What is international search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) all about? Potential customers should be able to search for and find your website, your online shop or your landing page – in different countries, in different languages and in different search engines.
Did you know that Google does not have the same market coverage everywhere in the world? In China, for instance,
Google is not present at all. SEO optimisation there is carried out using the search engines Baidu, Tencent or Baobao.
In Russia, the search engine Yandex has a very strong presence. This means that German search engine optimisers (SEOs)
need to take off their Google glasses when it comes to SEO in multilingual website translations.
What is the purpose of international SEO?
SEO wants to satisfy two target groups: human visitors and search engines. Consequently, SEO text needs to be translated
in such a way that a search engine can find the relevant clues that help it decode and classify the content.
What’s more, international SEO copy needs to speak to people in different target markets in such an accurate and
emotionally appealing way that the web copy inspires them to order, book or buy. The reaction you want to elicit from
a visitor is called conversion. The conversion rate defines the percentage of visitors who take the intended action.
Good international SEO text achieves high visibility in search engines (i.e. is easy to find) and generates high conversion rates.
Given the strong performance that SEO-optimised international websites and online shops enjoy, content marketing
is also becoming increasingly important for the success of international companies. Content marketing refers to text, videos,
photos and podcasts that are specifically produced to gain a good position within search engines and to attract prospective
customers to a provider in the early stages of the customer journey.
Why use SEO translations for SEO content?
If you want your websites, online shops, landing pages, products and/or services to be found by international search engines
such as Google, Yandex and Baidu, Bing, Seznam and Yahoo, then your online copy needs to comply with SEO rules.
Among other things, this involves identifying the right keywords and using them correctly.
Your potential customers will only find your website via search engines if your website is optimised to match the search
terms they use the most.
Now, many people make the mistake of having their SEO content translated by people who know nothing about SEO.
This often results in translated search terms that are – quite frankly – wrong.
Why is that? Depending on their cultural background, each person searches for a product or service using completely
different terms. Professional SEO translators, however, always take this aspect into account. Search engine optimisers
who are experienced in the target market will align your keyword list, making sure that the "translated" keywords
exactly match the original search intent. They also take into account various search frequencies in other target markets.
Engaging the services of an international SEO: What will it mean for you?
Using international SEOs in the translation process will save you an enormous amount of time. The alternative – which
is also available on the market – is for you to receive 3 translations for each search term and then check the relevance
to the target market yourself. This is an extremely time-consuming activity for most 4 to 5-digit keyword sets.
All the more so if you don't have access to expensive SEO tools to help you with this.
What to look out for in SEO translations?
Something many translators miss when translating websites or online shops is the meta text. This is hidden in the
source text, and if a translator doesn't know how crucial it is for SEO, they won't think to look for it.
Why is this important? The meta tag title defines which heading will appear in the search engine results pages
(also known as SERPs). If this headline is action-oriented, people are much more likely to click it.
The meta tag description, also displayed in the search results, provides a short summary of the web page's content.
This text can also be phrased in an action-oriented manner to increase the click-through rate.
Anyone not familiar with these two meta tags is wasting valuable SEO potential. Just one more reason to use a
professional SEO translation.
Another important factor is WDF*IDF. In simplified terms, this describes the word cloud that must accompany a
main keyword in order to achieve good search engine rankings. Here too, the requirements for different target
markets vary greatly.
What are the benefits of SEO translations?
Companies that expand abroad often start with low brand awareness in the new location/s. Basically, nobody
knows them there. And that’s a problem. A search engine optimised website or online shop provides an
elegant solution. The content is already available in full and only needs to be translated. By directly using
SEO translations at this stage, you can very quickly achieve high visibility in the relevant search engines,
such as Google. This makes SEO translations one of the most important factors for the internationalisation
of business models and companies. This is true regardless of whether you are active in the B2C sector or
want to acquire new B2B customers.
How is SEO content translated?
When SEO-optimised source text enters the multilingual translation process, our intercontact translation
country teams carefully research the keywords used, find new ones and sort out those which are irrelevant.
To do this, we work with translators who have a very good feel for the language, knowledge of cultural
idiosyncrasies and expertise in keyword tools and country-specific search engines (such as Seznam in
the Czech Republic).
Search engine optimisation can NOT be achieved using machine translation (for instance, using Google
Translate). That is because automated SEO translations can NOT strategically select, use and position
keywords, which leads to a significant loss of quality.
Keywords are crucial for international SEO
Search terms vary from one target market to another. Because of this, they can’t simply be translated,
but must be researched anew. At intercontact, we take an in-depth approach to SEO translation. In addition
to short-tail and money keywords, we also focus on long-tail keywords. These are compound search terms
or phrases which, although searched for less frequently, often yield far more accurate traffic.
Only when the entire keyword set is available in the foreign language do we start deciding which parts of the
existing text need to be rewritten in translation so that they match the new keywords.
What kind of SEO text do we translate?
At intercontact, we translate everything you need for your international Internet presence. This includes,
but is not limited to:
- SEO translation of complete websites, online shops, landing pages and blogs with metadata, taking the
unique content into account
- Product descriptions for international online shops
- Translation of Google Ads campaigns with regard to search terms and ad text
- Translation of online banners and other online advertising material
- Translation of social media content and creatives
Even domain names affect your ranking
Other countries – other preferences. The same is true for Google. In Germany, domains ending in .de and
.com rank particularly well. If you’re expanding to countries like France, you will need to consider getting a
domain with the ending .fr. While this consideration is good, the decision is not always simple.
On the one hand, genuine additional country domains, such as .fr, .ch, .co.uk and the like, will be given a
better Google display position in their respective countries. However, if the external links to these domains
are not particularly good, this can create a disadvantage.
In such cases, it may be better to use a well-linked .com domain as your basis. The country domains are
then set up as sub-directories of the main domain – mydomain.com/en/, mydomain.com/fr/ – and so on.
Which solution is best for you? We will be happy to advise you on this matter as part of your SEO translations.
SEO translations as a basis for international success
The bottom line: A good search engine ranking is the cornerstone of success for an international website.
International online growth and SEO translations belong together. Having copywriters, digital marketing
experts and translators work closely together will ensure that your SEO text is optimised and internationalised
in the best way possible.