In my business, I hear about it all the time. A company has a stand-out product or service—but the website is getting lost in a sea of competitors’ sites, and the international base of prospects just can’t find it.
If you want to boost traffic to your website in key markets overseas, you need solid multilingual search engine optimization (SEO) that is localized for each target market to strengthen your global marketing strategy. Below are four considerations to bear in mind.
1. Keywords and phrases
Don’t just do keyword research in English and then translate it from there word for word. Without localization, you will likely miss the proper context of your phrases, which means you risk damaging your brand in how locals perceive it.
Each keyword or phrase will need to be re-created for the target region. It also needs to undergo a thorough local review process. The best implementations I’ve seen have the right combination of proper context from the business side in the home country, a partnership with a reputable language service provider (more on that later) and local quality assurance.
2. Dialects and emographics
At the core, keywords and phrases are all about how your audience thinks about things—which is critical to understand with global marketing. Given that, you want to ensure that you’re truly speaking their language when choosing keywords for multilingual SEO.
Think about your target dialects and demographics in international markets the same as you do in your home country. Understand that language can be the same yet different in different regions of the world. Prime examples are U.K. English versus American English and Spanish in Spain versus Spanish in Latin America.
How many languages and dialects are you targeting, and in which regions or countries for your global marketing strategy? Where are your core audiences? Forget dialect for a moment—what about just getting the local lingo right? Keywords need to be in the target audience’s native language and also be localized to accurately reflect the way they refer to things.
3. Content quality
This may sound obvious, but make sure your content is actually good from the start, since this is such an important part of any SEO success (not to mention the user experience). Does the tone of the content reflect the local point of view, values and general mindset? Another very important point concerns humor. If you’re using humor in your messaging, such as in advertising copy or in your landing pages, when translated for other regions of the world, will the locals find it funny or offensive?
Does your content look local? I’m not talking about just the translated copy. If you want to expand your business in the Bavarian region of Germany, for instance, does your content look like something that a local would actually want to read? The same goes for video content.
Remember: each country and region may have its own expectations as far as what “good” content is.
4. Professional help
Multilingual SEO is too important to entrust it to someone who isn’t an expert and isn’t local to your target country. It’s really not worth trying to save a dollar, euro or any other currency. There’s an old saying: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur.” This statement absolutely applies here, because fixing the work of amateurs is much more costly than investing in the proper solution upfront.
My advice is for you to partner with a company like Indopak, which has the resources lined up already to help you find the most relevant keywords. Just like any global marketing initiative, search engine marketing is tricky without the right expertise. Do it right by doing it professionally.