When localizing your website or app, just translating keywords from your original content into another language is not enough for a solid SEO strategy in the target market. Your SEO strategy should include conducting multilingual keyword research. Here are five best practices for keyword localization to help you find the right keywords in each of your target markets.
Conduct Keyword Research for Each Language and Target Country
Do not make assumptions about keywords. Even though your product is the same and people in your new target market are using it for the same benefits, an exact translation of keywords is never good practice. Every language has its own unique way of using words, and often what you look up in a dictionary is nowhere near how people speak in real life.
- Example: Real estate companies use terms like residences, housing, accommodation, apartments, etc. Each word has a different SEO value, and the same goes for their translated versions in other languages.
Localization also involves adapting your content to local audiences who may speak the same language but speak them in different ways.
- Example: Even when everyone speaks English, Americans go on vacation, while Brits go on holiday.
- Example: In Spain, a person drives a coche (car), while the same word is often used for a baby stroller in Argentina.
Build Content With Your Audience in Mind
Part of your localization process should be identifying your target audience. In any country, people will speak differently based on their cultural background, age, education, working environment, etc.
- Example: B2B companies need to adapt to a local corporate language and should target different keywords than businesses marketing to parents or teachers.
Choosing the right keywords means keeping your audience in mind. The golden rule here is to rely on your local translators for your keyword localization. They are aware of the differences within their native language and understand how to adapt your content to your targeted audience. Your role is to provide your translators with the context necessary for them to understand who they’re talking to. You should also provide them with guidelines about your brand’s voice.
Regard Keywords as Terminology
Think about keywords as a kind of translation terminology – a collection of unique words, specific terms, and phrases that belong to your business environment. Create a terminology database of all your keywords and their versions in the target language. This data should be easily accessible by all the translators and linguists working on your project.
Having a comprehensive glossary of keywords speeds up the translation process and minimizes the risk of translation errors. Moreover, it helps to achieve a high level of consistency across your content and avoids confusion and keyword cannibalization. Your translated content will include the right keywords in the right places for your content to rank high in search results.
Collaborate With Local Linguists
Effective keyword localization means understanding the exact words locals use when entering queries online. Moreover, after determining the best keywords, they need to be integrated naturally into your translation. Your content in the target language should meet the same high-quality standards as your original content on your home website.
So, you not only need translators with excellent language skills, you need ones who also have cultural insights. Local linguists should be your go-to people in every market. They will know how to place every keyword in the right context.
Final Thoughts on Keyword Localization
SEO is crucial to content localization – every element that can influence your rankings is important during the translation process. For every new version of your site, you need the same level of research that helped you find the right keywords for your original website. Plus, your keywords should be naturally integrated into your content to ensure your website visitors have optimal user experiences. Your goal is to reach the right audience – the people who are more likely to engage with your content and convert.
Localize can help you with keyword localization
If you don’t do your keyword research, you risk losing business opportunities because your website won’t show up in search results and people won’t find you online. The Localize platform provides you with translation and localization tools that enable you to manage transaltion of your SEO metadata and keywords. Contact us for more information.