Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of SEO and how crucial it is in helping websites rank higher in the search engines. As businesses are expanding beyond borders and start catering to multilingual audiences, SEO localization is the natural step in ensuring content is persuasive and it helps businesses grow in a global market.
What is SEO localization?
In short, SEO localization is the process of increasing the traffic to a website with organic search results in the right target language. Localized SEO (search engine optimization) helps marketers increase their traffic in different areas of the world.
It involves making changes to the website’s structure, design, and content to ensure that it is relevant and appealing to a particular audience. This process goes beyond translation, as it takes cultural and regional nuances into account to make the content more appealing to the target audience.
Why is SEO Localization Important?
SEO localization is essential for businesses that want to expand their reach in global markets. It helps them to communicate effectively with customers who speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds. By optimizing their website for different regions, businesses can increase their visibility, reach new audiences, and ultimately drive more traffic and sales.
A collaborative work environment between the marketer and translator plays an essential role here: edit and revision of terms is mandatory in order to be adapted to both regional subtleties and SEO optimizations.
A 1:1 glossary will simply not work as it is not enough to translate, but also adapt, as the new keywords and phrases need to naturally and fluently work in the new text.
How to localize content for SEO?
Localized content goes beyond translation and includes regional and cultural nuances that make the content more relevant to the target audience. This includes using local dialects, idioms, and expressions that resonate with the audience. It also involves considering cultural differences and adapting the content to be culturally appropriate.
Optimize Website Structure
The website’s structure should be optimized for local search engines, and the language and region should be indicated in the URL structure, meta tags, and headers. This helps search engines understand the website’s target audience, making it easier for them to serve the website to the right users.
For on-page optimizations, add hreflang tags / attributes that will tell the search engines in what language the pages are written in.
Localize Images and Videos
Images and videos play a crucial role in engaging visitors and conveying the message. They should be localized to suit the target audience, including using local images, actors, and settings. Captions and subtitles should also be translated and localized to match the language and cultural nuances.
Test and Measure
Testing and measuring the performance of the localized website is crucial to ensure that it is reaching the target audience effectively. This involves using analytics tools to track user behavior, engagement, and conversion rates. Businesses can then use this data to fine-tune their SEO localization strategy and improve their website’s performance.
SEO localization best practices should also include linking to local content and considering search engine differences. For example, if you want to target audiences in China, Russia, or South Korea, you may need to tailor your SEO strategy to meet the requirements of Baidu, Yandex, or Naver in addition to Google.
In conclusion, SEO localization is essential when your business goes international. You cannot overlook it or completely ignore it, as it may be the key to your website success into a new market.
You also cannot haphazardly choose someone to just translate your content. You need specialized linguists that have the experience of localizing content the right way in the targeted language.