Strategies For Approaching SEO Localization
In today's globalized world, businesses are increasingly focused on reaching international audiences through their online presence. One crucial aspect of expanding reach is SEO localization - tailoring your content to specific markets and languages to improve search engine rankings.
But how can you effectively approach SEO localization? In this blog post, we will discuss different strategies to strike the right balance between localization and scalability for your multilingual content strategy.
Table Of Contents:
Determining The Localization Strategy For Your Multilingual Content Strategy
When approaching SEO localization, it's essential to consider the goals of your content. Are you primarily focused on driving brand awareness, generating leads, or educating customers? This determination will influence the approach you take.
Have you done your market analysis? Are you aware of how mature the market is? These are all questions you must ask yourself before deciding which strategy is right for you.
One common dilemma is whether to develop a completely different strategy for each market or adapt a single strategy for different languages. While a tailored approach for each market can yield better results, it can also limit scalability. If you’re looking to expand globally fast while still maintaining quality, striking a balance between customization and scalability is key.
To guide your approach, it's helpful to consider the three pillars of content strategy: SEO, brand awareness, and customer education.
SEO and brand awareness can be easily achieved through localization. This means that if you localize your content well, your pages will rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) internationally; boosting your traffic, engagement, and brand awareness globally.
Meanwhile, customer education may vary depending on market maturity. If your services are already well-known in the market, simply localizing your existing English content should suffice. However, in cases where the market's understanding of your product's value is limited, you might need to craft a comprehensive content strategy from the ground up.
“If there isn't an awareness of your product and the associated pain points, how can we educate people on what their issues are - before they even know they have this issue? It’s really interesting because once the market develops — and it will because of globalization — you will own a lot of the conversation in that market. You will be a topical authority once search volume starts going up.“ says Bea Redondo, Senior Manager of Brand & Content at Sinch.
Creating Localized Content
To create impactful localized content, leveraging the expertise of a skilled multilingual team or partner working closely with freelancers is recommended. The in-house team should provide detailed briefs to the freelancers for content creation. Whether you hire in-house or outsource is entirely up to you and your business goals.
For example at Undertow, we assemble bespoke teams of selected freelancers, specific to your business needs, and train them as if they were your own in-house team. We also create tone of voice and localization guidelines for each market to ensure your brand is communicated consistently worldwide.
“You need to start your strategy by finding who is going to be your partner, who's going to own that, and who's going to be able to do that research for you if you don't speak the language.” says Bea Redondo, Senior Manager of Brand & Content at Sinch.
For instance, you can employ the knowledge of someone who is a native French speaker living in Germany to create a solid brief for content creation in the German language. This collaboration allows you to tap into local insights while maintaining quality control.
Furthermore, striking the right balance between locally created and English-first content depends on the different pillars of your content strategy. Evaluate which topics require a more hyper-localized approach, where you create content from scratch in the target language, and which can be effectively conveyed through the localization of content already created in English.
This brings us back to market research and maturity again. Once you’ve defined who you’re selling to and their pain points, you can build your strategy around that. Remember, the more mature the market, the less educational content you will need to implement. However, normally, the more mature the market the harder it is to penetrate it. So it really is about balance and how much you’re willing to invest to be at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in your desired language.
“Sometimes we need to consider, do I need to localize this keyword? And then you obviously don't want to have good quality local content that is half English, half target language. But you need to decide, what strategies can I use to penetrate [the target market]?” asks Bea Redondo, Senior Manager, Brand & Content at Sinch.
Revamping Content For SEO Purposes
Revamping existing content plays a crucial role in your Multilingual Content Strategy. It involves improving the SEO rankings and competitiveness of your current content in local markets. Why write new content when you can save time and costs by simply repurposing and adapting content you’ve already created?
Revamps can be categorized into three groups:
Top-performing blog posts: Identify your highest-performing content and optimize it for target keywords, ensuring it remains relevant and up-to-date in your local market.
Content with low-hanging fruit: Analyze existing content that has the potential to rank higher in your desired target market (e.g. Germany) than in your source language (e.g. English). For example, you’ve found a keyword in German that has a high search volume but no one is ranking for it. This is your chance to translate and adapt some of the original content from English into German, utilizing the new keywords. You may actually rank higher in German than in English using the same content - just adapted and localized.
Failures: Address content that didn't rank well or is experiencing a decline in organic traffic. If it fails in your source language, it’s possible it may fail in target languages too. Or it’s possible it has the opposite effect. You won’t know until you try. However, you’d be better off improving it in your source language before adapting it to other languages. At the end of the day, you will need to decide whether it’s worth spending valuable time modifying and improving the performance of your English content before translating it into other languages. Especially if it’s currently not performing well. This whole process is quite time-consuming, and when compared to optimizing your top-performing content, and the content with low-hanging fruit, your time would be better spent working on those content types before revitalizing your failing content. (Especially as there’s no guarantee you’ll get a return on your investment.)
To effectively revamp your content, you need someone with a deep understanding of your company's strategic SEO approach and the target market. They should be well-versed in identifying potential keywords, analyzing search intent, and making the necessary changes to boost rankings. But that’s not all.
SEO is an ongoing strategy that adapts and changes. It requires constant attention and reiteration to ensure the best results.
Your specialists should continue monitoring the ever-evolving search intent of your target markets, adapt the SEO strategy accordingly, and ensure your content remains relevant and competitive in international markets.
Link Building In International Markets
Link building is vital to improving your website's authority and rankings, but it can be challenging in international markets. However, quality content is key to attracting valuable backlinks naturally, and there are other general SEO backlink strategies you can implement.
Focus on creating content that offers unique and valuable data, such as benchmark research. I.e. Content that has a higher likelihood of generating backlinks naturally, as it provides valuable insights to other industry players.
You can also explore internal databases and reach out to local databases for localized data points that can be used for backlinking strategies and outreach. This process ensures you have access to relevant and localized information that can attract backlinks.
We recommend you do a competitive backlink analysis to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. You can build a strategy inspired by the results.
For example, is there a local blogger with a high domain authority who writes reviews on products like yours? Have they already written reviews on your competitors’ products? Can you reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to write a review for your product as well?
For link-building efforts, consider partnering with agencies or local partners who have knowledge and connections in the target market. Collaborating with local brands, influencers, or companies for co-marketing and quote-sharing opportunities can create mutually beneficial backlinking opportunities.
“You need to partner with someone who can do very strong keyword localization. This can be an SEO expert in the region, or it can be a local SEO agency, or a localization agency that specializes in SEO. But they need to be able to tell you this is not called this way in this language.” says Bea Redondo, Senior Manager, Brand & Content at Sinch.
At Undertow, we’re a boutique localization agency specializing in multilingual marketing and SEO, fortified by cutting-edge technology. We are here to support you as you embark on your localization journey.
What makes us unique? Our "Human Factor" - you’ll never just be a number to us.
We prioritize speaking a language you understand, and we’re all about solving problems, not creating them. We pride ourselves on being approachable and easy to work with. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Guest Posting And Reusing Content
Another effective way to target specific markets is through guest posting. That means both writing for local companies, or local writers producing content for you. By adapting or repurposing content in different languages, you can engage with local audiences, attract new readers, and strengthen your online presence.
Both options can be effective marketing strategies for all parties involved.
Typically, when you share articles on social media, they are exposed to a larger audience, resulting in higher engagement rates.
However, strategic execution is crucial. Avoid resorting to link swapping and focus on offering unique perspectives and valuable insights in your guest posts. By providing fresh and original content, you increase the likelihood of capturing the interest of publications and readers alike.
Successful SEO Localization Requires A Thoughtful And Strategic Approach
In our experience, finding the right balance between localization and scalability is a constant challenge but one that can be overcome with careful planning and collaboration.
By considering the goals of your content, and creating localized content with the help of skilled writers, revamping content for SEO purposes, implementing effective link-building strategies, and utilizing guest posting opportunities, you can reach international audiences and expand your business horizons exponentially.
Remember, staying connected to evolving search intent and adapting your content accordingly is crucial. SEO localization is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and optimization. With the right strategies in place, your business will thrive on a global scale.
Embrace The Power Of SEO Localization And Unlock The Vast Potential of International Markets With Undertow
You can have the best product in the world, but it’s useless if nobody knows about it. Increase engagement and conversion rates through SEO localization and be seen at the top of SERPs worldwide with Undertow.
SEO Localization Services We Offer:
Multilingual SEO Website Audit
Multilingual Website Localization
At Undertow, we are your allies when it comes to all things language, localization, and digital marketing within the SaaS industry. We prioritize your brand identity and pride ourselves on being approachable and easy to work with. You will never just be a number to us.
If you’re looking for a flexible, cost-effective, Localization Partner that turns visitors into customers. Get in touch with us.