operates in real-time and will tell you which parts of the text you should improve. “Yoast” will not detect specific elements like internal links, as it is designed as a plugin for content management systems (CMS), so remember brains are cleverer than bytes and use your head! Also don’t get mad when the traffic light never turns green (you’ll see what we mean…). Just make sure you read the corresponding optimization rules carefully.

Are you feeling inspired and ready to tackle the world of SEO translation? We sure hope so, because we have a whole host of international SEO tips coming soon to make you the greatest SEO translator ever, so watch this space.