During my career as a search engine marketing consultant, I was a strong supporter of:
- Conduct keyword research for each target market.
- Expertly localize content.
Still, I still feel the need to talk about the topic and remind business owners of its importance.
It may be something that many of us “know” but still have a hard time gaining control over.
Good localization helps SEO
The translation and localization of the content specifically for the target market definitely helps this target group to find your content in the organic search results.
And when they end up on the page, it helps them understand your products and services and take the action you hope they will take.
Poorly translated content is most likely to appear because it was not created in the interest of the local audience and would have difficulty getting good visibility in organic search results.
Localization projects can be expensive, but they would deliver much more results than a poorly translated website.
Use the right word matters
Any local keyword research should always be done as the first step in the localization project.
Using the right word during the localization process will help you connect with the local audience better, which will affect the success of doing business in these markets.
The "right" word does not mean that it is the word with the most search volume.
This means that this is the word that the audience in the local market often uses for the type of industry your company is in.
The word "analytics" can be translated as "解析" or "ア ナ レ テ ィ ィ ッ ク translated". Both are correct Japanese translations.
Suppose you are trying to subscribe to your analytics tool in Japan.
The audience in the analytics industry will have no problem with any of the words.
However, if you are looking for medium-sized business owners, especially older people, they may never search using the word "ア ナ レ テ ィ ッ ク ス" and will not find your content when looking for a tool.
Challenges that many foreign website owners experience
Just because a person is a native speaker does not mean that they can write professionally in the local language, since not everyone has good writing skills.
Adding translation skills makes it difficult to find the right person for the job.
I know people use translation software to get the job done when asked to translate the content more often than you think.
Many companies rely on internal talent.
It makes sense because they often understand the content better.
However, the problem persists – he / she may not be a good writer.
From an SEO perspective, it is worrying that neither the translator nor the internal staff have an understanding of SEO.
Especially when a person is proficient in writing and becomes very creative in localization work, the sentences have to be completely rewritten, which may violate best practices for content optimization.
As a rule, the translation project is carried out independently.
Search engine optimization and other teams rarely get the information they need to create optimized content with the right keywords.
There are some companies that have an internal team to review and edit the content translated by an external agency.
When a company takes care of content optimization, content optimization is usually done with quick keyword research by the local team.
While it may take longer for the content to be finally published on the local website, this is probably a more sensible process for many companies.
Local content maintenance
Unfortunately, another common challenge is to maintain local content.
Once the content is initially translated and localized with some keyword research, it usually stays the same and is never updated, although the content is always updated and new pages are added to a parent site.
Searchers' interests and search terms can change surprisingly quickly, and the word on the website and even the content itself can be out of date.
The shift could quickly and suddenly even come to some traditional companies, especially during this world pandemic.
Local businesses that capture the change immediately can then adopt it by updating existing content or adding new content to the website.
This is one of the biggest challenges for foreign companies to remain competitive in other markets.
Tips for the success of keyword research and the localization of content
1. Create a translation / localization process using keyword research and SEO
While SEO shouldn't be the job of translators or content editors, a bit of SEO understanding makes it easier to launch local websites that perform well.
Create SEO guidelines to follow.
2. Always monitor website performance
After the local site starts up, monitor performance and quickly resolve issues as soon as you identify them.
If the pages don't rank well, check the content optimization.
If the pages rank well but don't get much traffic or conversions, check the translation / news and user experience points.
Make sure you test the form and other conversion points in the local market work properly in the local language.
3. Talk to the local team and contact points
Determine whether they have identified changes in local interests through constant communication with the local team and other contact points, including sales representatives.
Ask them if the content of the website needs to be updated or changed.
They may have seen recent activities from local competitors.
Encourage them to provide feedback that can help business grow in their market.
Take that away
The more effectively the company can integrate localization, SEO and content creation into a coordinated workflow, the faster it can achieve efficiency and higher performance.
This collaborative process enables the entire company to understand the needs and desires of consumers, thereby enhancing product innovations, content engagement and conversion.