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Why a minimalist content strategy is the best way forward

Content consumers today are constantly bombarded with information and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to convince them to stop and read an article or blog post.

The key to an effective content strategy lies in your ability to express your message in a clear, concise and accessible format to your reader. Enter the minimalist content strategy.

What is a minimalist content strategy?

At the core of a minimalist content strategy is the base assumption that less is more. If you hope to get your message across to readers, you have to present it in a way they will understand. Create something that goes down easily, using a clear tone, direct vocabulary, and an easy-to-follow format. In other words, your text needs to get to the point without sacrificing the overall quality of the content.

When you present readers with a steady stream of articles packed with big blocks of text that overuse high-minded, academic vocabulary, you are alienating your audience. Readers will quickly lose interest in the article and your intended message.

A minimalist content strategy is more shareable

A minimalist content strategy is more shareable

To create a meaningful experience for the reader, you need content that is not only accessible, but also attractive and eye-catching. Make use of images, videos, and infographics to create something stimulating that readers feel motivated to share on social media.

How to plan your minimalist content strategy

The first step to implementing a minimalist content strategy is defining your core message. Take the time to carefully consider how you wish to present your brand to the reader. This is easier said than done and if ignored, can lead to an overly-ambitious message that’s confusing to your audience. Hiring a content agency is often the best approach to finding your direction and developing the perfect message for your target market.

Your readers want quality, not quantity

Focus on creating content that your readers want to read. No more blocks of keyword-saturated text that focus purely on search engine optimization (SEO) at the expense of the quality of the content. Moving forward with a minimalist content strategy will make you consider what your readers are really after, and what kind of message they will respond to.

Write articles your audience wants to read

Write articles your audience wants to read

By pumping out high-volume, low-quality content, you won’t create the kind of long-lasting readers that care about your brand. Readers want your unique perspective and expertise. Be honest about your vision and show them what you really have to offer.  


Struggling to plan your minimalist content strategy? Get in touch with VeraContent’s marketing team to discuss taking the headache out of your content – in any language.

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6 WordPress plugins every multilingual site needs

If there are two things that are essential for any growing company today, it’s online presence and multilingual content. So if you’re looking to set up or improve a multilingual website, you’re already ahead of the curve.

Using WordPress as a content management system (CMS) makes things a lot simpler and cuts down fusing with coding; but at first glance it can limited. However, the vast assortment of third-party plugins that WordPress supports enables users to customize and supercharge the site to their advantage. Since multilingual content has its own host of challenges, here are some tips on the plugins you should start using right away.

1. Yoast SEO

Your website is pretty useless if nobody ever finds it. Most people rely on search engines to navigate the world wide web, which use algorithms to decide what to show. If you have have an idea of what those algorithms are, you can adjust your web content to play by them more effectively. This is called search engine optimization, or SEO. But not all of us can be SEO experts, which is why it’s great to have Yoast take the lead. Yoast SEO is a one-stop shop for sprucing up your content and better position it in search results.red ink editing

Yoast won’t do all the leg work though (you’ll need to write the content or hire a multilingual copywriting agency with SEO knowhow for that), it acts more as a friendly proofreader. It will tell you if your copy is too wordy, advise you on keyword density, coach you on optimizing the URL of each page, and so much more. When you put so much work into a web page, there’s no reason not to do all you can to ensure it gets to your audience. Plus, Yoast offers an explanation of each suggestion, so you can learn as you use it.

2. Google Analytics by Monster Insights

Google Analytics is indispensable for any website. It lets you know which keywords brought people to the site, so you can understand who your audience is and better cater to them. And this function is especially useful for websites with multilingual content. After all, no matter how well you know a language, you won’t necessarily know how speakers of that language behave online. If you’re using a perfectly accurate word, but the word clients happen to be searching for is a different synonym, it won’t matter how perfect the translated text on your page is; no one will see it.

Beyond search keywords, Google Analytics will show you the regions your page is getting hits from. This is obviously a huge asset for multilingual content providers, as it will let you gauge your success in marketing to foreign audiences. It could also let you know if you’re getting traffic from unexpected new regions and need to provide new translations. Those viewers could be interested in your product but frustrated by a lack of content in their language. If you’re not aware of this, you might miss out on a potential new market.

3. BlogVault

Nobody wants to lose content from a site they put hard work into, but if your site is stocked with high-quality translated content you commissioned from a professional, a tech meltdown could be an even worse blow. That’s why it would be smart to start using BlogVault, a plugin that backs up your entire WordPress site on a regular basis. Once you install it, you don’t have to think about it again—it works automatically and in the background.

crying with computer

Don’t let this be you.

4. Redirection

Redirection is a free plugin that manages page redirects on your site. A redirection is when a viewer opens a page and is automatically moved through to another page instead. Why is this useful? Some multilingual content sites use automatic redirection to spare their visitors the work of finding a button to switch languages. By setting up a redirect based on a user’s location—you can give your clients a more seamless experience. Trying to set this function up yourself can involve complicated and irritating back-end work, and could lead to error messages if you get it wrong. Redirection makes the process user-friendly and ensures functionality.

5. Multisite Language Switcher

If you don’t want to fuss with redirection, Multisite Language Switcher is a more traditional multilingual content manager that can help organize translated content for both you and your customers. The plugin will help you add flag icon displays to take visitors to the language of their choice. Some other language-selection plugins have fallen into disrepair as their developers stopped updating them, but Multisite Language Switcher is up-to-date and highly rated for its simplicity and handiness.

flags

6. Blog2Social

It’s no secret that social media is vital to a company’s online presence. When your audience is international, it’s wise to maintain multiple multilingual social media accounts to serve each region. However, this can get a bit daunting when every new site post needs to be cross-shared from each account.

Blog2Social can help you with this task. It lets you share a page to multiple accounts all from one place, with customized comments added to each. This way you can announce the update in the language of each different account, and share across cultures and platforms with much less hassle. The time saved on logging in and out of accounts, copying and pasting links, and trying to keep track of what you’ve already done will be time better spent elsewhere!


Need the professionals to take the headache out of running a multilingual blog? VeraContent manages multilingual blogs and social media channels so our clients can reach as wide an audience as possible.

Woke and broccoli on the rise, fleek and fam falling fast

“She’s not as woke as I thought she was.” It happens all the time. A word or phrase catches you off guard in a casual conversation. You may have heard the word before, but not said like this. Or you hear a word you’ve never heard before, and must assign its meaning from context clues.

Ironically, after the new slang is introduced, you hear a woman use the word as she talks loudly on her cell phone. Then you hear your favorite bartender say it. Next thing you know your mother is slipping the new jargon into your weekly video chats.

woke

The English language does not have a fixed vocabulary. There was no cut-off point when linguists said, “These are the words were going to use and here’s how we’re going to use them.”  In fact, we create new words all the time. So much so that it’s hard to keep up with the latest lingo.

Tracking the trends

The job of linguists is to listen and monitor those evolving speech patterns. Luckily, Google News Lab offers all the raw data needed on new words to stay “woke.”

As millions of people around the world become curious about the new words they hear, they enter “definition of ______” into Google, allowing the search engine to track the trends of newly popular sayings. For example in 2013, “selfie” was searched more than any other word.

But every star dies eventually. The internet popularity of  “selfie” peaked around the middle of 2014, making room for other popular searches like “definition of ‘turnt,’” “what does ‘fleek’ mean,” or “define ‘lowkey.’” Some of these frequently searched words are tied to pop culture references. Others rose in the grassroots style straight from the people’s tongues to the top of Google’s charts.

Behold the ten most-searched words of 2016:

  1.     Triggered

  2.     Shook

  3.     Juju

  4.     Broccoli

  5.     Woke

  6.     Holosexual

  7.     Shill

  8.     Gaslighting

  9.     Bigly

  10.   SJW (Social Justice Warrior)

Emerging words

Google considers these ten words “emerging words.” Or, they were not popular searches in 2015 but gained consistent interest in 2016. By the end of 2016, these ten words were as commonly searched as existing words in the English language.

In years past, these coveted spots went to words like “Felicia,” “slay,” and “Netflix and chill.” What is it about these words and sayings that propels them from irrelevant to definable? We can connect 2016’s batch of trendy words to everything from the American election to hip hop songs. I’d like to think hip hop artist D.R.A.M.’s “Broccoli” (released in 2016) had something to do with this vegetable’s historic rise to the top.

woke

Image courtesy of: http://uk.complex.com/music/2016/04/dram-new-song-broccoli-feat-lil-yachty

Donald Trump’s use of “bigly” in the presidential debate against Hillary Clinton surely caused the internet’s interest in this fictional word. It is interesting to think that one person can say a word in a highly publicized context and the next thing you know the whole world is using it.  The explosion of this word taps into the satirical and critical way we think about language.

To some it may seem that these changes in languages are coming too fast and too soon. Does saying a word over and over again legitimize it? After all, people make language mistakes all the time, even in their mother tongue. Should we revere these mistakes?

For example, “irregardless” is such a common mistake that it Webster added the word to the dictionary. Webster’s Dictionary offers a disclaimer that this is a popularized word meaning “regardless.” However, the more a word is said, “irregardless” of if it’s wrong, the more accepted it becomes.

Using trends in SEO

How do we use this information to enhance and improve our content and readability? Google News Lab is an important tool for tracking trends in language. Relevant and frequently searched language are sure to enhance great content.

Including one of these emerging words as a keyword in your article’s SEO may help increase your traffic. SEO allows your articles to pop up more frequently and higher up on search engines, no matter the keyword or phrase. However, it’s just smart SEO to use a keyword that is already trending.

woke

“Holosexual,” or a tendency so great it may as well be sensual towards holographic objects, also made the list. Examples like this show how we attach humor and satire to our word choices. What these words really show us is how the tradition of language adapts to express our ever-changing needs, desires, and interests.

It is telling that words like “juju” and “broccoli” owe their spot on Google News Lab’s list to the popularity of music.  When we love a song we have a desire to be privy to all the jargon and references the artist uses.

The lesson here is that great content encourages exploration and understanding. Great authors don’t shy away from using grandiose words because they have a certain faith in their readers. They bet on the assumption that enthusiastic readers do their own research.

Similarly, today’s artists take chances with their content. They include words, sounds, statements that may be unfamiliar or not yet popularized. Just think of Rihanna’s 2016 hit “Work.” People around the world are mumbling along to words they don’t fully understand. Why? Because the quality of the song has won them over.

woke

Image courtesy of: http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/7256322/rihanna-work-hot-100-fourth-week

Consumers are becoming more and more open to popularizing slang, made-up words, and even mistakes. Google News Lab offers data straight from the source on how people are making choices on- and offline. Staying “woke” to the word trends of 2017 could be what takes your content to the next level.

The “what,” “why,” and “how” of applying SEO to multilingual content

What is SEO?

If you aren’t already familiar with SEO, surely you’ve at least heard the term be thrown around. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In our increasingly interconnected digital world, it’s becoming more and more vital to use this tool to increase your website’s traffic and reach—especially if your content is multilingual. This tool ensures that your website will appear higher up on the results page of search engines when your potential customers are researching phrases or words relevant to your work. You can have incredible content, but if no one can find it and engage with it, it’ll be for naught. You want your website and content to be used and seen by as many people as possible, in order for this to happen, incorporating SEO is a must.

Why is it so important that it’s multilingual?

Optimizing your website is only half the battle. It is essential that you make sure to localize your content too, as there are many cultural factors that differ from country to country or even between regions of the same country. The most blatant difference is language; a single country can be made up of several different languages. Some prime examples are countries like Singapore, India or South Africa, which are among the most multilingual nations, with the majority of the population fluently speaking three or more languages. It is also estimated that half of the world’s population is bilingual (or multilingual), so multilingual SEO further increases your reach. In addition differences in language, the preferred search engine used may also differ depending on the country. In China, Baidu is their search engine of choice, while in Japan it’s Yahoo and in Russia, Yandex. You must become familiar with the most used search engine for your target audience and stay sharp on how to have your website appear as high as possible on search engine results.

Now that you know the importance, let’s take a look at how to do it.

5 tips when applying SEO to multilingual content

  • Analyze your competition in that region. You should research their SEO activity in order to get an idea for what they are doing to attract people. It is always a good idea to analyze competition as you’re both targeting the same group of people.
  • It is highly recommended to use a simple country code top level domain (ccTLD). Doing so allows people to find your website quickly and without hassle. The ccTLD is the domain suffix that associates the website with a geographical location, such as .us or .fr.  In addition to using a simple ccTLD, you can also use Google’s Webmaster tools in order to ensure that your website is intended for a specific location. It’s very simple to do—all you have to do is go into your Dashboard and select the target region of your choice. After you have done so, search engines will now be aware that your website is intended for a specific region, which also helps Google prioritize the site for that region.

  • Never hesitate to hire an experienced language service provider. Although you may think that you have everything under control, it’s better for the future of your company to invest in quality translations. These linguistic professionals specialize in the language of your target region and understand cultural nuances. For example, they would know that the word “color” is spelled differently in US English vs. UK English, or that the Spanish word for “computer” varies between Spain and Latin America.
  • Constantly monitor and measure your efforts. It is important for you to document and analyze the results of your SEO in order to determine whether your strategies are working or whether it might be a better idea to switch it up. You can analyze your efforts by monitoring your site traffic on Google Analytics and looking at which keywords directed visitors to your site the most. If you find that your tactics are not working, it may be best for you to conduct new research to determine which keywords are most effective. It’s also a good idea to do routine research because search algorithms are constantly changing.

  • Avoid duplicating content. Make sure to proofread the content on your website several times before publishing and making sure there isn’t too much overlap from your previous posts. This will keep you from sounding repetitive and it will show a variety in your content.

Most important tip: have high-quality content

First of all, while it may be tempting to copy and paste text into machine translation, cutting corners with machine translation might actually hurt your business. Using machine translations often leads to poor translation and several errors. However, text written or translated by a native can also be low quality. With that being said, perhaps the most important thing is that your content is high quality; that those who visit your page are engaged and inspired to share your content. If you can achieve that AND do a great job of SEO, your page will be bustling with traffic.

If you want to maximize the number of people who visit your site and stay ahead of your competition, it is essential that you take the time to do your research and use these tips to to apply SEO to your multilingual content. Start today!