A common question we receive from clients who want to create online sales channels is whether digital content marketing is worth it?

Wait, what? Digital Content Marketing?

Digital Content Marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted online audiences.

In simple English it means writing content for specific audiences that is published on websites for those specific audiences.

Why do it? Well, those that do it say it helps with:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Generating sales leads
  • Expanding into new industries/sectors
  • Establishing company credibility
  • Building an online community

However, if anything digital marketing will boost your SEO – search engine optimization.

If you have a website you are trying to push up Google (or any other freely available search engine!) then digital marketing is a fantastic way of blasting your website to the next level.

How does digital marketing help your SEO?

Well, let’s look at a live example.

The Spanish translation agency, Big Translation, recently had a sponsored Editorial published on the website Marketing Week.

Their article, entitled “Make sure your global marketing isn’t lost in translation“, is a perfect example of how publishing content on good websites can help you improve your SEO.

If you visit the article you will notice the contents are nothing revolutionary. However, for Big Translation, their investment will see some sort of ROI simply down to the two links they have received back to their website.

You’ll see one link in the body of the text to the “translation service” page….

Big Translation Link Building

…as well as a link in the bio to their home page.

Home page link for big translation

The two links are priceless – well, SEO-wise anyway.

What these links do is help Google (and other search engines) associate the Big Translation domain and website with the terms “translation service”.

The fact that they are getting pointed to by a trusted website with specific keywords is taken as a sign of trust by search engines too. This is what is known as “link building”.

Link Building is a fundamental part of SEO and digital content marketing. Basically, the more links you can get to your website from other websites, the better.

But be careful – getting links from irrelevant or slightly spammy websites can get you in big trouble!

So, is digital content marketing worth it?

Well, it really comes down to your marketing strategy.

If your website is a key part of creating sales channels and bringing in business – then YES! It is 100% worth it…and it is relatively easy to achieve.

Looking for help to boost your SEO? We provide training courses on SEO for translation & localization agencies to help them get ahead of the competition.

Which translation services provider is the king of Google?

Welcome to our fourth SERPs report on the search term ‘translation services’.

This is the last free report we shall be sharing….sorry 🙁

But don’t worry! If you still want a copy of the report let us know as we are still offering copies to clients and subscribers.

We hope the reports have shown you the value of SEO and what it can do for your website in terms of web traffic, profile and of course sales.

The Online Translation Competition Just Diversified!

Every month we try to teach a little about SEO – this month, it’s a little bit different as we want to point to something we predicted a few months back.

6. In SEO, agencies and LSPs will start to compete with government websites, ‘translation service’ pages on the likes of Fiverr, People per Hour, etc. and other non-industry players.

In our 2018 translation industry predictions we said we believed LSPs and translation agencies would soon be competing against non-LSPs for search terms like ‘translation services’. This could include government pages, charities, colleges and the likes of Fiverr, etc. as per the original quote.

Well, just have a look at this month’s top 20 report for Google.com!

We can’t believe it’s happening already….

Ranking now at no# 20 we now have the University of Nevada who are offering professional translation services and interpreting.

At no#19 we now have Albuquerque Public Schools offering translations and then at no#17 we have a page from the University of Michigan sign-posting users to LSPs. {If you know anything about link building you will thank us for that last piece of information.}

This is seriously big news SEO-wise with huge implications for the traditional translation industry.

LSPs are no longer just competing among themselves for the traffic and positions around commercialized translation keywords – they are now competing with anyone who wants to target the words and this is where universities and educational websites get an advantage.

Google has long trusted such sites and traditionally boosted their pages in search results. If they are now doing this for such keywords, it makes them EVEN MORE competitive than they already are.

Something to think about.

Now back to business…who is king?

Top 5 Websites Ranking for ‘Translation Services’ on Google.com (Feb. 2018)

Headlines:

  • Welcome back SDL! What was that about? They are back from SEO-oblivion in at no#4 now causing all sorts of havoc in the top 10!
  • SDL’s return knocks Day Translations down from no#4 to both nos#7 and #8.
  • JR Language and Capita now drop out of the top 10.

Gengo Translation

 

#5: https://gengo.com/

 

 

 

#4 Translation Services
#4: https://www.freetranslation.com/

 

 

 

 

#3: https://www.gts-translation.com/

 

 

 

 

#2: https://www.onehourtranslation.com/

 

 

 

#1 Translation Services

 

#1: https://www.translation-services-usa.com/

 

 

 

….and over in the UK?

Top 5 Websites Ranking for ‘Translation Services’ on Google.co.uk (Feb. 2018)

Headlines:

  • Capita go into first place now taking no#1 spot!…and no#3 too!
  • Wolfestone have dropped from the top 20.
  • Google Translate (as if they need the traffic?) now occupy no#8.
  • Following on from our prediction at the start of the blog, the Greater Birmingham Business Chambers’ translation service jumped from no#18 to no#9.
  • Welcome to Accent Multilingual who join the top 20 in at no#20 and also a well done to Surrey Translation Bureau for their new ranking at no#16!

#3 Translation Services UK

 

#5: www.languageconnect.net

 

 

 

#4 Global Voices Translation Services

 

 

#4: www.globalvoices.co.uk

 

 

#2 Capita Translation Services Dec '17

 

#3: www.capitatranslationinterpreting.com/translation-service

 

 

#1 Translation Services

 

 

#2: www.translationservices24.com/

 

 

 

#2 Capita Translation Services Dec '17

 

#1: www.capitatranslationinterpreting.com/translation-service

 

 

Download your copy of our ‘Translation Services’ SERPs report for free!

Ready to dig into the details?

For now, we’re giving the report away for free.

Simply click here: TranslationServices_Google_SERPs_Feb2018 to grab a copy.

It is a simple, clean Excel file giving you all the data from the 16 SEO metrics mentioned in our first report in November 2017.

Do you know we can provide SEO Audits as well as SEO Workshops designed specifically for LSPs and translation agencies?
We can give you all the tools, insights and skills to get your website ranking high in your local search engines.

The introduction of technology has changed how the translation industry operates.

Experienced translators are becoming more skilled but there’s a shortfall at entry level where the education sector hasn’t quite caught up with evolving demands.

Technology in Translation

The reason technology has become so pervasive in the translation industry is because Language Service Providers (LSPs) have had to find new ways to stay afloat in a marketplace where the cost of their services hasn’t changed but wages and living expenses have.

It’s no wonder LSPs have been looking for ways to increase productivity. Technology, so far, has been providing the answers.

Anu Carnegie-Brown, Managing Director of Sandberg Translation Partners Ltd., explains in more detail:

The revenue per unit we can charge our clients for translation services has hardly increased in the past ten years, whereas the cost of living for those who work in the industry has.

Furthermore, the average size of a translation project has decreased, which means that we have to process a higher number of projects to get the same revenue. Since we can’t raise the unit price, we have had to learn to increase our output without increasing the production cost.

The main reason most translation companies are still in business today is that they have managed this challenge with technology.”

Translation-tech in Education

Due to these changes within the translation industry it’s important that all stakeholders are talking to one another, including at educator level.

Students these days pick up new technologies with surprising ease but the skills shortage among graduates of translation studies appears to be down to what they learn, or don’t learn, at university.

Dilek Yazıcı, CEO of Diltra works closely with universities on this particular subject.

It is not a big deal to teach Generation Z new technologies or new software programs since they are almost born with innate ability to use any kind of program.

“The catching point here is that university courses need to offer more up-to-date information about the translation technology. I believe LSPs should continue to keep their contact with the universities in this sense.”

The difficulty here is that education for those wanting to work in the translation industry varies widely. This means that people with a wide mix of skills are being released into the sector each year.

Carnegie-Brown adds: “The educators’ knowledge of the industry varies from country to country and university to university. I have taught or advised translation students and their educators in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Over the years, I have had to start from the basics; introducing to them the common practices in the industry.”

Translation Educators Looking to the Industry

There are a number of educators embracing input from the business world.

One such example is Juha Eskelinen, who works at the University of Helsinki where they ensure students are in touch with professionals in the industry.

“We keep in touch with translation companies and professional translators and I attend monthly a meeting with a group of legal translators working in-house jobs. I also belong to the Finnish Translators’ Association and spend time on several relevant web forums.”

Organisations such as Elia Exchange, work to bridge the gap between LSPs and educators in order to benefit students that will become the future of the industry.

Both Carnegie-Brown and Yazıcı work as coordinators for Elia Exchange and understand the importance of connecting the business world with the relevant academic institutions to ensure students are learning the skills needed to succeed in the ever-changing industry.

Not only does this increase the talent pool but it saves LSPs time and energy when it comes to training new staff.

Educators could take their lead from the likes of Surrey University, which gives its students valuable work skills alongside language ones, making them more adaptable to a changing industry.

Joanna Gough, a lecturer in translation studies at the university explains.

Employability is one of our top priorities, but we take a slightly different approach to the industry/academia conundrum.

Rather than forever playing a catch-up game with ‘industry needs’, we are preparing students to take ownership and leadership in the language industry when they leave the university.

Our ambition is to create highly flexible graduates who can think creatively, make decisions, innovate and drive the necessary changes in future.”

Of course, educators have their own goals to think about and it’s this that often causes them to slip behind in terms of appreciating industry needs. This however is hardly a new phenomena.

LSPs faced great challenges in the nineties without sufficient human resources to meet the huge global customer demand. Educators were aware of only a small part of it since, naturally, they were involved in their academic world and paper work.

So, together with some of my colleagues from the language industry we kept giving lectures and organised panels through the translation associations, urging the academia to adapt their curricula to the changes in the translation industry,” explains Yazıcı.

LSPs Plugging the Skills-Gap

The goal of trying to bridge this gap and keeping educators up-to-date with the wider industry is part of a wider need to reduce the pressures on LSPs in terms of recruitment, training and production.

“If a class of 20 graduates have not learned anything else at the university than to translate well, it will take 20 different LSPs three to six months to train and support them before they can manage a translator role or a project manager role independently in the commercial world. Then, potentially, another six months before they can work fast enough to earn a decent living.

“This is a significant waste of staff time in an industry that is striving for efficiencies in all areas of their business. If we can cut that time down even a little, it will be a saving for the companies who employ graduates,” states Carnegie-Brown.

As the industry continues to evolve and LSPs need to become even more efficient, companies won’t have the time to train staff to the correct level, which could lead to an even greater skills gap in the future.

This is why it remains key that all stakeholders within the industry remain in close communication to improve and develop skills and education.

Which translation services provider is starting 2018 at the top of Google?

Welcome to our third SERPs report on the search term ‘translation services’. The past two months have shown us the sometimes volatile nature of search engine ranking – this month however, shows us something completely different.

But before we delve into the top 5 ‘translation services’ website pages for Google.com and Google.co.uk, a quick SEO lesson!

The Importance of Title Tags

As part of our array of wonderful services for translation companies, we provide SEO Audits to check that our clients’ websites are fit for SEO-purpose. A common problem we often find is missing title tags or poorly written title tags.

What is a title tag?

A title tag is a simple bit of HTML in each website page that informs search engines about the content on your site. It is usually the piece of text that Google, for example, will show in search engine results as per the purple text below for our website.

Example of title tag in Google

Now have a look at the title tags used by some of the top LSPs for their SEO as per our January 2018 SERPs report. 

Title tags from top 20 translation services companies

Can you see the common thread?

If you want to rank for ‘translation services’, you need those words in your title tags – it is an absolute must. Can you see one of the top 20 who do not have it in their title tag?

So, always make sure you have the words you want to rank for in your page title tags.

Now back to business…

Top 5 Websites Ranking for ‘Translation Services’ on Google.com (Jan. 2018)

Headlines:

  • One Hour Translations overtake GTS to go into #2
  • Day Translations jump from #8 to #4
  • Morning Translations lose one of their page listings
  • Transperfect go from #9 to #7
  • Capita leap to #9
  • JR Language make serious inroads going from #17 to #10 and #11
  • Welcome to Minnesota Translations and Universal Translation Services who join the top 20 this month.

Gengo Translation

 

#5: https://gengo.com/

 

 

 

Day Translations
#4: https://www.daytranslations.com/

 

 

 

 

#3: https://www.gts-translation.com/

 

 

 

 

#2: https://www.onehourtranslation.com/

 

 

 

#1 Translation Services

 

#1: https://www.translation-services-usa.com/

 

 

 

….and over in the UK?

Top 5 Websites Ranking for ‘Translation Services’ on Google.co.uk (Jan. 2018)

Headlines:

Unlike the .com rankings – everything for the top 20 of .co.uk rankings has remained exactly the same – no movement, not a peep, nada.

#5 Translation Services UK Nov 2017

 

#5: www.wolfestone.co.uk

 

 

 

#4 Global Voices Translation Services

 

 

#4: www.globalvoices.co.uk

 

 

#3 Translation Services UK Dec 2017

 

 

#3: www.languageconnect.net

 

 

#2 Capita Translation Services Dec '17

 

#2: www.capitatranslationinterpreting.com/translation-services

 

 

#1 Translation Services Dec 2017

 

 

#1: www.translationservices24.com/

 

 

Download your copy of our ‘Translation Services’ SERPs report for free!

Ready to dig into the details?

For now, we’re giving the report away for free.

Simply click here: TranslationServices_Google_SERPs_Jan2018 to grab a copy.

It is a simple, clean Excel file giving you all the data from the 16 SEO metrics mentioned in our first report in November 2017.

Do you know we can provide SEO Audits as well as SEO Workshops designed specifically for LSPs and translation agencies?
We can give you all the tools, insights and skills to get your website ranking high in your local search engines.

CX: Creating a Competitive Edge in the Translation & Localization Industry

In a highly competitive industry, LSPs and translation agencies have traditionally tried to differentiate between themselves in areas such as price, speed, breadth of services, geographic coverage, customer service, marketing and branding.

Many of these areas however no longer provide the competitive margin they once did.

For example, it is easy now for a small, growing translation agency to add on design, interpreting and maybe voice overs to take on their bigger competition. Setting up a presence abroad through satellite offices again is easily achievable over the internet. Anyone working in translation knows full well about the commodification of pricing over the past 10 years or so and the declining margins in rates.

Today, the battleground has shifted away from those areas to the new one – technology, IT and how big your CAT tool is. Trademarked, super-speedy machine translation tools, that localize, optimize and digitalize the needs of the modern-day global organisation seem to be the zeitgeist of the translation and localization industry, especially in terms of differentiation.

This leaves a massive gap….actually lots of massive gaps, but let’s focus in on one in particular.

With a large percentage of LSPs still competing on traditional terms, and with most of the larger LSPs investing their time and efforts into machines that will eventually turn evil and kill us all, this leaves a gap for the LSP in the middle.

This is where Customer Experience comes in.

Within the industry very few are focusing on Customer Experience (a.k.a. CX) in the buying and selling cycle of translation, localization and language services.

Customer Service in many LSPs is excellent, but Customer Experience as a strategy, approach and a culture has not yet been embraced.

This provides a clear opportunity for those LSPs who want to shift into a new way of thinking and to move away from those old ways of competitive differentiation.

Although you may not be able to invest the millions into a The Terminator, you will be able to carve out a niche at the level you operate and start to become a leader in terms of customer acquisition.

So, if you are an LSP and want to take CX seriously what do you do?

Well, you if you don’t have the time, budget or energy you could ask a fantastic training company that specialises in CX workshops for translation companies to help you.

If you do have the time and energy, then great – you don’t even need a budget to get started!

Here’s 12 really simple steps we have put together for you along with some solid resources to help you start implementing a CX approach and culture at work.

1. Start reading & learning about CX

If you decide to go the DIY route you really need to start learning about CX. What does it mean? How does it work? When do we use it? Why can it fail? If you are new to CX then start with this really good introduction.

Then start spending regular time reading articles, listening to podcasts and soaking in as much as you can. If it is possible to have a few people involved it would really speed things along. Check out these resources here for a really comprehensive list of videos, podcasts and articles. Remember to always bring this back to translation and your own customers.

2. Pin down your company values

CX is about your company values being translated into how you make your customers and clients feel. If you don’t know what your values are, you’re CX will never amount to much as it will be built on weak foundations.

There are a number of ways of defining your values as a company. In some LSPs the big boss may simply say what they are. Others may want a more consensual approach. Others something in between.

As part of developing a CX approach and culture it is important to at least get employees involved in talking about and agreeing upon the values. Here is a link to some simple ideas on how to run team exercises that elicit values pretty well. You can do this in one session, or across many sessions such as weekly team meetings. If you don’t know what your core values are, what they should be, or need some inspiration, have a look at some of the more common examples of corporate core values here. 

3. Identify how you want to make customers feel

Once you understand your values, you will then have a much clearer idea of how you want to make your customers feel. Emotions are central to successful CX but you need to be very clear as to what emotions you actually want to bring about in your customers – if you want to deliver a relaxed experience with a West Coast ‘hey duuude’ vibe then your CX structure, approach and goals will look very different to one where you want to deliver an experience that stresses you are working with a company that places value on family, loyalty and security.

This is difficult for many companies, let alone LSPs, to do as the starting point is an emotion – something we are not used to focusing on in business. Have a read of this blog on emotional design and when you have time also check out this report from Forrester on measuring emotion in CX which offers lots of valuable insights. Remember to start with the customer – not yourself.

4. Create a Customer Journey Map

A Customer Journey Map is really simple and gives so much valuable information. This captures every single possible interaction and interface a customer ever has with your company. Every LSP should do one regardless of CX or not as it pretty much always exposes weaknesses in a company’s offerings, whether that’s how the website performs, how efficient communication is between teams or where there are opportunities for rationalise and simplify processes.

Here is a great resource on creating a journey map from Oracle; remember if you can’t get your whole team together for a long period of time to create the map, simply find a wide open space in your office where people can add to it over a coffee or when they think about things.

5. Identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps

Once you have completed the Customer Journey Map you need to sit down and run through a SWOT analysis of your company in terms of its ability to meet its CX goals. This should look at everything your company has to offer and where it needs to either improve or address issues.

This honest self-appraisal will then help you amplify your strengths into CX, remove or reduce the effects of your weaknesses and fill in any gaps with fruitful, positive ideas. If you are new to running a SWOT analysis with a team, here is a really handy guide to use.

6. Create a CX team

CX is too much for one person to deal with. Make sure you create a team that can drive CX forward in the company – empower them to do so. This not only ensures the responsibility is shared and that too much pressure is not piled into one pair of shoulders, but also brings in more views and opinions.

If possible, try to have people from different departments contributing to the team and it is critical that employees who actually deal with clients and customers are involved. Have a read of some ideas on what makes for a good CX team here as well as how to get the best out of them in this article here.

7. Make CX part of your meetings

CX will not work if it becomes a side project, assigned to an elite team that only shares information and updates now and again. CX is a daily thing – constant. As a minimum you need to start talking about CX in your regular meetings, whether weekly or monthly. This can be done as of now, even if it is mentioning that the company is going to be adopting the approach.

Until serious work starts you can always use team meetings to teach and learn about CX. For example, you might assign people with blogs or people to follow and each week someone explains about what they’ve read. Also may think about other ways of having your team meetings which can encourage ideas and sharing. Here are some for starters.

8. Start small with your CX ideas

CX is about momentum. If you don’t start with something, CX can often get lost, forgotten or diluted. Make small changes in the office ASAP. They don’t need to be complex, expensive or even that creative. Have a brainstorm as a team over 3, 5 or 10 things you can all start doing as a team to affect CX – this could be how phones answered, what you have on your email signatures, your website’s language or images, fun challenges between teams or even creating a small budget to make impressions on valued clients through Random Acts of Kindness.

9. Incentivize CX innovation

Especially in the early days, incentivizing CX ideas is a great way to encourage people to get involved. Everyone in a company needs to be involved from IT to HR to finance – this is not something for only sales and marketing. Think about how people can give their ideas, how and if they are recognised and rewarded and also how they may be realised. Remember not everyone wants cash so think about other ways to incentivize people…..or just give them cash!

10. Remember human beings

When forming your approach to CX remember you need to find a balance between technology and the human touch. Not everything can be automated. Some things which can, may be better left to human beings and vice-versa. A lot of this will come to your customer and what they need and want  – if slick, one-touch technology turns them on, then that’s fine, but remember this may turn off plenty of others. It is important to find the right balance, a point made by KPMG in their report on our digital future.

11. Recruit for CX

If you want to deliver great CX you need staff who are naturally dispositioned towards doing so. If the plan is to project an image of the company that is of shiny, happy people and your staff are a bunch of introverts who don’t like speaking to people before 10am and 3 coffees, then your CX plan will fail.

This is why you need to hire people for the purpose. Hiring people who are customer centric is crucial. In the world of translation, this also comes down to hiring of translators or linguists. Have a read of this blog from the Czech LSP Zelenka which looked at the hiring needs of the translation industry and how there is much more of a need to hire with clients in mind in order to produce better translations and thus a better customer experience.

12. How do you measure CX success?

As with any project, it is important to be able to measure if it’s working, or not. Many people assume that because we are dealing with emotions and something that is intangible that it is impossible to track or measure. Wrong.

There are plenty of ways such a some of these examples here, but ultimately the metrics you decide to use will come down to your own objectives as a company.

So, you ready to start the CX revolution at work? Good luck – go mix things up a bit and create a clear difference between you and the competition.