Search engine algorithms are shifting — getting smarter, yet more complicated, all the time. Your industry seems to be perpetually evolving and presence in the dynamic digital space is a high commodity. You’re cognizant. You’ve been sharpening the blade of your own global marketing strategy, fine-tuning your content marketing plan and expanding your web presence in multiple countries.
But one question keeps pestering you like a bright red pop-up ad.
Are we ready for multilingual search engine optimization (MSEO)?
When combined with a proper global marketing strategy, it’s one of the most effective ways to optimize your multilingual website and content for online search purposes. But how do you initiate and execute a consistent, structured MSEO strategy while maintaining the integrity and unique voice of your brand?
First, get into your end user’s mindset. Are your target audiences ultimately looking to research one of your products, consume content, make a purchase, all of the above? When you know what is motivating your customers’ online search behavior, you will have an edge in identifying the specific language that resonates most strongly with them.
It’s not as simple as compiling a list of keywords in your source language and translating those directly into other languages. Words and phrases rarely retain their full meaning when translated literally.
Additionally, someone in Mexico would use different search language than someone in Spain. Only an incountry, native-language-speaking marketing expert can tell you which terms are being used locally in a specific target country to find your service or product through online searches.
Remember, too, those specialized terms your organization uses internally are probably not what your customers are typing into search engines. For instance, “low fare” is considered a travel industry specific term, but the average person is more likely to use the common phrase “cheap flight” instead. Going a step further, the search terms people use will differ from country to country.
Preferred search engines can differ from country to country as well, and it’s important to keep this in mind when building SEO strategies for your global website. While Google seems omnipresent, like the Great Oz of Web Search, it’s simply not the case in every country. China’s dominant search engine is Baidu, for example.
Where you place your keywords is arguably just as important as the keywords themselves. Once you have your list of ideal search terms for every target language, it’s important to know where to insert them for optimal results.
The best places to put keywords within a webpage’s source code:
For effective keyword placement within your digital content, abide by a rule of “left to right” in order of importance, with left designating the most important keywords.
Also, make sure your web designers and writers are operating in tandem, working with the same standards in mind. It works best when multilingual search engine optimization is treated holistically — meaning fully-integrated into your entire global marketing content creation and localization lifecycle.
Of course, it starts with having a solid global marketing content strategy.
Once in place, you can follow these best practices in deploying strategic keywords for each target language. In time, you will experience greater web traffic, higher conversion and a more consistent brand image in every country you expand into.
Through the right set of expert translation and localization services and the most advanced linguistic technology, we help you to reach your customers, partners and employees successfully, ensuring meaningful localized messages in any language.
Multilingual Search Engine Optimization: Taking your global marketing strategy further