Content Marketing

Google Translate can help with international audience. Yet, we would be producing native content.

Your website is the storefront for your business. A storefront that can be best looked at as a combination of hundreds of thousands of stores, each catering to a different kind of audience, different demography, different geography, different locale. After all, that is the power of the internet.

And Google has been a godsend in this regard. Whether you are a business, or a consumer, you cannot deny the impact Google’s autotranslate feature has had in your browsing experience. If it wasn’t for Google Chrome’s autotranslate, I would have missed out on some great content on websites I happened to stumble across, and if it wasn’t for the same feature, I would have missed out on quite some international revenue.

Unpopular opinion: You can hate Google all you want, but you have to admit the countless ways in which they have built their products around our browsing behavior, needs and expectations. For their own selfish needs maybe, but they did make it better for us. That too, for free. 😀

So if Google’s Autotranslate is so great, what are we even talking about here?

The feature works, yes. It can even be called ‘damn good’, but I won’t go as far as calling it great.

Don’t take my word for it. John Mueller has been working for a decade and half at Google, and he is an important figurehead in their Search Team, so when Mueller says something, we pay attention. And this is what Mueller had to say about using Google’s translate feature:

…if you use an automatic translating tool and you just translate your whole website automatically into a different language then probably we would see that as a lower quality website because often the translations are not that great…

While we have made quite some progress in the field of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, and businesses like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into it, we have to realise the field is still in its infancy, and it would be years before the outputs are as great as the people working on it hope it to be.

Just look at OpenAI’s GPT-3. You look on the internet and you would see developers raving about GPT-3 everywhere, and it is indeed amazing. But I have played around with it in the sandbox, and the results while good, fall quite short of being spectacular. Anyway. I digress.

The point is, Google’s autotranslate is a workaround. A quick and (slightly) dirty solution, when you need it in a pinch. But it shouldn’t be your de facto strategy. Don’t be like Jules.

Do you speak English

Why should you create native content

Multiple reasons. But I’ll give you two.

One, it helps you communicate your message right to a much wider audience, while ensuring nothing gets lost in translation. (Pun intended)

How’s this for size. 75% of the world’s population do not speak English at all. (94% don’t speak English as their first language)

Makes you take a step back and think about it, doesn’t it.

Given the fact that a good percentage of your audience may not speak English at all, why not create content that speaks to them.

Two, even if they speak English, quite so often it is not their go-to language of choice.

Here is another factoid for you. California. Home of Hollywood and the tech hub of the world. 45% of its residents do not speak English at home.

France, Spain, Russia, China, Japan. All of these are examples of countries where the residents would prefer to communicate in their native language as compared to English.

Why do you pay good money to dine into a good restaurant? Because besides serving you good food, their service is great. And that includes them doing everything they can to make you feel special, cared for, and treated with importance.

When you run into someone who greets and speaks to you in your native language, even though it isn’t theirs, remember how that makes you feel. Like the other person cares enough to do a little more to connect to you. That is exactly how your customers feel when you care enough to create content they feel is meant for them, instead of lazily letting Google pick up the slack.

But so many languages. How do you decide which languages to create content in. And when?

This is where web traffic insights becomes important. You can let Google translate handle your translation needs as a failsafe, but as you witness more and more visitors coming in from a particular locale, you should start investing time and energy into creating content that will resonate with them more.

Benne alerts you when you need to do that. It looks at the countries your visitors are coming from, as well as the default language they prefer, and it will alert you when any such group is gaining up percentage points in your overall traffic tally.

You just focus on creating the content. Benne will tell you what the right content is, and when you should start producing it. After all, even we are relying on Benne’s expertise to do this ourselves.

You can have a look at our demo dashboard to understand what insights you would be getting and how that helps shape up your content strategy.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow. Abhishek

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