Multilingual search engine optimization: Taking your global marketing strategy further


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Search engine algorithms are shifting and getting more complicated all the time. YourMultilingual search engine optimization for your global marketing strategy. industry itself seems to be in a perpetual state of evolution. In answer to this, you’re already 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 dogging you like a bright red pop-up ad.

Are we ready for multilingual search engine optimization?

When combined with a proper global marketing strategy, it’s one of the most effective ways you can optimize your multilingual website and content for online search purposes. But exactly how do you initiate and execute a consistent and structured multilingual search engine optimization strategy while maintaining the integrity and unique voice of your brand?

Think like your customers

First you need to 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 driving and motivating your customers’ online search behavior, you will have an edge in identifying the specific language that will resonate most strongly with them.

Select relevant keywords

It’s not as simple as gathering together a list of keywords in your source language and then translating those directly into other languages. Words and phrases rarely retain their full meaning when translated literally; in addition, someone in Mexico is going to use different search language than someone in Spain.

Only an in-country, native-language-speaking global 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. As your translation provider, we can line up the right individuals for you.

Remember, too, that the specialized terms that your organization uses internally are probably not what your customers are typing into search engines to find you. For instance, “low fare” is considered a travel industry-specific term, but your average person is more likely to use the common phrase “cheap flight” instead. Going a step further, the search terms that people use are going to be different from country to country.

Preferred search engines can differ from country to country as well – so it is also important to keep that in mind when building search engine optimization strategies for your global website. While Google seems omnipresent, like the Great Oz of Web Search, that’s simply not the case in every country. Russia’s dominant search engine is Yandex, for example.

Place your keywords strategically

Where you place your keywords is arguably just as important as the keywords themselves. Once you have your list of optimal search terms for every target language, it’s important to know where to insert them for the best results.

Here are the best places to put your keywords within a webpage’s source code:
?Meta titles, which specify your webpage title on a browser window frame
?Headers in your page content
?Meta descriptions or text that describes each webpage’s content
?The meta keyword tag itself
?ALT and anchor text words describing images and links

For optimally effective keyword placement within your content, abide by a rule of “left to right” in order of importance, with left designating the most important keywords.

Also, make sure that all of your web designers and writers are operating in tandem, working with the same standards in mind. We believe it works best when multilingual search engine optimization is treated holistically, meaning that you fully integrate it into your entire global marketing content creation and localization lifecycle.

Additional tips
?Perform regular testing to monitor site traffic and your keywords’ effectiveness in each target market.
?Request or conduct research on the latest industry keywords to make sure you’re still using the most beneficial terms.
?Consider multilingual search engine tactics for additional target languages if it makes sense for your company’s growth pattern.

Of course, it starts with having a solid global marketing content strategy. Once you have that 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.

If any of this seems complicated, you don’t have to go it alone. Partnering with an expert in this specialized arena, like Sajan, can remove the uncertainty from the process.

Have you started to experiment with multilingual search engine optimization yet? What advice would you add? Let us know.
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Rachel Chilson
Rachel is a marketing communications coordinator at Sajan, a world-recognized language translation services provider. Sign up for Sajan Blog posts to receive new translation best practices every week.


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