At Dialogue, we have had the privilege of partnering with Liam Saunders, Managing Director at VIP IT, to bring you this blog on SEO localisation. We asked Liam some questions about the importance of SEO localisation and, being an expert in all things SEO, he has kindly put together the following answers for you! VIP IT is a digital marketing agency that, amongst other things, specialises in helping non-UK based companies effectively target the UK market using SEO localisation. At Dialogue, we also offer SEO localisation as one of our services, especially localisation from English into other foreign languages. So, sit back and enjoy this exclusive interview about how SEO localisation should be part of your SEO strategy and can not only benefit your business, but bring the return on investment you’ve been looking for. We hope you find it informative!
How important is it to have a website localised to your target market?
Localising your website to best suit your target market is an essential task to gain visibility and trust within a new target market. While it may be tempting for businesses to bypass the localisation process and simply translate existing content from one language to another, this will negatively impact your online visibility and make attaining higher keyword rankings a greater challenge. For businesses that are expanding into new countries or regions, website localisation should be as much of a priority as online advertising or their wider SEO strategy. We have seen the significant difference that website localisation can make with one of our international clients, who we helped localise their content into English as part of their wider digital marketing strategy.
What are the benefits of SEO localisation?
SEO localisation has many significant benefits for international businesses that are expanding into new markets.
Firstly, the process will involve identifying the correct search terms/keywords for a given country, which in turn helps to increase your online visibility and steer your overall SEO strategy. Secondly, understanding the search habits within each country helps you to target the most suitable keywords and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors. Thirdly, search engines including Google have a strong preference for original, unique content. By adapting your content during the localisation process, you create unique content for every language version of your website, which will appeal to search engines and help you rank for your identified target keywords. Finally, localised content that is specific to and takes account of the culture and traditions associated with a country and its language/languages will generate a stronger response from your target audience and they will appreciate that the content has been tailored to suit them. Generating a strong response will positively impact the engagement metrics recorded by Google’s algorithm leading to improved keyword rankings, a higher number of enquiries/sales and a great return on investment (ROI) for your SEO campaign.
What are the dangers of not having a website optimised for your target consumer?
Optimising your website for your target customer is critical, whether your company operates within the B2C or B2B space. Intelligently investing your marketing resources in search engine optimisation has the potential to generate excellent results that are sustainable in the long-term.
The most significant danger of not optimising your content is that you will fail to increase your online visibility and reach potential customers. If your website cannot be found by your target customers who are searching for appropriate keywords, you are going to lose business to your competitors. Lost enquiries and sales opportunities are costly and will negatively affect your business’s growth prospects.
Secondly, a poorly optimised website can be almost as harmful as a non-optimised website. In this case, if you are targeting the wrong keywords or preparing unsuitable content then you may attract the wrong type of customer for your business. This results in a high bounce rate, wasted marketing budget and a whole host of issues for your business development and sales.
How does SEO localisation help with handling cultural barriers and miscommunication?
The SEO localisation process involves identifying relevant keywords for a target country and creating unique optimised content that is suitable for the identified keywords. As part of this process, search trends are identified for the target audience within the specific country. Harnessing these trends can help to overcome cultural barriers and avoid miscommunication as the search trends will consider the culture in the target country. It is particularly important to draw on the expertise and experience of a native or proficient linguist during the process. They will be best placed to advise on the culture within a given country and highlight specific risks of miscommunication within your SEO campaign.
When's the right time for companies to invest in SEO localisation?
Determining the right time to invest in SEO localisation can be a challenge, as it will vary depending on the resources that each company has available and the new country/market that they are seeking to enter. Ideally, a company that is looking to achieve growth and gain significant traction in a new market, should invest in SEO localisation from the beginning. This will help them to develop a stronger understanding of the market that they are entering and tailor their SEO strategy to best suit the individual characteristics and trends within their target country.
The key benefit of starting the localisation process early is that it provides your company with the best chance of boosting its online visibility and appealing to its target market. Adopting SEO localisation at a later stage has significant cost and wider SEO implications as changes will need to be made to content that has already been indexed by Google. This can increase the timeframe required to deliver SEO results as the localised content will then need to be re-indexed and if URL/link changes are required to accommodate keywords, these pages will be treated as new pages by search engines.
If you are unsure as to the best time to invest in SEO localisation, it is always worth seeking advice from a digital marketing agency with experience in SEO localisation. At VIP IT, we have expertise in helping non-UK based companies effectively target the UK market. Why not book a free consultation to find out if we could help your business?
Does SEO localisation preserve the design and layout of a company's website assets?
In most cases, SEO localisation will preserve the design and layout of a company’s website across different languages. However, in some cases – particularly when significantly different assets including images and graphics are required to support localisation changes – it may be necessary to alter the design and layout of a website to accommodate these. If your company is set to offer different products/services for a specific country/region, the potential for design and layout changes will be far greater than if you are using an identical or very similar product/service line up.