The number of people using the internet is growing more diverse every day. Non-English internet users are demanding more and more non-English content. So you as a website owner have more than enough reason to not only translate your website but also localize it to specific target foreign audiences. You might have heard of the concept of website localization and even website localization services before but now couldn’t be a better time to take it seriously.
But what’ll make your website localization strategy really stand out from your competition are localized keywords! The right keywords are everything to good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Get to know more about website localization here but more importantly, learn how you can seriously upgrade your website strategy with keyword localization!
Wait, What is Website Localization and What Does It Do For SEO Results?
Website localization is the end result of a series of marketing commonly referred to as localization, internationalization, and globalization. In terms of website translation services, localization, internationalization, and globalization are combined to ensure that the website and marketing content are focused on a more international market. These tactics combine localization, internationalization, and globalization to guarantee that the website translation services are able to speak not only in a language that the audience can understand, but establish a personal connection with the viewer. Localization services are a common part of any marketing and sales efforts since virtually every audience will be different in some ways. The marketing techniques for a small, rural location will not be the same marketing techniques for a large, urban city.
In today’s increasingly connected global economy, localization has been the key to many global industries’ success in global markets. So instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, they found better success by looking into the nuances of their target market and adjusting their products and content accordingly.
These nuances include the native language, preferred units of measurement, time zones, and currencies. But that is just on the surface level. For any localization strategy to really be successful, it involves taking note of more factors. These include deeper linguistic nuances (slang, local speak, etc.), cultural and social preferences, and etc.
This brings us to website localization. What is website localization exactly? Website localization is essentially localization repurposed for website development. Website localization is necessary if you want to bring in more international traffic to your website. Website translation is indeed part of the process but unfortunately, some wholly stop at website translation.
Of course, translating your website isn’t an easy and cheap process, but truthfully speaking, website translation will only bring you so far. This is where website localization comes into the picture. Think of it as a transcended form of website translation that forces you to consider factors beyond language.
We’re talking about your website’s layout, color scheme, illustrations, and more; essentially everything that can capture your target audience’s local pulse. Simply put, the more your website has relatable and locally relevant content, the more local organic traffic it brings.
All in all, if done properly, you can expect a significant boost to SEO strategy and regional Google ranking! But doing it properly requires getting the right people on board. Unfortunately, quick research on Google won’t cut for a comprehensive process such as website localization.
Ask For Professional Help Through A Localization Agency
You most likely hired a web developer to create your website. For a complex process such as website localization, you definitely need professional help in the form of website localization services through a localization agency. If you’ve already asked for website translation services from a translation agency, most likely they also provide website localization services. As a matter of fact, a translation agency and localization agency are just the same agency in most cases.
They’ve not only built their reputation providing professional translation services but also professional localization services. This can be very convenient for you since it just streamlines the process when only one agency is involved. If you’re still wondering whether or not you and your web developer can do it all by yourself without additional help, consider this.
A translation agency or a localization agency, whichever you prefer to call them, typically have a global network of professionals. Their translators typically specialize in one language pair such as English to French translation. Experienced ones and those with the right background can even cater to specific industries providing specialized translation services. These include financial translation, legal translation, healthcare translation, website translation, etc.
Some translators prefer to specialize as localization specialists by building up their market, cultural, and social knowledge of their target country. This goes to show that the professionals we’re talking about here have spent years building up their skills, knowledge, and experience.
With this in mind, a website localization specialist can provide linguistic validation for your translated website and even help you in finding the right localized keywords. But before we get into that in detail, let’s first talk about the differences between simply translating your keywords as opposed to localizing your keywords.
Keyword Translation vs. Keyword Localization: Which is Better for Good SEO?
We’re here to explain why keyword translation isn’t the best option for website localization and for an SEO strategy. Let’s use the English language as an example. They say the U.S. and UK are two countries separated by a common language. Although they both do speak English, they naturally developed their own variation of English.
For example, American English uses the word ‘apartment’ while British English uses the word ‘flat’. Now if you have a U.S. based website and are looking to attract traffic from the UK, your UK version must naturally incorporate their linguistic nuances. Sounds simple enough. But how about translated keywords between different languages?
Even if you get the most accurate translation for a specific English word, is it even commonly used by its native speakers? Perhaps they might be using unique local slang as opposed to the accurate translation. This also means higher keyword volume and better SEO results for that particular keyword than its accurately translated counterpart.
Getting access to this kind of information means getting a professional translator and website localization specialist. Consider them as a prime resource not only for local keywords but also for your local SEO strategy. Most likely, they even long among your target foreign audience or are natives themselves! They’re highly familiar with the local slang and preferred word-choice. Use their knowledge to help you further optimize your keyword research for better SEO optimization.
So Is Keyword Translation Useless?
Compared to keyword localization, is keyword translation useless? Of course not! It depends on how you use it and for what purpose. Your multilingual keyword search will first start with keyword translation. As mentioned earlier, the trouble for some people is that they use their translated keywords as is. Instead, you should treat them as a starting point in your keyword research process.
If you’re a beginner and want to know how to do keyword research by yourself, you can do so with popular keyword explorer tools such as Ahrefs and Moz. You can test the waters with your initial translated SEO keywords and find their volume and ranking according to each country. But even with the best keyword explorer tools, you can only go so far without professional help and without insider knowledge of your target audience.
Website Localization In Countries With Different Search Engines
If you ever have plans to bring in traffic from mainland China, this is where you will most certainly need professional translators and website localization specialists. Prepare yourself for a whole new universe of web design and SEO practices. China has Baidu, Sogou, and Qihoo 360 as its commonly used alternatives to Google. This means all of your Google-based SEO strategies will be ineffective.
Google is one of many global companies that are blocked in China due to its government’s Great Firewall. When dealing with an entirely new area like this, you’ll need all localization specialists you can get that know how to navigate through China’s digital landscape. Even translating your website to Chinese won’t cut it, especially if you simply deployed it on Google. Still, it’s not really a waste of money as Chinese translations mean your website is accessible to the tens of millions of Chinese expats and immigrants living across the world!
Monitor the Success of Your Chosen Local Keywords
You have to love technology and in the decade we’re living in. When it’s easy to find the best keywords to use out there, you can bet that it’s also easy to monitor their performance on your website.
With the latest keyword monitoring tools, keep track of your keywords if they’re giving you the traffic and SEO results you were aiming for. They also have features that let you easily look up the meta tags of your foreign competitor’s websites. You can find which organic keywords they’re using and work your way from there.
But the thing with keywords and their value is that it is never constant and shifts according to trends. You can simply use Google Trends to keep track of the next trending keywords among your target foreign audience. But then again, self-research can only get you so far. Keep working with your localization specialist as a trusted resource in your keyword research strategy.
With a new decade in motion, now couldn’t be a better time to consider a new way of doing things in developing and maintaining your website. Armed with the best technology and practices of the previous decade, web developers are set to take on the new decade with all they’ve got—and you should too.
Bear in mind that although localized keywords are very important, it isn’t all there is to good multilingual web design, especially in the context of good SEO. You shouldn’t put 100% faith in keyword localization and thinking it can be a panacea to all of your global traffic woes.
Instead, it’s just one of the many tactics, just like website translation, in any good website localization strategy.