Discover how to make your global site the go-to store in every market.
A successfully translated website is a great way to showcase products and services to an international audience.
However, to really engage the attention of local customers, be ranked highly in local online searches, and become a local store for local people, a website needs localized SEO.
Here are five tips to successfully localize your SEO—and globalize your business.
1. Build Unique Keyword Strategies
After spending much time and effort analyzing, testing, and implementing keywords and content, your e-commerce website has a successful SEO strategy. Well done!
Finely tuned, precision-targeted SEO lets potential customers know you exist and directs them straight to your digital market stall.
It’s as important to online retail as a front door is to brick-and-mortar retail.
But, just as a single door doesn’t offer entry into multiple stores, a single SEO strategy doesn’t work its magic in multiple markets.
Keywords that help a site rank highly in one country may not have the same impact in another country when they are translated.
While some keywords may convey a meaning that has universal appeal, the local use of language may mean a different form of words is required to convey that meaning.
For example, customers would search ‘car rental’ in the US, but they’d search ‘car hire’ in the UK.
Other keywords may face greater levels of competition in different parts of the world, requiring alternatives to be found. For example, ‘fishing supplies’ would have greater demand in Norway than in a land-locked country like Luxembourg.
And then there are the purely regional keywords that are irrelevant in other markets. For example, ‘Kabbadi’—a contact team sport that’s most popular in India.
While other region’s keywords can be used for inspiration, local keyword analysis is necessary to build a market-specific keyword strategy.
But this localized approach isn’t as onerous as it may sound. The SEO principles and many of the lessons learnt will be transferable across all regions.
2. Adapt to User Behaviors
Another important aspect of SEO is the user experience. Content strategies for user experience tend to align with how search engines rank websites.
A good user experience is typically reflected by a high proportion of visitors making a purchase while visiting the site. A poor user experience, on the other hand, results in a high bounce rate—the proportion of people leaving soon after arriving at a site.
Search engines use this information in their ranking metrics to identify the relevance of a site to a particular search query.
A positive user experience that makes visitors feel welcome and converts browsers into buyers requires, at the very least, content to be in the visitor’s language.
Beyond simple translation, there should be a genuine understanding of each local market, so the site feels like it was created by local people, for local people.
A localized SEO strategy built around a region’s culture, customs, and familiar ways of doing things will resonate with a local market in a way that a standardized approach will not.
3. Create Local Content
For content to entice and engage a particular market, it should be locally relevant. Therefore, you need a localized content strategy.
For example, an e-commerce site based in The Netherlands specializing in sports supplies would not generate much interest among Brazilian consumers with a blog entitled ‘Running in Rotterdam’—but a locally produced ‘Running in Rio’ article is far more likely to grab the attention of the region’s runners.
Content produced locally also provides an opportunity to incorporate locally appropriate keywords, such as place names and landmarks, while capitalizing on local events that will further increase a site’s relevance to the community.
Of course, keyword research should be carried out on the most popular search engine for the particular market, such as Baidu in China.
4. Don’t Forget Voice Searches
Following the advent of smart speakers and other voice-controlled technology, spoken searches are changing the nature of SEO.
As speaking is much easier and faster than typing, search terms have become longer and more conversational.
So rather than using truncated phrases, such as “home exercise,” search requests have grown to incorporate more natural language, such as “what exercises can I do at home?”
This has a big impact on international SEO.
Conversational language may not be grammatically correct and can differ according to regional variations and accents. This makes a native understanding of the local language and culture even more vital than in the days of text-only searching.
5. Combine SEO with Localization
E-commerce localization increases the international reach of your content by creating the ‘look and feel’ desired by the target market—rather than a simple word-for-word translation of the original site’s text.
By integrating international SEO strategy with the wider localization process, retailers can avoid the clumsy appearance of a website that has had its SEO added on as an afterthought.
A site with its SEO keywords seamlessly incorporated into the content holds much more appeal for customers and search engines alike. Combining the two processes also has the benefit of being less time-consuming, meaning time is freed up for work on other aspects of the online store’s marketing strategy.
We Can Help With E-Commerce SEO
Website localization and international SEO go hand in hand. Get it right and it’ll boost traffic and increase sales in previously inaccessible markets.
Summa Linguae Technologies has the linguistic, technological, and e-commerce expertise to help you implement a customer-winning SEO localization strategy.
Contact us today to make SEO work hard for you in every international market.
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