I had the pleasure of presenting a Master Class on International Search Engine Optimization (ISEO) at last year’s GALA conference in New Year and was pleasantly surprised by how much interest this 90-minute session generated.
The room was completely full and I even saw some folks standing in the back of the room. The session sparked great conversations with many of the attendees and nearly a year later I still get calls from attendees who are now interested in starting to offer ISEO as part of their website localization services.
Half-day Pre-Conference ISEO Workshop: March 26, 2017 at GALA Amsterdam
There’s so much to ISEO and educating your website localization clients about the importance of ISEO and offering these services for them is an amazing opportunity to expand your business and better support your clients.
As part of GALA Amsterdam, I’ll be hosting a pre-conference half-day ISEO workshop on Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm local time. To learn more about this workshop and to register, please check out pricing and details at this webpage.
The following basic principles will give you a taste of what to expect during the workshop. I hope to see you there!
ISEO = Up-sell Opportunity to New and Existing Customers
Multilingual and international search engine optimization presents an amazing up-sell opportunity to language service providers and adds tremendous value to their customers. Just localizing a website isn’t quite enough for potential buyers of products or services to be able to find it through a search engine because it’s competing with hundreds if not thousands of other websites that already exist. So if customers can’t find a website on Google, is there value in spending money to localize it? You’d be amazed at how many businesses do this though. They’ll spend thousands of dollars and often use multiple resources on a search engine optimization (SEO) plan to help customers find their English businesses online. Yet they don’t do little, or anything at all in terms of SEO, with the localized websites, either because they don’t know how to do it or they don’t understand the value in it.
Here’s where you, as a language service provider, come in. You can help your clients’ customers find the localized websites, just as clients are doing for their English websites. You can connect the dots by doing ISEO for your clients. It’s a similar process to SEO but with a few distinct differences, which I’ll discuss briefly below and in detail during my pre-conference workshop at GALA Amsterdam. Since many clients may not know about this process, you can educate them about it, which will allow your company to expand your offerings and value to your clients.
The Five Pillars of an SEO Strategy
To begin, let’s briefly look at the main components of a SEO strategy. I believe that you need to implement and commit to five main parts, which I’ve summarized into what I call the five pillars of SEO:
- Technical health of a website
- Functionality of a website
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Social media marketing
The first two pillars are focused on website details and the last three are associated with content marketing, which essentially is the foundation of these pillars. There is no SEO without a high-quality content marketing strategy. If you have some technical or functional issues with your website, it may not matter how nice your website is or how great your content is because these issues could be preventing you from ranking higher or ranking at all on Google and other search engines. As a starting point, I invite you to use our free SEO website audit tool to get an 8-10 page report as a PDF within less than one minute. During my workshop, we’ll discuss how to do a website audit in more detail.
The three content marketing pillars are intertwined. If you establish a good content marketing machine, you eventually will attract more customers to your website since search engine algorithms will view you more favorably for a variety of reasons. Multilingual content marketing is just as important for reaching global customers and I’ll cover this in my workshop.
The Foundation of SEO and Content Marketing: Keyword Research
Using the right SEO keywords, which are words and phrases that customers use to search for things online, to produce and promote high-quality content, is the heart of content marketing. You can’t make assumptions about what the keywords are or you may miss the boat completely. Fortunately, by doing a little research using some free tools like Google Keyword Planner or SERPS, you can find the true keywords. This is such an important part of SEO that during my workshop, we’ll walk through how to do keyword research using real examples. You’ll also get access to our project and quoting templates that I’ve created and I’ll share tools you can use to report metrics to your clients.
Transcreating, Not Just Translating, Keywords
Once you have English keywords, you can’t just translate them word for word and move on. Here’s where you, as an LSP, come in. You have to transcreate the words, which involves doing keyword research in the target languages by professional, native-speaking linguists who are trained in the art of SEO.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say your client has the keyword “cell phone” and wants to target Germany and Switzerland. Using Google’s free Global Market Finder tool, you can see that “handy” is a common term for “cell phone” in Germany.
Now using Google’s Keyword Planner tool to check for related terms, most people in Germany use the term “handy” for “cell phone” while a small percentage of people use “natel.” So “handy” is definitely a term you’d want to use.
When we research Switzerland, however, it’s a much closer split in the German-speaking area of Switzerland between “handy” and “natel.”
In this case, you’d definitely want to use both “handy” and “natel” throughout your multilingual SEO strategy. If you didn’t follow the transcreation process and just used “natel” based on translating the word, your client wouldn’t know to also use “natel” and would be missing out on part of the market. You can help your clients get the multilingual keywords right from the beginning, which is just as important as getting the English keywords right.
About the Author
Hi- My name is Chris Raulf and I’m the founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, an SEO training and consulting agency located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. My team and I assists local, national as well as international clients with all of their digital marketing needs. My international background makes me one of the few professionals in the industry who truly live and breath international and multilingual search engine optimization on a daily basis. Our company was recently named a “Top 30 SEO Agency Worldwide” and I invite you to learn more about Boulder SEO Marketing and myself by following me on Twitter and by connecting with me on LinkedIn.
[PS: I initially authored this article for the GALA (Globalization & Localization Association) website.]