When you write your blog posts, what language do you write them in? Chances are that you write them in English.
What if I told you that you would get more traffic if you wrote your blog posts in Mandarin and Spanish as they are the two most popular languages in the world?
I thought it would be a good experiment to translate NeilPatel.com into 82 different languages. Within three weeks of doing this, I saw a 47% increase in my search traffic—as you can see from the image above.
Here’s what I learned by translating my content into 82 different languages:
There is no good translation plugin
I have tried qTranslate, Transposh, and a handful of other translation plugins, but none of them worked very well. Transposh seemed to be the best free plugin out there, so it’s what I currently use on NeilPatel.com.
If you decide to use Transposh, there are a few things you ought to know…
First, you will need to download the plugin directly from the site, not the WordPress directory. The Transposh plugin from the WordPress directory doesn’t work as well and is outdated.
Second, Transposh offers 92 possible languages into which you can translate your content. If you select them all in one go, however, the plugin stalls, freezes up your browser, and doesn’t translate all of your blog’s posts and pages. For this reason, you should select a few languages (usually fewer than 10) at first.
Once you select 10 languages, find the Settings tab, and uncheck the option that reads:
This enables auto detection of language used by the user as defined in the ACCEPT_LANGUAGES they send. This will redirect the first page accessed in the session to the same page with the detected language.
The reason you have to uncheck that option is because the plugin automatically sends people to a translated version when it shouldn’t. It’s not perfect.
Once you hit the Save Changes button, head over to Utilities tab, and click “translate all now.” If you have a big blog, it’s going to take hours (this is why I haven’t translated Quick Sprout yet). Even small blogs will take several minutes.
After this process is over, head over to the Languages section, select 10 more languages, and then run it all again. Keep doing this until you get to all of the languages.
When you release new posts and pages, you won’t have to repeat these steps as the plugin will do it automatically, but you will need to repeat the process for older posts.
The plugin doesn’t execute every task perfectly.
For example, here is a post that was translated into multiple languages. Although the content, text links, and button text are all translated, the title tag and meta description tag are not.
For that reason, Google Webmaster Tools still shows duplicate tags.
The Transposh plugin also messes with the design a bit. As you can see, some of the elements in translated posts look a bit off.
Finally, the plugin doesn’t translate everything on the first go. Sometimes, you have to run it a few times in order for it to translate all of the comments and text.
The traffic didn’t immediately go up during the first few days after I translated all the content. This was mainly because Google hadn’t yet indexed the translated content.
Eventually it did, bringing the total number of indexed pages from 30 to 1,800.
Once the content was indexed, initially the search traffic didn’t go up by much. But within two weeks after the content was indexed, I started seeing traffic from random search queries:
At first, I thought the international traffic was junk as the bounce rate was high and the time on-site was low. Eventually, however, the traffic started to look normal, and I started getting more traffic from around the world.
What’s really interesting is that the search traffic increased so much that I started getting blog comments in different languages on NeilPatel.com.
Although I couldn’t understand comments made in other languages when I looked at them in the backend of WordPress, I could read them in English on the respective post pages, making it possible for me to respond to them.
Lastly, it looks like the total number of impressions is drastically up, meaning that NeilPatel.com shows up more often in search results. This is great because it will eventually lead to more click-throughs.
As you can see from this graph, although the total search traffic is up, the click-through rate has dropped. It’s currently sitting at 3.6%, whereas it used to be 4.9%. Once I translate the title tags into the correct languages, the click-through rates should naturally increase since someone searching in Germany would probably prefer to click on a German, rather than English, title tag.
Although there are issues with the Transposh plugin, a 47% increase in search traffic isn’t bad. Plus, once I get the title tags translated, I should be able to increase search traffic by another 16.56% (assuming I can get my click-throughs back to where they were).
If you want to grow your search traffic, you should consider translating your content into multiple languages. You can use a plugin like I did, or you can pay people to translate it manually. Whatever route you choose, it’s an easy way to grow your traffic.
What other techniques can you use to increase your overall search traffic?
P.S. If you need help translating your content into multiple languages, feel free to contact me.
This post originally appeared on Quick Sprout, and is re-published with permission.