SEO and Translation from English to French: Why it Matters

Most Canadian eCommerce sites host bilingual sites, yet the French language versions are almost always far less optimized. Working with several clients, and with mostly retailers, one thing we tested was optimizing a bilingual site, and this made a huge difference in the client’s growth. Content optimization should always be done in the language the content is created in.

The Process

The marketing team creates the content in English then sends it to our bilingual team to be translated.

Translating optimized content is not the same as optimizing.

It is important to search for keywords with important search volume and lower competition versus using the correct translated term, that may not have a high search volume.

eCommerce Team and Structure

Most eCommerce teams who I have interacted with speak primarily in English. This serves to be a problem, as they are more often than not in charge of both the French and English ecommerce portfolio of their clients. In paid search, some departments are spending millions of dollars in targeting their French market, and they do not speak French.

While working with clients, we bring to their attention that the exact translations are often not optimized for search, and that the ad copy is not as attractive or creative to a fluent French speaker. This often results in a lack of clicks by the French customers.

The Potential

As a Canadian website, it is very important to consider investing in a bilingual site.

Create great content for both your French and English customers. It is a common mistake to simply target an english speaker. When you look at analytic data, we have found that for certain industries, the French speaker is far more engaged than the English speaker. The cost per acquisition or conversion are in general much better in primarily French speaking provinces like Quebec.

Why Bilingual Sites?

As a bilingual consultant, I highly push my clients to value the French language in its importance for expanding reach and success, and assist them in their bilingual SEM or SEO efforts. If you are spending for both an English and French site, it is crucial for the success of your business to hire a bilingual team member to craft your adwords. It is important to create French content in a balanced way in order to serve your visitors.

The Point:

Researching in French is not the same as in Spanish or English. Finding the right keywords and optimizing should be done in the mentality of the language. If you evaluate your data and evaluate the cost of translation services, it is worth investing in a bilingual resource or a fluent native speaker to support your market. There are so many bilingual resources in Canada after all, Cre8and9 is, for example, specialized in French, English, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish. From adwords and keywords translation, to SEO copywriting. (We are ranked as one of the top 5 best Canadian agencies in SEO copywriting).

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