Depending on what side of the force you see SEO in, be it the black, shiny, dark side of the black hats, or the gleaming, righteous side of the good guys you will see numerous answers to the question of multinational SEO. I have heard many a seasoned practitioner harp on about quick fix multinational SEO, employing horrific black hat methods like cloaking or in one case, writing a piece of content in English yet using keyphrase laden anchor text written in the target country’s native language. Content should be written to be read by people, not search engines. And if one more person tells me that “Yandex in Russia isn’t even worth the backlink”, I think I may kick him.
If like us you are safe in the knowledge that your site is not feeling the pinch of the Panda update and striding confidently towards setting up camp in a great spot in a competitive SERP, then listen up.
Being part of the TAAN group, Levy McCallum are in a unique position. Having information and skills from sister agencies from all over the world allows us to implement a Multinational SEO campaign in a much smaller time scale than UK based agencies. Relying on Google translate to hit you up with different versions of your English keyphrase is not the way to score highly in competitive SERPS and more importantly, you could be in the wrong SERP altogether.
Let me explain.
Verbatim translations may not produce the most common word or terms for a product, and certainly won’t account for regional colloquialisms. By ignoring this and placing your trust in translation programs you could be missing out on great amounts of relevant traffic simply due to using the formal and correct dialects.
Say for example you wish to export handcrafted kitchen sinks to Greece. Random I know but bear with me; a verbatim translation from the English “Kitchen Sink” will give you the phrase “Sink of the kitchen”, which will only produce a few hundred search results.
However we know from experience and research that the most commonly used term for a sink in Greece is a “Carron”, similar to the way we refer to a vacuum cleaner as a “Hoover”. This has a much higher search ratio and by overlooking the phrases and words that real, authentic speakers of the language use to find their services, you can end up competing in the wrong vertical and missing out on some great, high value traffic.
Remember, pages and content are meant to be read by humans, so why rely on pumping out poor quality and in-correct content when a native speaker of the language is on hand to make content even more evergreen and awesome.
Keyphrase research as we all know is vital cog in the process of any SEO campaign, and to get such an obvious misfire by relying on verbatim translations can lead to your site not getting the results it deserves and ultimately, you end up with egg on your face.