Do Business Like a Shark – Outsource Company Weaknesses Focus on Strengths

I just read a post from one of our clients, TriStarr Staffing: Like A Shark – Focus On Your Companies Strengths – Outsource Your Weaknesses In his post Scott explains how sharks outsource their weaknesses so they can focus on what they are good at, hunting.

outsource like a shark

A shark “outsources” its weaknesses: keeping itself clean, and protecting itself from disease, to other fish.  Remoras clean parasites from the shark’s teeth and perhaps skin. Remoras eat the parasites off the underside of the shark to keep it healthy and alive. This allows the shark to remain healthy and focus on what it does best – hunt.  The Remora gets “paid” as well; they get a free meal and “protection.”

This concept can be related to your online marketing plan too. As I mentioned TriStarr Staffing outsources what they don’t understand, and yes it is true even large companies like Adidas, Armstrong and Verizon outsource their online marketing to agencies. Sometimes they even use multiple agencies!

We also work with a company in the industrial sector that is run by brilliant engineers, but when it comes to getting found online they’re at a loss. Your company may be very good at breaking down your client’s problems and delivering great solutions, but getting the word out about your services and successes… maybe not so much.

What’s the take away from this? Be a Shark and concentrate on your strengths and we’ll take care of your online marketing.

To learn more about how we can help, fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you.

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Elaborate Tools Are Great, But It’s The Skills That Make Us Pros

Can good tools make you better? Sure, but don’t forget it’s the skills that make you a pro. Watch the video for a great example of this.

What skills do you have that make you a pro?

 

Is Crowdsourcing as Smart as We Hope?

Yesterday, I came across an interesting Peta Pixel: Why You Shouldn’t Give Too Much Weight Too Anonymous Online Critics, and it got me thinking.

Briefly, here’s what what the the post was about:

In 2006 a guy name André Rabelo submitted the photo below to group called DeleteMe!, where members of the group vote on photos to rate their quality. The photo was quickly voted down. The kicker was, it was a photo taken by a famous photographer named Henri Cartier-Bresson from 1932, which was sold at an auction in 2008 for $265,000.

But wait.. I thought this group said it was not good??

What André did is essentially an exercise in Crowdsourcing, which is group problem solving and is often done online. It can be used in areas such as software development, mining, research and as well as translation.

My question: Is the key here that they were “anonymous” voters, or is crowd sourcing not as intelligent as we hope? Or is crowdsourcing really the ultimate test of quality? What do you think?

Local Marketing is the Key to Going Global

Localization globe I haven’t posted much for the last couple of weeks because I’ve been doing some traveling. Right now I’m sitting in a Ferienwohnung (vacation apartment) in a subburb of Munich Germany. As I’ve been traveling I’ve taken notice of how social media and search are used by local businesses. It’s also been interesting to hear how people use it in Germany. I’d say it is very similar to the USA and advertising with social media is probably more prevalent in larger cities as apposed to small towns.

I just read a post on Clickz.com with an interview with Carolyn Everson, VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook. The central theme is that if you want to go global you have to go local. Since we’re also involved in localization it comes as no surprise to me.

“They do perform better,” she said. “The real trick is organizing globally but being locally relevant. And you want all of your Facebook creative to be optimized to get the best reaction. And that takes local input.”

Absolutely right! You have to look at it this way. If you simply cut and paste your copy and creative from one region to the next it will most likely be rejected. It can also be so bad that you end up offending the local population as well.

So, if you are trying to break into a new market or you want to ramp up your efforts via social media or any other online medium, make sure you seek the advice of a local or a company that specializes in localization.

We’re All Just a Bunch of Cousin Its – Gender in the English Language

I have to admit. I like that many languages still distinguish between feminine and masculine words. Especially when discussing people. I think by removing the gender awareness in language is a deterioration of the language.

In the English language in the USA, why is everyone now an actor or a server. Equal rights? With the advent of being “politically correct” we are destroying the English language. Why is it offensive to express that someone is a female or male in the way we communicate? It’s a simple fact of life. You are a woman or a man. Not and “it”.

Unless you’re Cousin It from the Adam’s Family, I would be willing to bet most people would be offended if people started referring to them as “it”. So, let’s bring back the genders!

Is Your Site Ready to Go Global? 5 Things to Consider

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk recently about International SEO or Multilingual SEO. It seems people are understanding the value of properly targeting markets. I’ve experienced first hand how some multinational companies that try to skimp when it comes to properly localizing their websites and then they wonder why it isn’t successful in the foreign market.

Here’s five points to think about as you look at your multinational content.

  1. Talk the talk. Make sure you make the effort localize your content right. It is critical that you speak your customers language. Make sure you use a native speaker for the target language. Even if someone says they are fluent they will never be as good as a native speaker, and any localization professional worth their weight will admit to this. Also take note that many countries will use English words for purposes that don’t mean the same thing in the English language. A great example is in German; The word “Handy” means “Mobile Phone” or “Cell Phone”.
  2. Direct translation of successful keywords in one language does not mean successful international SEO. Many people are misled to believe that a successful keyword in one market can be directly translated and it will be successful in the new language. To use the cell phone example again. If you directly translate “cell phone” into German, you get “Funktelefon” or “Mobiletelefon”. In fact using Google Insights the only one that even registers is “Handy”.
  3. Colour is not color. There are a lot of subtle differences within languages. Make sure you check your spelling for the the correct region. American English is very different than England English or Australian English, even Asian English. Some great examples are “aluminium” (UK) and “aluminum” (USA). If you us “optimisation” instead of “optimization,” you may have just given away that you are not local.
  4. It’s all about culture. Try selling beef in India, or pork in Israel. There are many examples of culture mistakes that aren’t so obvious. One of my favorites is the Pringles translation of their “Once you pop you can’t stop” campaign in Germany. They translated it to “Einmal gepoppt nie mehr gestoppt!” It turns out this was a big hit with the German youth. Probably because gepoppt from poppen is a slang term for sex!
  5. It pays to be local. Three things that can be included in this are a local top level domain, a local server and a local physical address. The first two will help your search ranking and the third will help ranking and give you credibility.

Is there more to add to this list? Absolutely! Most of these mistake are easily avoidable. If you’re going global, we can help you get local with International SEO

Looking for a laugh? How about some good examples of bad translation? Check out the site Engrish.com

Localize Your Videos and Make Them SEO Friendly

Videos are great ways to bring traffic to your site and engage your visitors. Check out this video for a tool to create subtitles that can be translated automatically with Google Translate (Localization). Plus the transcript will also be picked up by Google and other search engines making the video SEO friendly. It’s a win – win!

Video brought to you by @MiChmski

Need help with Localization or International SEO? We can help!

Google Tips for International SEO and Websites with Multiple Languages

Many international companies with multi-lingual sites use machine translation such as Google Translate to translate their content. Google has recently warned against doing this. Google’s own John Mu commented in the Google Webmaster Central forums:

I just want to add a word of warning here — using automated translation tools to directly create content for your site could be seen as creating auto-generated content, which would be against our Webmaster Guidelines. Instead of just taking the output of a program like Google Translate, I’d strongly recommend at least having it corrected before putting it online. While Googlebot may initially fall for some Spanish keywords in your text, your users are not going to appreciate content that has been automatically translated and published without a review. I love Google Translate, but if you publish the results and get them indexed without having them reviewed, you’re not showing a lot of respect to your users…

John’s statement, “but if you publish the results and get them indexed without having them reviewed, you’re not showing a lot of respect to your users” is very true and any quality localization professional or translator would say the same. But, the importance touches international search engine optimization or more specifically Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

How does using machine translation for multi-language websites without proofreading effect the guidelines? The issue lies in the way Google looks at the translated pages. When the pages are automatically translated the new pages contain auto-generated content and Google states in their guidelines that any auto generated content may be removed from their index. Furthermore if Google determines that most of the site is auto generated it might remove the entire site!!

So bottom line, for international SEO best practices, make the effort to have a human either translate the text on your website or at least edit the copy that was created from a machine translation service such as Google Translate. Otherwise your site may be banned and no website optimization efforts will help.

Need help with with International SEO or with Localizing your website? Contact us for a free evaluation and quote

Localization, Internationalization, Translation. Do You Know the Difference?

When it comes to marketing and selling internationally there are three things you have to plan. You have to plan how you are going to approach localization, internationalization and translation of your products as you enter new markets. But first you have to know what each means and how they differ.

Continuing this week’s them of videos. I’ve added this video to shed light on these three areas of going global.

Now you know the difference need help getting started? We can help Localization Consulting and Translation Services

How Big is the Language Services Industry?

I came across some interesting information today about the Language Services Industry (localization, translation). If you think there isn’t any money to be made in localization.. Think again! In a resent study by the Global Watchtower they discovered a few key statistics you see below.

  • As of May 2010, Common Sense Advisory’s database of LSPs contains 23,380 unique records.
  • Common Sense Advisory calculates that the market for outsourced language services is worth US$26.327 billion in 2010.
  • As of 2010, Common Sense Advisory calculates that the language services market is growing at an annual rate of 13.15%.