Why SEO Is the Future for Business Document Translators

Last updated Jan 22, 2024
By Lucy Williams

Many translators fit the category of business document translators. In recent years, it’s become more and more important for translators to know about SEO. As the world changes, translators have to change with it. Offering SEO as part of our translator’s toolkit is essential.

Image of website analytics with SEO provided by business document translators
Using business document translators with an understanding of SEO helps your website reach the target market.

Why is SEO important?

Since the advent of Google, websites have needed to be optimised for SEO. You can have the best product in the world. But, if nobody can find you, nobody can buy it. SEO is all about making your website visible to customers. A lot of customers are aware of this. They know that SEO is hugely important for their online marketing strategy. This is where business document translators with good SEO skills come in.

Your client needs their website or business documents translated to help them reach new customers. One way to do this is to make sure the website is optimised for search engines. Your client may want to use their website to increase leads and sales in new markets. They need an SEO translation to do that. That gives them the best chance of paying for their investment, by ensuring they can be found and encouraging the visitor to click contact.

If the customer knows about SEO, they’ll be looking for a translator who does too. If they don’t realise the value of SEO, then it’s an extra service you can offer. Positioning yourself as a business document translator with an understanding of SEO gives your quote the edge.

How do SEO skills help you as a translator?


Translators talk a lot about the need to specialise. Specialisation helps translators attract business because they have experience and expertise. Specialist translators should also be able to produce better quality work than generalists. The turnaround is probably faster, because the translator has better subject knowledge. Becoming a business document translator who specialises in SEO adds another string to your bow. It widens your potential customer base.

What do you need to know about #SEO as a #translator? Click To Tweet

Offer a wider range of services

As freelancers, we always need to be conscious of our income streams. Offering SEO translation for business documents opens up a new field. If you work with or hope to work with direct clients, it’s a plus. The best SEO translators also offer copywriting skills. Position yourself as an expert by providing translation, copywriting and SEO. As Gwen said in Business document translation services explained, <b>professional SEO translators pay for themselves in spades</b>. When it comes to marketing, customers need an expert, not an amateur. As an SEO translator/copywriter you can help your client draw in qualified leads. Your pitch to the customer is irresistible.

The possibility of more work

Translators like us, who can offer SEO services and copywriting/transcreation can also pitch for longer term projects. If you’re wondering about transcreation, What is transcreation? is a great overview. As a business document translator with an understanding of SEO, you can offer blogging and social-media services too. Maybe your client needs someone to blog in the target language. As an SEO translator and copywriter, you can offer this service too. You could create copy directly in the target language using source language notes and ideas. Another possibility is translating blog posts and adding your SEO expertise. For longer term projects like this, you have the wriggle room to negotiate on price too. Another way to make sure yours is the chosen bid. Need more help with writing quotes? Check out these 6 questions to ask your client.

More visibility for you

Most translators work as freelancers and have their own websites. Translators often blog about translation and related subjects. Why? To network and increase their own visibility in a crowded market. Understanding SEO helps with the translator’s own brand voice. As a freelancer, you need to find your own customers. Knowing how SEO and blogging works helps you to be found by customers. What you do to help your clients with SEO translation can also help your own promotional efforts.

Don’t miss out on our translator newsletter!

News from us and about the translation industry including our popular monthly quiz. Sign up in the sidebar.

Written by Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams is a subtitler and a Spanish-English translator for fashion, tourism and luxury goods/services. She holds the CIOL Diploma in Translation and is a native English copywriter specialising in SEO-optimised long-form content. Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn.

You may also like …

Which is the Best CAT Tool 2024?

Which is the Best CAT Tool 2024?

A freelance translator’s take on the best paid CAT tool and the best free CAT tool in 2024. Read before you buy your translation software!

  1. Nikki

    Hi Lucy. Nice post. You make a good point that if translators can get some SEO expertise, they really can find more specialist work; they can also earn better money than for normal translation work. BUT not all translators necessarily spend the time to really understand SEO and the nitty gritty of keyword density, vocabulary use, etc which is what high-level SEO requires (and I see you have picked up on in your posts). It’s something that takes experience. There is definitely the demand for SEO-savvy linguists. and the good news SEO isnt rocket science so is open to all!

    • Lucy Williams

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to reply, Nikki. I think a lot of translators are nervous of SEO. As you say, it is open to all, but when you don’t know where to start it can be a bit overwhelming. But, an understanding of SEO can help translators in so many ways, that I think it’s really important to start somewhere. I think that once you get started it gets easier and you can really begin to reap the benefits.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *