Unlike in the past, when the competition between small and large companies was unequal, today, everybody can have a slice of the market, if they think it carefully. In the age of technology and unlimited Internet access, size is just a number that can be corrected. Everybody can be today a key market player in their niche. And SEO is here to help.
When people search for products or services online, they usually search for solutions near them. To boost your online presence and make your business pop up in the top search engine results, SEO is a witty trick you can use. But you know what can boost your SEO strategy beyond limits? A solid localization strategy. Localization strategies help you cross borders when used correctly. They help businesses be part of the bigger game, competing right next to the big boys in the niche.
Localized search engine strategies require for a tad more efforts to work, but they do, when approached with care and attention to details. For SEO experts who want to help their clients grow their local presence, we have a small guide below.
#1. Aim for Locally Relevant Content
All over the world, users want a single thing when they search for info online. To find relevant data and content in their native language. This doesn’t mean the language you translate your content to should be the official language of the state you want to expand in. This means you have to do in-depth research and see what languages are preponderantly spoken in the countries where you want to localize your business.
Translate your website content only in those languages that align with your business goals. Localizing your content starts from understanding the preferences and behavior of your target audience. Things to consider when assessing your foreign target audience.
● The local culture;
● Local search engines (Baidu in China and DuckDuckGo in Sweden).
To make your content more relevant locally, avoid spammy placement of the location all over the webpage. For instance, instead of repeating several times “luxury realtors New York” try to include other location coordinates in your copies, like the neighborhood (or synonyms for it) or street where your business is located.
#2. Target Local Keywords and Improve International SEO
Localized content is heavily based on targeted, relevant keywords for the local language and audience. Search engines update their algorithms frequently. Today, they are able to understand the content and its meaning at a whole new level, unlike in the past. Because they are heavily reliant on AI, you have to find accurate keywords that are relevant locally.
Although currently, the content per se is the most important part of a seamless SEO campaign, keywords are an equally important element of these campaigns.
But here is where it gets tricky. Keywords differ from country to country, sometimes from city to city. For instance, the British search for letting agents while Americans for rental agents. In non-English countries, it’s hard to determine what keywords people use to get their results.
This is why you want to collaborate with a team of knowledgeable SEO experts, for each new region where you want to localize your business. Just translating with Google Translate from English to your language of choice won’t do the trick.
#3. Keep Your Content Relevant and Articulate
A tip for better content optimization for localization purposes would be to collaborate with a team of professional translators. People don’t speak like AI and dictionaries. Nobody expects them to. If you just translate your content (correctly!), you miss plenty of growth opportunities and big chunks of your target audience.
Check out what Mateo Johannsson, a translation team leader at PickWriters says about translating web content for localization:
“We had clients wondering why their translated pages weren’t getting the expected traffic. Then we saw they simply Google Translated the content AND keywords. Italians don’t look for ‘voli a basso costo’ (the dictionary translation for low-cost flights), but for ‘voli low-cost.’ This is where the business failed to adapt their content to the local market.”
Plus, this is the part where the role of a human pro translator becomes even more important. Voice search is becoming more popular by the day. The spoken language is also becoming more important when trying to boost SEO and target a larger customer base.
Once the translation team tackles the content translation part, ask them to help to optimize it for the relevant local keywords. They will also have to help you with meta descriptions and titles. Formulating articulated, relevant phrases for these will help you improve local SEO.
#4. Optimize Localized Landing Pages
Once you ensure your content is not written in AI words and tone, you have to improve conversion rates. The bottom line in optimizing localized landing pages is making the content on the pages you hope to generate leads as simple to understand as possible. Then, comes the fun part.
● Adapt your pricing to the local currency. It’s not enough to simply make the conversion to the local currency. You have to think of the socio-economic status of the audience in the new location. Products that may be affordable in your country of origin may be incredibly expensive for consumers in other locations. Also, pay attention to the competition when adjusting your prices. If you enter the market with higher prices than local players, you’re unlikely to make a dime.
● Make people want to subscribe. Your subscription landing page should also be optimized for your local audience. This will help them be up to date with the latest news and trends set by your business.
● Offer sale codes and discounts during important local holidays. This means you’ll have to be up to date with the local holiday and customs, but this will improve your market positioning and will help you develop a better relationship with the local audience.
● Allow them to set the language of preference and have your website remember it, once visitors land the website.
#5. Pay Attention to Local Customs and Culture
By paying attention to these variables, you will ensure you boost brand loyalty locally. This will not only bring your brand closer to the locals, but it will also offer them a feeling of support and respect for their culture, from your company’s part. This is a very effective branding strategy adopted by Fortune 500 companies.
Make sure your social media content also aligns with the local customs and culture, the local holidays, and so on. Acknowledge the local celebrations when necessary, and try to use the local language in your content as much as possible.
You will become more reliable and respectable as a brand in a matter of seconds.
#6. Offer Clear Info on Shipping and Payment Procedures
Once you start shipping your products in foreign locations, you have to offer your clients and website visitors pertinent information on the shipping and payment procedures. This is what your pages should include, to make their experience better, and your localization efforts, worth it.
● Delivery time and costs.
● Different currency options.
● Reliable payment tools like Pay Pal or Venmo.
● Shipment customization options.
● Relevant details if the shipment costs or procedures depends on weight. Adapt pounds to kilograms, if necessary.
When you’re unable to translate the entire website, ensure you translate at least those key-pages, where all relevant information is present. If you don’t translate pages like Contact Info, landing pages that contain shipment and payment information, your customers won’t be comfortable to place orders on websites where they can’t understand a thing.
In the digital age, borders have become thinner and thinner. With the right localization strategy, you can help your brand compete with huge names in the niche, in areas of the world you wouldn’t have dreamt of previously. However, for the best results, add a little SEO in the mix.
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