What is SEO and why is it important for your website to improve its ranking and positioning in international markets?
Semrush, the all-in-one specialized marketing insights tool, defines SEO as the art and science of persuading international search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.
The company highlights 3 points as key to achieving that purpose:
- Ensure search engines can understand who you are and what you offer.
- Convince them that you are the most credible option for their users.
- Make your content deliverable.
Search Engine Optimization, as opposed to SEM (which is a paid marketing strategy), brings organic traffic. It bids you up in search engines results because it considers your content to be relevant to what the user is searching for.
How Do I Make My Content Relevant?
SEO works in many ways. For a search engine to value your site, it takes many variables into account. For example, how much does it take for your content to load? If it takes more than a few seconds, it will lower your ranking. Are there any backlinks that lead back to you? Is your content well-structured and hierarchized with different formats?
These are a few, but the main focus tends to be in one place: keywords.
Keywords, Languages, and SEO Optimization
Keywords or ‘Search queries’ are the combination of words or phrases that we predict people will use when searching for what we have to offer or when searching for the solution to a problem or a question which we believe we can offer.
There are endless possibilities, but it’s recommended to opt for keywords with high search rates and low competition (you can check this on apps like Google Trends, Ubersuggest, on the very Google Ads platform, and more) and to choose a variety of keywords to test which works best.
For example short-tail keywords (such as ‘bakery’) vs long-tail keywords (such as ‘premium chocolate cakes’), and local keywords (‘chocolate cakes in New York’). And it’s important for these keywords to later be present on your website, so search engines don’t think there’s something fishy going on.
There’s a lot more to dive into, but this is the starting point.
Improving Your SEO
Now, people don’t search the same everywhere. Even in the same country, different towns or cities will have different trends. And that difference only widens when taking other countries into account. If you’re a local company, local keywords will probably work best.
But if you’re an international company, you probably already know that English is the primary language of only 25 percent of Internet users. So it follows that 75% of Internet users are conducting searches in other languages. Back in 2003 80% of pages were in English, but this is not the case anymore. That’s where website translation and multilingual SEO come in.
It’s vital to localize your SEO to make sure that customers find your website when searching in their language. Maybe your site was super successful in English or its original language, but when directly translating, these suddenly lose their ability to rank well. Why?
The cultural element must be taken into consideration. Which search engine is popular in a specific country? How does the algorithm work? Do people search for your product for the same reasons? Were you using some sort of wordplay or metaphor that no longer makes sense?
Creating location-based keywords is called geo-targeting, which helps international searches to be more effective. You can also geo-target your products if some of your services are only for local sales, and others for worldwide ones.
Is Localizing And Translating Keywords Enough?
No. The things that matter include the descriptions, meta titles, meta tags, sitemaps, URLs, and other attributes that improve searchability. The person doing the job should take into account more than just human readers but, as previously mentioned, how to make a page more attractive to a search engine algorithm.
Meta tags and titles make my site easy to read. Backlinks increase your reputation. Updated content related to your tags and keywords, converted into different languages, will position the site better than others. Diverse multimedia content will be prized: videos, blogs, infographics, podcasts, social media posts, and more.
If you need to better position your SEO, you can trust our language and tech professionals at STILLMAN.