Why do you need to localize your keywords before going global
There it is. Your business website is finally translated, localized and ready to go live.
It seems like from now on your website traffic will be growing day by day, boosting your sales and online exposure.
Well, not necessarily.
There are many important steps that are often overlooked in the website localization process. For example, keyword localization is as crucial as localization of the main content. If you ignore this phase, your website and marketing efforts may fail to bring the desired results.
So, why exactly do you need to localize your keywords before publishing your website for the new markets?
1. Not all search phrases are created equal
The number one reason why you should invest in keyword localization is very simple: your target users in another country think differently and use different words than your home users when searching for the same concept.
That’s why you can’t rely on literal translation of your original keyword list. A translated set of keywords won’t give the same results as the keywords used for your original website. To come up with a keyword set for your localized website, you’ll need to perform a keyword research. Just as you would do for a new website.
Plus, your original keyword list probably contains some synonyms or commonly misspelled words. In the target market your potential users may misspell other words, use fewer or more synonyms, idioms or slang words. Each market, language and culture has specific characteristics that you’ll need to include in the new, localized set of keywords.
2. It’s good for your SEO (and no, it’s not dead)
To launch your website successfully on the new market you’ll need to focus on SEO localization or, in other words, develop an international SEO strategy.
There’s obviously much more to SEO than just the magical keywords that will help you generate more clicks. From the URL structure, through image description and ALT tags, to building links from and to local resources – international SEO includes many steps. But it won’t be complete without it’s foundation – a local keyword list.
To boost your website traffic and attract new customers you need to think like your users do. Or at least, your website has to reflect the way your potential users act. This starts from analyzing popularity and competitiveness of your keywords for every market and choosing the right phrases for every target audience. With a relevant list of keywords adapted to each region and search engine you’ll be able to define your SEO strategy and start the countdown to more visibility, more engagement and higher profit.
3. It helps you understand your customers
You can’t succeed abroad if you don’t know your potential customers. And this applies to each and every market you want to enter. That’s why a thorough market research is the first step towards an effective international expansion.
Apart from creating a demographic profile of your customers, you’ll also need to research their personality traits, values, interests and lifestyle. Knowing how your potential customers make purchase decisions and which channels they use when shopping online may come in handy too.
Now, to carry out this part of the analysis you may want to look at keywords that are related to your products and services sold on the local market. Check out your competitors, figure out what keywords they use to attract local users and then move on to adapting your local keyword lists. This will help you not only to boost your online content, but also to better understand how your customers abroad think and act when searching for brands, services or products.
Each market and each target group is different and your localized keyword list will help you focus on what matters the most for your potential users and adapt your content accordingly.
Expanding your business and your website to new markets might be a long and complex process. But it can also be an exciting adventure and an opportunity to discover, learn and adapt new strategies. In any case, your multilingual website will need another set of keywords for each and every market. So, don’t rely on one fit-for-all solution and make sure there’s enough time for keyword localization.
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital and Web 3.0 brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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