The term “localization” has become increasingly common over the past few years and with good reason: in this digital age, more and more companies are marketing their products and services to people all around the globe, and the most effective way of connecting with those people is by making certain that content is understandable and appropriate for the target audience. In essence, localization involves localizing content for different readers, and that includes SEO content.
Developing the most effective SEO content is not simple. In fact, this vital aspect of Internet marketing is usually best left for SEO professionals. But if you are in the position of needing to handle this task on your own – or even if you simply want to have a clearer understanding of the process that an SEO professional will be doing for you – you’ve come to the right place.
Here then are steps involved in creating a method for SEO localization.
1. The first step involves having your content translated for your target audience. Never trust machine translations or inexperienced linguists. Instead, hire a professional translator who is not only fluent in the target language, but familiar with your industry as well. Make sure that the content is localized. Details such as use of appropriate measurement methods, currency, and location-specific language and jargon are all important considerations. Remember also that some images and even colors may not be appropriate in certain countries and cultures, so your translator should be thoroughly familiar with the target culture to ensure that your content is acceptable and entirely appropriate.
2. Choose a CMS (content management system) that is “friendly” for multilingual websites. There are several of them available that provide multilingual SEO structure with a shared database, such as WordPress and Magento, for example. Using the type of a CMS with a shared database will allow you to make future changes to any section of the site and have the change automatically made to all versions of the site.
3. Determine whether or not you need a website host located in the same country in which your translated site will appear. If you decide to do so, it won’t necessarily help your local SEO, but it will improve the speed of your site to a certain extent.
4. Obtain TLDs (top-level domains) for the specific countries in which you plan to do business. (If you’re not familiar with this term, a TLD is the last portion of a domain name, such as .com, .org, .net, etc.)
5. Utilize a keyword research tool to determine the most effective keywords for your product or service in the target country (i.e., the country where your translated content will be read by potential customers). Google Adwords Keywords Tool allows you to search by language and target country, but there are others available as well.
6. Integrate these keywords into your translated content. Remember that the old method of “keyword stuffing” is now easily detectable by search engines, so avoid that at all costs. Instead, make sure that your keywords are spread throughout your content in a logical manner, while also paying attention to good grammar and spelling throughout.
7. Utilize hreflang tags on your website to allow readers to land on content pages that have been translated into their language, including content presented in certain dialects or with regional variations in language. Google provides additional information on hreflang tags on their support page: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en
SEO is an art and science unto itself. If you are not well versed in SEO, we strongly encourage you to obtain the services of an SEO expert, and preferably one who has experience in international SEO. When it comes to connecting to potential customers in countries around the globe, having an experienced international SEO expert onboard can make all the difference in the world!