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SEO 15 min read May 23, 2023

Why SEO Localization Matters & How It Can Benefit Your Business?

Why SEO Localization Matters & How It Can Benefit Your Business?
Kateryna Hordiienko
Kateryna Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat

The search engine optimization environment is expected to keep up with its accelerating rates, especially given global business expansion. While there are numerous trends to follow, it would be a mistake to underestimate or completely neglect some crucial SEO standards. Statistics show 87% of customers would not buy from an English-only website. Localization is a great must-have basic. More than simply checking the definitions is required. It is advisable to delve deeper to uncover the actual business advantages.

Analogically to how Google and Bing modify their algorithms, professionals must constantly update their localized SEO strategies to get the desired results — from heading a competitive edge to maintaining their website's visibility. Let's explore the qualitative aspects of the localization market thanks to:

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter
Head of SEO, Wix
Debi Norton
Founder of BRAVO! Interactive Media
Olena Prokhoda
Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
J Turnbull
Freelance Marketing Consultant
Montse Cano
International SEO & Digital Strategy Expert
Kim Doughty
SEO Strategist & Account Manager
Jeannie Hill
Internet Marketing & SEO Specialist
Rahul Marthak
SEO & Content Marketing Manager
Damian Schmidt
SEO Consultation & Technical Optimization Expert

Our meetings at the #serpstat_chat community on Twitter welcome interested parties to discuss what is happening in the modern SEO world with renowned experts. Check by the hashtag mentioned above on Thursdays — at 2 pm ET | 11 am PT.

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SEO Localization Versus Multilingual Website Development

There are two approaches to broadening your audience and enhancing your domain's visibility locally and globally. These methods include localization and multilingual development. Although local market targeting usually overlaps with different SEO strategies, their distinctive features require a more well-thought-out approach to their selection. 

Debi Norton
Debi Norton

Founder of BRAVO! Interactive Media

SEO localization targets specific regions with language and cultural adaptations while a multilingual website offers multiple languages for a global audience.

Compared to SEO translation, SEO localization of content and other UI/UX elements of the site delivers more customization and reader-oriented values for higher and more successful customer engagement. By modifying the content and eliminating inappropriate contexts and meanings, you better satisfy local search requirements. This adaptation format refers to the smallest details — from suitable cultural alternatives of taboos to local images and currency equivalents.

Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda

Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat

A multilingual website has a language version of web content for every page, such as text, multimedia, ebooks, etc. In SEO localization, web content and other data are adapted for regional or local consumption.

Even if you deal with regions where people speak the same language, their online behavior patterns differ a lot. SEO specialists must consider such dialect and cultural nuances in the global market to enhance targeted audience engagement rates. 

Tanya
Tanya Quintieri

Serial Entrepreneur, Freelancer 

As a freelance translator specializing in SEO localization, I see firsthand the substantial impact of integrating language experts early in projects. Our role goes beyond mere translation; it's about culturally adapting the content to resonate with local audiences. This includes understanding keyword relevance in different languages and ensuring that SEO strategies are effective across diverse markets.

Additionally, we provide insights into local search behaviors and preferences, tailoring content to meet regional nuances and expectations. By involving translators and localizers from the outset, projects can leverage these insights to create content that is linguistically accurate and strategically aligned with local SEO goals, enhancing overall engagement and effectiveness.

Candies and gas stations in American, sweets and petrol stations in British, lollies and servo in Australian English correspondingly — these are just a few samples showing how distinctive communication channels become regionally. While some vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar differences seem fun and exciting, they also become hidden pitfalls for the best on-site indexing and scrawling in local searches.

J Turnbull
J Turnbull

Freelance Marketing Consultant

Localizing content, even the same language, is always important. US vs. GB vs. Australia is very different. Localization goes one step further than just simply translating content.

When Do We Use SEO Localization?

It is conceivable to harness your online presence to promote global expansion in a way that ranks high, appeals to your local target market, and eventually brings in money for your company. 

Source: Localization Statistics

Localization Statistics

Converting a multilingual website into a platform that helps you reach better conversions and ratings is achievable through localization services.

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

Working with a localization specialist is valuable in many international SEO scenarios, but localization offers a competitive advantage for:

  • Rankings opportunities;
  • Compliance considerations;
  • Managing search intent.

SEO specialists have to modify their on-site materials to cater to the requirements of Google localization, including the adaptation of ALT tags metadata. This helps to add more user-friendliness to your product in the dedicated localization market. Traffic won’t come in because you qualitatively translated your posts and blogs.

Montse Cano
Montse Cano

International SEO & Digital Strategy Expert

In fact, we do that all the time, but we need to pay more attention when we address audiences elsewhere.

Opting for local SEO is demanding for many reasons. Still, it can produce more efficient results, especially regarding how your website corresponds to local search intents. The right tone of voice and message guidelines you represent through your content and website’s architecture won’t be missed out with localized search engine optimization.

Kim Doughty
Kim Doughty

SEO Strategist & Account Manager

If you target a new region with distinct language/cultural differences, you should localize your site to those cultural norms. Even if that new area speaks a language, you already have on the site.

Discover the Power of Keyword Clustering in Multiple Languages with Serpstat's 7-Day Trial!

With Serpstat's advanced keyword clustering feature, you'll better understand your target audience's search behavior across various regions and languages. Identify patterns and group keywords based on intent to tailor your content and landing pages accordingly.

Begin Exploring

Key Considerations for Website Content Localization

Your worldwide marketing plan should include website localization as a significant component. At the same time, developing lasting relationships with your audience will be impossible if you neglect crucial aspects of your website’s performance in a different market.

Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda

Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat

What to consider when localizing content on your website:

  • Regional law restrictions;
  • Cultural aspects;
  • General clients' expectations;
  • Times and dates format;
  • Numeric formats, weights, and measurements.

You won’t find a one-approach-suits-all solution — you must develop many localized SEO strategies to achieve the business benefits. Instead of translation, utilizing the advantages of multilingual copywriting with local SEO in mind is beneficial.

Kim Doughty
Kim Doughty

SEO Strategist & Account Manager

Сonsider differences in keyword intent, manners of expression and slang, imagery (images of people), and cultural values that may impact how you deliver your message overall (e.g., unique selling points).

Correct and precise acronyms, abbreviations, measurements, time formatting, etc., distinguishes SEO localization from SEO translation, which can also miss cultural sensitivity. Your customers will always remain the core of your marketing and search engine optimization strategy, so staying in touch via localized customer support services won’t be extra.

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

Throughout your content, copy, & meta tags, you should consider the local cultural relevance of your text. This can include tone of voice but also local slang and idioms.

Beyond Content: SEO Elements to Localize

Aside from cultural adaptation in SEO and other related practices to improve localized content creation, you must take care of the concealed jewels. The list includes language-specific keywords, metadata, HTML tags, ALT tags, and much more. These aren’t the elements readers consider, but their importance in the eyes of Google and other search engines shouldn’t be neglected. They are examined in detail to rank your website in SERPs.

Taking care of such a technical aspect also provides a better user experience in localized SEO. Keyword translation won’t be progressive in the long run. With in-depth research, SEO experts can cater to different search behaviors in the global market. Cheap and automated translation methods might fail you with false translation and other unique linguistic idioms and characteristics considered in geotargeted SEO localization.

Debi Norton
Debi Norton

Founder of BRAVO! Interactive Media

SEO Elements for localization beyond content:

  • Currency;
  • Legal & compliance requirements;
  • SEO;
  • User experience;
  • hreflang.

Handling SEO localization in-house might seem demanding. However, even covering the basic aspects of this functional transformation lets you stand out among other businesses in the field. Not only do you gain a competitive advantage through localization, but you also show your care for multiple audiences and their online habits and behaviors.

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

  • Links;
  • UX;
  • PR.

It should also come into play when creating content targeting distinct regions.

Common SEO Localization Mistakes to Avoid

The business benefits of SEO localization are highly varied. Still, suppose you want a better user experience in localized SEO, new organic traffic, more profitable conversion rates, global business expansion, and exposure to more authoritative backlinks, etc. In that case, you have to take your website’s transformation seriously.

Jeannie Hill
Jeannie Hill

Internet Marketing & SEO Specialist

It's a loop that gives back. SEO localization helps you gain more knowledge about a particular geo-target audience. That, in turn, empowers creating communications & content that best resonate with them. Then you can expect more benefits for your LocalSEO efforts.

Gaining a competitive advantage through localization means you take care of your localized content creation and technical website’s reorganization (meta tags, titles, and so on). Otherwise, your expenditures on SEO and marketing won’t bring the desired results. Your success depends on how well you understand and follow the factors that stay behind the definition of local SEO.

Rahul Marthak
Rahul Marthak

SEO & Content Marketing Manager

  • Not using appropriate language and regional keywords.
  • Not translating the content correctly. 
  • (Imp) Not optimizing the website for the technical norms of the target region (This can include character encoding and right-to-left languages.)

When you don’t have localization and consider different language patterns only, you make one of the beginner errors in the localization of content — unique idioms, metaphors, epithets, slang, grammar, and wording drastically alter the view of your keyword research ratings even in American, Australian, and British English, just to mention a few.

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

A common SEO localization mistake is overlooking important key phrases.

Another crucial mistake to avoid is to keep track of your local SEO performance. Over time, some chosen strategies might become less relevant to the ever-changing trends in the global market. Your diligence and attention to detail contribute to how pitfall-free your localization SEO strategy is from short-term and long-term perspectives.

Debi Norton
Debi Norton

Founder of BRAVO! Interactive Media

Easy mistake to make in SEO localization. I audited a website in multiple languages ONLY to find out on the site's back end that all the SEO tags and attributes were written in ENGLISH on a German website.

Essential Resources, Tools, and Plugins

Localization starts with your market research. If you don’t understand where to go and what audiences to reach with your offer, your effort won’t lead to increased website traffic. To decide on the best localization strategies, build local citations and listings on multiple directories such as Bing Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Business, etc. Serpstat’s Local SEO tool will be beneficial at this stage.

Serpstat’s Local SEO

Using local keywords in your website’s architecture is understandable, but you should go beyond that. Complement your localization strategies with mobile optimization as well. Although neither desktop nor mobile local search has cemented itself as the leading method, the percentage of people who satisfy their search queries on mobile devices is constantly increasing — over 55% of the overall website traffic, May 2023.

Market research and data analysis with tools like Google Analytics to track your performance become the fundament of your SEO localization.

Damian Schmidt
Damian Schmidt

SEO Consultation & Technical Optimization Expert

Analytics, Data, More Data, and Reverse Engineering the Competition. Do it again!

Here are some beginner-friendly ways to boost customer engagement with your platform through localization:

Crystal Carter
Crystal Carter

Head of SEO, Wix

For your SEO localization success, content is still king, and you need to deliver quality for every market you're in.

Last but not least important, don’t forget to inform Google about your pages’ localized versions. A sitemap is one of the easiest methods, but you can also go for HTML and HTTP Headers alternatives.

Conclusion

Localizing your website for the target audiences’ needs and demands usually requires different tools — from hiring native speakers for voiceovers or accommodating the user interface for new visitors to your domain. Whatever combinations of instruments you consider to implement international SEO strategies, the outcome pays off. Your effort will strive toward higher conversion rates, increased website traffic, and better local search engine rankings. With these and other benefits of SEO localization, you get enough capacity to expand your website’s reach and efficacy.

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