This article is chapter 3 of the series “Social Media Marketing for translators, back to the basics”, by Anne Diamantidis
Part 1: Back to the basics & Introduction
Part 2: Online Reputation & credibility
Welcome back! Today we’ll be talking about the basics of Social Media as an online visibility and SEO tool for the marketing of a freelance translator.
Everything you do on social sites has this ultimate goal, the Holy Grail: online visibility boost! This is the whole point of the Internet marketing game. And what is this goal about, ultimately? It’s about being found before the competition.
Many translators ask “How can I use Social Media for SEO?” Thing is, most of us take the question from the wrong end. Social Media is not SEO, Social Media is a SEO tool. Probably one of the most important and powerful ones, but it’s just another tool.
The three basic SEO elements
The art of SEO is about optimizing your online presence in order to rank higher in search engines (Google, Bing , Yahoo…) when a given research is done on those search engines. They use complex algorithms for their rankings and I won’t bore you with technical details but here are, basically, the three fundamentals elements you need to take into account for SEO : keywords, traffic and activity level.
- Keywords: identify what keywords a potential client would use to search you, and use these keywords in your website and online profiles (LinkedIn, Xing, ProZ.com, TranslatorsCafé, etc.) etc.
- Traffic: the more traffic a given page gets, the higher Google ranks it. So far, so good.
- Activity: a profile / page that gets regularly updated keeps its current Google rank. Google will detect if it has been inactive for a few weeks and will immediately throw it way back in the search results.
How does Social Media help?
Social Media can become your best SEO ally.
First, the biggest Social and Networking sites already have a very high Google ranking. For example, Facebook is the second most visited website worldwide after Google according to Alexa due to its massive daily traffic – so a Facebook Profile or Page automatically gets a very high Google ranking from the start. This applies to LinkedIn and Twitter as well, it obviously applies to Google+ for Google ranking optimization only – since it’s a Google product. That works for Xing, Viadeo, ProZ.com, TranslatorsCafé and others as well. So, just having a profile on high-ranked sites already boosts your ranking and increases your online visibility - but that is not enough.
Another aspect, often underestimated, is the traffic generated by Social Media – remember that the more traffic a Web page gets, the higher it ranks in a search.
What are keywords and how to use them?
Your various profiles across social & networking sites must be what we call “SEO-friendly”, that is filled with your keywords (translator/interpreter/localizer, languages, specialty, etc.). Basically, the more you repeat a keyword, the more you increase your search engine ranking.
Everything that makes you different from the competition is a keyword and should be there. Those of you whose headline on LinkedIn says “Freelance translator” or “Specialized Freelance Translator”, raise your hands! There. Guys, that headline is not SEO optimized at all. You are so much more than just a “freelance translator”, each translator has unique skills and is different from the next. So say it! Use your online profiles to tell what makes you different: languages, background, field of expertise, specialty, etc. Remember that the goal is to be found, so enter all your keywords on your online business profiles for Google to rank you on Page 1 in search results. Because, who goes beyond page 2 when doing a Google search? I rarely do. Page 3? Forget it.
Let’s take LinkedIn for example: don’t be afraid to put that you are a “French to German legal translator with 25 years experience as an lawyer” in your headline, and write it again in your “Summary” section and then again in your “Specialties” and/or “Skills” and obvisouly in the job descripion of your current Job “French to German legal Translator”. That’s the idea!
Your updates should also be SEO friendly – your Tweets, Status updates or any content you share on Social platforms should also contain your keywords as much as possible.
So you’re a technical translator and localizer specialized in IT? Make sure you have a fair amount of tweets, LinkedIn status updates, etc. related to IT (share articles, tech news, etc.) – in English and in all your working languages. Well yes – if you are, say, an Italian to German IT translator, your clients can be both agencies in Germany and in Italy.
Last tip but certainly not the least: don’t make your updates private, and this applies particularly to Twitter; what’s the point of having a profile on Twitter that you are using to interact with fellow translators (so, not so much of a personal profile), if you hide your tweets from people who are not following you? Private tweets are not indexed by search engines. (See one of my previous articles here)
- Identify your keywords and the keywords an agency could use to find you on in Google search – and do the search yourself! See where you appear, or if you appear at all. If you don’t, then you need to update those keywords quickly!
- Monitor your keywords by checking out which onesyour competitors are using.
- Make all your online profiles SEO-friendly by adding all your keywords, and repeat them when possible. If you have a website, do the same – the more keywords, the better.
Note that Google can take up to a few days to update after you update keywords.
- Don’t forget to use your contents to boost your ranking and visibility.
My best advice is that you do a Google search with your keywords once every two weeks to see where you and your competitors rank. Your SEO strategy should not be inactive – if you constantly feel that you need to adap and make changes to your keywords, then it’s a good sign – do it!
See Part 4 of “Social Media Marketing for Translators, back to the basics” on Power Networking!
All your comments, suggestions, thoughts are more than welcome, so go for it!