Multilingual Keyword Research
The keywords you’re using in your home market are a good starting point for your Multilingual SEO journey, but simply translating them might not get the results you want. There are often several ways to translate those keywords, so a robust multilingual keyword research process is essential to success.
What do people actually search for?
Consider the example of mobile phone.
The most obvious translation may not be the most suitable one as it needs to match what your potential customers are actually searching for. Keyword research is the answer.
In the case of the German speaking markets, Mobiltelefon is a completely correct and valid translation but Germans would be more likely to search for Handy or Smartphone. People in Switzerland, however, may rather search Natel, and if you are targeting the Spanish speaking markets you will need to distinguish between móvil for Spain and celular for Latin America.
Keyword research should take competition into account
If you’re selling bluetooth speakers, you need a smart SEO strategy because the competition for this keyword is intense – and you probably already know this!
The same principle applies to your localised keywords. If you have chosen to opt for a lower volume keyword in your home market in order to achieve a higher ranking, the same strategy may well be appropriate for your target market.
In a nutshell, you always need to strike a balance between search volume and keyword difficulty. The keyword research process helps you get this right.
Long-tail keywords are powerful
While it’s tricky ranking for more than one keyword on a single page, your long-tail keywords add context to your content and make it more likely Google will give your page a prominent ranking.
Multilingual keyword research needs to identify these long-tail keywords and associate them with your main keywords – a concept known as keyword clusters.
Demographics is important in keyword research
Never forget that you’re trying to reach real people in each target market, and an 18 year old may not use the same search term as a 40 year old.
The same thing may apply to regional dialects. If you think you need to address multiple audiences in one country, consider creating content which targets the specific keyword which is relevant to each group. The keyword research process will help you understand your various audiences in each country.
Are all your products relevant in every market?
Finally, you may find that some search terms which get a high volume in your home market just aren’t relevant in your target market.
If you’re a sportswear brand, for instance, no amount of keyword research is going to find a good search volume for your baseball kits in much of Europe.
That’s a signal that it’s probably not worth spending precious budget translating this content for these markets.