International SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can easily identify which countries you want to target and which languages you use for business. Knowing the target audience in which your site attracts most of its traffic will help create a better experience for all of your international users.
SEO may seem like a total foreign concept, but you may be more familiar with it then you know. Think of this as geo-targeting. Geo-targeting is the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to a website user based on their location. This is used to target local customers through paid search campaigns.
You should always be sure to:
Multilingual Keyword Search
Translating the same key words in each language will not benefit you since some terms being translated are not as commonly used in one area of the world are in another area. Using the proper terms makes the subject flow more smoothly, which would increase your chances of appearing in many more searches.
Local Market Design
Mobile devices are the most commonly used way to visit sites, especially in countries like Japan and USA. Keep in mind colors play a large roll and can mean different things in different cultures. Always do research before finalizing the design.
Localizing content will play as large of a role as translation when it comes to international success. Cultural differences should always be taken into consideration and go far beyond language translation. Things like date format change from country to country even if the language is the same. Take the US and the UK for example (UK: dd.mm.yy US: mm.dd.yy) – and words like soccer and football – even though the countries speak the same language there are differences that need to be taken into consideration.
Investing in human translation is one of the best things you can do to improve your international SEO. If you are trying to reach a larger audience, they should at least be able to read the content. Having things like your blog posts, newsletters and images are also important. Also, having your title and description translated is especially important.
Why a human translator?
Because even the best app and machine translation will not translate the proper way for the target audience will have a full understanding. Machine translations are confusing and usually result in a bigger mess to sort through.
To have success in International SEO focus on a strategy that makes the most sense. Focus on search engines and your target audience. Don’t risk it to save the money, make sure you are getting what you and your readers will benefit most from with a clear understanding. And remember Google rewards sites with accurate translations and engaging material.