Hong Kong is a multicultural city with three major languages: Cantonese, English and Mandarin.
As a direct consequence, most websites, blogs, Social Media pages and articles published for Hong Kong readers are usually translated in several languages. The usual procedure is to develop a set of content in a given language (usually English) then go to official translators to get this same content in different languages.
Nevertheless, if you are familiar with SEO strategies, you know that the keywords and key phrases you use have quite an impact on the way your page is indexed by Search Engines. For this precise reason, Hong Kong websites in particular and multi-lingual websites in general should take a different approach to this matter.
Here is a suggestion of methodology enabling an efficient SEO-friendly content development.
1. Prior to any content development, try and define the frame of ideas you will be developing. Try to identify a temporary title as well as a few ideas you would like to explore.
Just stick with bullet points, do not develop any text yet.
2. Prepare carefully your list of keywords. An easy but efficient method to identify the perfect keywords for an article is to use "Google Suggest".
To do so, simply define what you would consider as optimal keywords and type them on Google. The Search Engine will suggest key phrases that people often type and that correspond to your input.
That way you can clearly define what people are most likely typing when looking for content similar to yours. You can push the exercise even further and use Google Keywords tool: that really depends on the time and effort you are willing to invest in a certain piece of content.
3. Develop your content trying to integrate the keywords and key phrases you have identified previously. Don't overuse them: your purpose is to write interesting content that people enjoy reading.
Listing keywords would most likely have the opposite effect.
4. Now comes the last step: before translating any of your content in another languages, go back to the keyword list: ask your translator to do the same exercise you did but with another language. That person must build a new set of keywords based on what is most likely typed in the new language.
Once this step completed, the translation can start with the integration of specific key phrases.
The reason why this exercise is essential is simple: you do not search for the same things in English, Cantonese or Mandarin. A direct translation of the text would reduce the impact of the article on the internet.
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Hongkong Business. The author was not remunerated for this article.
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Julien Rio has been working in the field of web development and web marketing for over five years in both Asia and Europe.