The Importance of Using Keyword Research for International Growth

welocalize February 19, 2020

Keyword research has been an integral part of SEO practices since the very beginning of the internet. With Google’s algorithm constantly developing and businesses getting smarter on how to beat one another to the top spot, what can global brands do to ensure business is found by the right users across global markets?

Live Stats reports that in 2019 an average of 5.5 billion Google searches were done per day and currently holds a staggering 81.5% share in the global search market. With a good understanding of SEO, keyword research, and how to localize keywords for global markets, businesses can get results at a global level to drive positive outcomes and get their pages in top ranking positions.

How Can You Reach Global Customers with Keyword Research?

When it comes to international growth, keyword research is not a one-size fits all. Marketers and localization and UX teams need to look at the specific nuances and interests of the intended audience. Here are some top tips on how to crack international SEO:

TIP ONE: Localization

When conducting multilingual keyword research, start from scratch with an expert in the language. It is well known that simply translating English-language keywords into another market’s language will not produce top quality results. Click To Tweet

By conducting new keyword research into local markets, brands can identify trends and insights into how language is used in that market. It will also guarantee the correct terms are used for digital content and campaigns.

For example, in French “sucette” can be translated into pacifier or lollipop. Businesses who sell either products will need to have language experts who understand this difference when conducting keyword research. If not, a site selling childcare products or confectionery could be attracting the wrong type of customer!

Localization also means understanding the cultural differences in a language. A business that sells Christmas trees in Germany will use different keywords than a business in Austria. Think transcreation and not just translation. Consider cultural and local habits and get into the mindset of the local audience and how they carry out search. Don’t just translate from source to target language.

Consider the type of customer you are targeting when conducting #multilingual keyword research. Understand the “why” behind each search query to select the right keywords. Click To Tweet

TIP TWO: Quality Over Quantity

Make sure you have a good balance of keywords that will ultimately help your page rankings, rather than having tons of irrelevant keywords that don’t help. Quality is valued by Google and impacts overall ranking.

TIP THREE: Measure Success

Brands want to see how their pages rank compared with competitors. Tools such as Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Ahrefs can help see what keywords you and your competitors are ranking for. Identify keywords your competitors may be ranking that you could add to your list.

Featured Snippets – what keywords are getting featured snippets? Your competitors may be using keywords that win them answer boxes, which brings their page to the top position and makes relevant content visible right at the top of the organic SERPS.

TIP FOUR: Right Place, Right Time

Consider seasonal changes and fluctuations in interests within the target audiences. You wouldn’t see content about European winter holidays published in May… Spikes of interest will vary between local markets.

For blog content in product driven industries, take into consideration any major holidays in the market, for example, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. This can give opportunity to write blog content and advertise at the right time. This will also let you tailor keywords to culturally specific holidays that your competitors might be missing.
Understand your customers and their online journey. Keep up to date with online trends using Google Trends. This will help you identify when you need to push certain content.

TIP FIVE: Incorporate Keyword Research into Other Marketing Channels

After selecting the right keywords and writing the content, it’s time to share across platforms. Keyword research efforts can continue to work to your advantage as you promote your content across social media, email, and even in PPC campaigns.

Utilize keywords from your local research to boost your page rankings. Cognitive SEO reports that a website with a higher search result will have more of a social presence. The effort put into choosing the best keywords to benefit your page rankings will lead to positive social media results.

TIP SIX: Accuracy + Precision

Many industries require precision and accuracy in the terminology that can be used as keywords. This is especially true across highly regulated areas such as the pharmaceutical and legal industries. One incorrect term could spell disaster.

For a law firm setting up a website – use jargon that legal and IP professionals would be searching for. According to Arie Blokland, Senior European Patent Attorney and Partner at AOMB Intellectual Property, “Words are the most important thing in patents. Patent attorneys are always keen on words. However, these words have different meanings in different languages. You have to describe technical words in a legal document—you must use words that both the judge and the patent examiner understands.” Be deliberate in the keywords you are choosing.

TIP SEVEN: User Behavior is Constantly Changing

The way users are searching in different markets is developing all the time. By the end of 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based and 30% will be conducted using a device without a screen. Keep moving forward. Certain pieces of content can be updated to increase performance and get them in the top rankings.

TIP EIGHT: Use SEO experts

Digital and SEO experts see the benefits of regularly conducting keyword research and can help brands with international SEO as part of their overall global marketing strategy. A client might have a good list of generic keywords, but they can add to their list by considering keyword descriptors. The highly competitive online travel and hospitality industry is a great example of this. If you are currently ranking for “Italian food delivery,” consider adding keywords such as “best Italian food delivery,” “nearby Italian food delivery,” and city specific “Italian food delivery” to keyword lists.

International keyword research strategies can strengthen the overall digital marketing and translation strategy and attract customers across the globe. If you would like more information on optimizing your global SEO, connect with us

Further Reading:

Conductor + Welocalize: Reach Global Audiences Smarter and Faster

Welocalize Acquires SearchStar to Expand Search Marketing Capabilities

Game Changers in Global App Store Optimization

Understanding Digital Transcreation