How To Improve International SEO
By Melissa Mauro, Last updated: 2021-10-20 (originally published on 2019-09-30)
Wondering how to improve international SEO for your business?
Here are three tips to improve international SEO strategy for your business.
- Follow proper keyword research strategy
- Use content translation to reach wider audiences
- Leverage the power of content localization
1. Follow proper keyword research strategy
Both translation and localization may forget about a very important aspect of international SEO. Keyword research. As mentioned above, people in one country will be using a different word than the other country uses for the same concept, even if they speak the same language. Think of “football” and “soccer” in English, as an example.
This means that when you simply translate or localize your content, the keywords that worked in the original might not work as well in the result. For instance, the French “étude de marché” will be “market study” in English. However, you might want to use “case study” or “market research” as that sounds more natural and has more monthly searches.
You have to do proper multilingual keyword research to see whether or not the keywords you use have a high ranking in other languages as well. This will also help your text flow more naturally and feel less awkward for your international audiences.
At the same time, don’t forget about link building. We are talking about international SEO here, so multilingual link building is an obvious yet overlooked element. You must always build links to your translated content from relevant websites in an appropriate language.
Search engines also value links from the websites in the same language and preferably the same country rather than those from websites in a different language. You will be able to rank much higher if you implement international link building into your strategy.
One more thing
It’s also a good idea to note the recognition of some websites. For example, while some British-only online newspapers or tabloids will be known only in the United Kingdom, others like BBC are known worldwide. Use the websites that have more authority in the country you are targeting.
2. Use content translation to reach wider audiences
Content translation can help you improve engagement, reach wider audiences, and increase your sales. Here’s how:
Along with localizing your content, you can also translate it into different languages for even more impact on your international SEO. Here are some things to keep in mind during content localization:
Don’t save money on translation.
The more experienced your translator, the better for you. Seek out professional agencies that have established themselves as reliable companies to work with. You want your content to be just as high-quality after the process, as it was before it.
Never use automatic translators.
All those popular tools like Google Translate and Bing Translator can work fine when you need to translate a word or a phrase, but they almost never translate sentences well. You don’t want to be putting out gibberish. It looks unprofessional and makes you appear unreliable.
Ask your translator to work with non-visual SEO elements too.
You want your reader to be able to get all of the content on your website or blog. Everything from ALT text and images to emails and newsletters must be translated. You want to have both your content and your non-visual SEO elements in relevant languages.
Be patient while waiting for your translation.
Indeed, it will take some time for your translator to go through all of your content and translate every single phrase, but it will be worth it. After all, they are pursuing the same goals as you are. You both want a high-quality translation.
Acknowledge the power of human translations.
They take way more time than the automatic translation apps and websites, but the translation you get is a hundred times better. A human can see where an idiom was used and where a word may have a certain meaning. Machines are not yet as intelligent to notice all the subtle nuances of language.
3. Leverage the power of content localization
Content localization can help you improve engagement, reach wider audiences, and increase your sales. However, localizing your content may take more time and effort than you had initially expected. Here’s how you can improve international SEO with content localization.
Translating your content into other languages is important, but what about the times when you want to target a country with the same language as the one you already write in? Does your SEO work well for that? Not really. That’s because languages can still vary by country with people using a different accent, vocabulary, or even a dialect of the same language.
Take English, for example. The USA, the UK, and Australia are well-known countries where it is an official language. But, they all have different variations for the same concept. This is why it is so important to localize your content for international SEO.
Here are some tips:
Choose a great localization service.
Sometimes, you will come across online services that combine translation and localization such as The Word Point. These can be very useful as they are twice as effective as other services that work only with localization, or only with translation.
Don’t forget about culture.
People from different countries may speak very similar versions of the same language, but their cultures may be completely different. When localizing your content, don’t forget to keep that in mind and remind your agency about it. Everything from word choice to spelling can vary. Indeed, there may be even such minor details as the omission of articles or other additional grammar rules. All of them must be taken into consideration for the localization to be of the highest quality.
Dates and units of measurement are very important.
In some countries, people use Fahrenheit to measure temperature while in others it’s Celsius. In one region, the date starts with days and then follows with months and years, while in another it will start with months, then days and years. And so on.
Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.