Website localization comes with a set of challenges, and one of the greatest is the need to localize your content for a target audience in another country. However, the most effective way for a local business to go global is to invest in a localized SEO strategy. The following explores how website localization affects SEO.
Word for Word Translation Is Not Sufficient
You may think you are targeting the right word, but maybe there’s more than word you should consider. For example, an American tour operator wants to expand and start an Italian website for prospective customers in Italy. However, the content on the Italian version of the website can’t just be a direct translation of the English version. For example, the Italian word for vacation is vacanze, and therefore it’s obviously a good idea to optimize the website’s pages for SEO by targeting it. However, Italians also use viaggi as a keyword when searching for vacations. So ideally, the website should be targeting both vacanze and viaggi for maximum reach.
SEO for Multiple Search Engines
Across the Americas and Western Europe, Google is the undisputed king of search engines. Most websites operating throughout these regions primarily optimize their content for Google. However, if you’re thinking of launching Russian or Chinese versions of your website, you’ll have to think beyond Google.
- Example: In Russia, most people prefer using Yandex. In China, Baidu is the most popular search engine. Even though these search engines’ functions are similar to those of Google, their algorithms work differently.
Country-Specific SEO Localization
One of the common mistakes made during website localization is the optimization of a website based solely on language. Although language is essential, the basis for website localization should always be the country. For instance, both Argentina and Spain are Spanish-speaking countries. However, the way the people of both countries speak the Spanish language is different. For example, they use other phrases that mean the same thing.
Your website localization team must be aware of the languages used across different countries and the dialects that vary from one region to another. This is why local writers and translators should play pivotal roles in your localized SEO strategy.
Targeting Popular Local Keywords
While translations of individual words are undoubtedly important, it’s also imperative that website localization targets longer terms and phrases used locally. These phrases, when used as keywords for internet searches, are known as long-tail keywords.
You need local writers and SEO experts in your website localization team to target the right long-tail keywords. Because of their knowledge of the local community and the phrases typically used by internet users, they can incorporate the right keywords across every web page and implement an effective localized SEO strategy.
Why a Localized SEO Strategy Matters
Paying attention to SEO that is specific to your target audience will provide you with many benefits, including the following:
- Lower Bounce Rates – While there may be differences across different search engines’ algorithms, they have one thing in common; a dislike for websites with high bounce rates. A website with a high bounce rate is one where users don’t find quality information and end up leaving it in a matter of seconds. Websites with low bounce rates are ranked significantly higher than ones with high bounce rates.
- Increased Conversions – When users stay longer on a website, they’re much more likely to make a purchase, especially if all the information is offered to them in their native language and localized to enhance their engagement.
- Greater Exposure to Backlinks – When users find your website genuinely helpful, they’re bound to share it with their friends and associates across their social media pages or blogs. These redirecting links, also known as backlinks, can make or break your search engine rankings. Websites with no backlinks are generally seen as untrustworthy.
So, if you want your business to successfully go from local to global, it’s time to invest in a localized SEO strategy. For optimum website and app translation and localization, use Localize, the best translation management service (TMS) around. Localize offers many features to help you put your localized SEO strategy into effect.