Keyword translation is a crucial part of any multilingual SEO strategy. Yet, it is often overlooked by companies when translating their websites and is misunderstood by many more.
This is a big problem for eCommerce brands looking to maximise visibility in foreign language markets. Without the right keyword strategy, your target audience may never see your product, cutting off the supply of customers at the source.
So let’s clear up any confusion about keyword translation and explain how it can be used to maximise visibility.
Keyword translation involves language experts performing keyword research in each of your target languages. This is an integral part of website translation and multilingual SEO. If you simply translate your web content without confirming your target keywords, your pages won’t include the phrases you need so that you can optimise.
Let’s say one of your target keywords in English is “web design software”. If you were translating this into Spanish, you might translate this into “software de diseño web” when in fact, your Spanish-speaking target audience is actually searching for “herramientas de desarrollo web” (“web development tools”).
In more extreme cases, your target audience in another language market may have completely different priorities. For example, your biggest keyword opportunity in the UK might be something like “tips for starting a new online business” while the top keyword in Germany is more along the lines of “how to do e-mail marketing and adhere to GDPR”.
Keyword research is not taking a list of keywords and translating each phrase, word-for-word. This won’t produce the keywords your target audience is actually using so you’ll be optimising and ranking for the wrong phrases.
You need to know what each target audience is searching for.
Simply put, if you are optimising for the wrong keywords, your target audience isn’t going to see your product at all. Keyword translation isn’t only about making sure you have the right list of keywords, it makes sure that you are prioritising the most important keywords in each language market.
For example, in some markets “best 4K TV with Netflix” could be a big opportunity while other markets don’t show the same interest in streaming apps at all. You want to know the priorities of each target audience so you can target the most important keywords and optimise your content accordingly.
In markets where people want Netflix on their TV, you’ll want to include this keyword (or close equivalents) in product descriptions and headings. You may also create blog posts around this keyword, comparing different TVs that all come with the Netflix app pre-installed.
For markets that don’t show the same interest, you’ll want to include other keywords in your product descriptions and headings. You may also need to not publish blog posts on the same topic at all. Instead, your strategy can focus on the features that generate traffic and convince consumers to buy.
We can talk about building visibility with keyword translation, but this is only one aspect of the strategy. You also need your products to be seen by the right people – in other words, the people most interested in buying your products.
Customer profiles can vary greatly between different countries, so you are necessarily targeting the same demographic everywhere.
For example, Nike running shoes are generally bought by younger people in the UK, but this isn’t the case everywhere. In parts of Asia, the sports brand is also popular with older generations who often associate the brand with a healthy lifestyle and longevity.
It is important to not overlook valuable audiences in foreign markets. Therefore, you have to know exactly who it is that is interested in your products and which search terms they are using online to find items and products like yours across different search engines.
If your keyword translation strategy isn’t taking advantage of every opportunity, now is the time to act. Get in touch with us by filling out the form on our contact page and our SEO and keyword translation specialists can put a plan in place to help you build visibility where you need it the most.