It’s not always easy to understand your target users when you don’t speak their language – literally. That’s why it’s important to have a global SEO strategy that makes it easy to research keywords and create content for any target locale in the world. After all, reaching all of your customers in their respective languages and locales requires a full, end-to-end global customer experience.
To help you navigate these complex language issues, we’ve put together some key considerations for any global SEO strategy. In many ways, these items can be used as a checklist for creating SEO-optimized content for users anywhere worldwide.
Key Considerations for Any Global SEO Strategy
For all your content, you’ll want to think user-first. That means considering how your users search and behave before you begin the localization process. Here are three key areas to consider as part of any successful strategy.
Ideally, all keyword research should be done by professional linguists in your target locale. You’ll want to manage efforts to:
Do in-language keyword research
Don’t copy-paste keyword translation. Often you’ll miss out on popular phrasings or ways of searching. In some cases, you may find that your keywords in one language are completely different (or not used) in another.
Cross-check with regional keyword research
Every location has unique vocabulary that could change searching patterns. Be sure you’re cross-checking your keywords with any regional variations.
Ensure audience-specific word choice
Your target audience also plays a role in your keywords. Depending on the age, gender and purchasing power of your users, you may identify different suitable keywords.
Fit for target searching and browsing behaviors
If your ideal users are mostly browsing via mobile or on a specific browser, you’ll want to tailor your keywords accordingly.
Optimizing your localized content for global SEO isn’t hard if you plan ahead. You can avoid language issues through the following actions:
Identify SEO before content creation begins
Localized content often fails because of a mismatch between the SEO and the content itself. Avoid this problem by listing global SEO for each content piece in advance.
Research competitor content for SEO ideas
Your competitors may have already discovered top keywords for similar content. Check out what they’re doing and what global SEO keywords you can do better.
Think carefully about SEO for metadata and media
Don’t forget about these behind-the-scenes content strings. The right metadata and media descriptions can boost your overall global SEO.
Finally, you can streamline your localization team’s efforts by documenting your global SEO and ensuring consistency across languages.
Create a style guide
You may have a style guide for your original language content, but you should also have a variation for each target locale. Try adding do’s and don’ts to clarify cultural norms. For example, in Japan, casual wording can sometimes be considered unprofessional.
Fill in a project glossary
Make it easy for your translators and linguists to build consistency. Use a project glossary tool and pay your team for the time they take to update and research terms. Most importantly, make sure those items are easy to access, manage, and update as needed.
Collect local sites for backlink opportunities
Gather up any useful links and resources that could become influential backlinks. By putting this together as you go, you’ll have a database of opportunities at your fingertips.
In the end, global SEO is all about putting yourself in your users’ shoes. If you know what your target audience is searching for, you can tailor your localization strategy accordingly.
Remember that SEO-optimized content is the cornerstone of any localization strategy. Take the time to understand global SEO from the get-go, so you can seamlessly and consistently expand to new locales.