Be a Global SEO Expert
With so many people surfing the web nowadays, and so many websites, Internet can seem like a crowded place, at least in English. However, recent studies have showed that less than half of the web population is English-speaking. Any marketing or SEO expert should realize that there is a vast horizon that extends beyond the English language. Exploring multilingual options is the becoming the key to rank higher in the search engine results. With the expansion of Internet around the world, the web is increasingly turning multilingual. It is expected that Chinese will soon overtake English, and according to statistics, the use of Arabic has increased more than English use.
However, people still believe that English is the way of targeting a larger audience. 56% of web content is in English, but studies have revealed that only 25% of web users speaks English as their mother tongue. An SEO expert will find a wealth of untapped opportunities in this imbalance. They will find that pages written in languages other than English rank higher because there is less competition. By knowing how to take advantage of these new and emerging markets, search engine marketers can get a huge return.
A good reason to translate your website is that it is a proven fact that most consumers prefer to browse the web and buy things through sites in their own language. However, multilingual SEO is not only about translating your site. There is also a lot of local marketing research involved. There are SEO techniques that prove to be a success in one country, while they fail in others. For instance, Google is not the preferred search engine in all countries.
You should also take into consideration if you are targeting a country or a language. For example, most countries in Latin America speak Spanish, but there are huge differences in their culture and shopping habits. If you decide to target a language, you might get a larger audience, but your campaign might prove to be less effective. There are also the differences in dialects to consider. Things might not have the same meaning in different countries, even if the same language is spoken in all of them. Having a website targeting each country can be expensive, but it might give the local users a more authentic feel, inspiring confidence in them. You should also keep in mind that every country favours a different search engine, and that every search engine is based on different algorithms.
A good recommendation is to geotarget (gTLD) a domain name with Google Webmaster Tools. You can also target a specific country if you purchase a country code top-level domain (ccTLD). This is proven to be one of the best strategies. It is also wise to use a local server. You can also declare the language of a website, webpage or part of a webpage using the ‘lang’ tag of an html site. This is a way in which you can tell the search engines in which language your site is, and it is useful to display correctly the characters in other alphabets, like Greek, Russian or Chinese.
Content will always be important, no matter in which language you are writing in. It is always best to write the text in native tongue. Translation software will never give you the same result as a native speaker. Link building is also basic when targeting international audiences. A common tactic would be to target a specific IP location.
Finally, as an SEO expert you should realize that SEO in other languages works the same as in English. It is important that your site appeals to real human users, and is liked by the search engine spiders.
About the Author
Joseph is an SEO expert as well as website development. He shares his views and SEO tips on his blog and articles. As a hobby he loves collecting coins from all over the world.