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Global Business 07.09.18 BLOG 

International SEO: Taking Brand Content Global in Our Digital Age

By The Global Client Solutions Group

International SEO

International SEO: Taking Brand Content Global in Our Digital Age

The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google” is a quote that’s been floating around the SEO world for quite a while now. It‘s still very relevant, not only to SEO experts but also any brand that is looking to make its online content more visible to the intended target group. Any web content we create should be designed for search engines to find it, but not only that; with the rise of voice search, the goal can no longer be positioning on the first page of search engine results but on position zero. With the surge of voice search, the basics of SEO for websites should still remain a crucial part of your search marketing strategy.

Search engine optimization covers a lot of ground; starting with technical SEO—guaranteeing site architecture and functionality facilitates search engines to easily crawl the site—followed by user experience—ensuring smooth flow when users access the site—and finally the optimization of the actual site content.

Content optimization means following a predefined content strategy that entails writing the content for the intended target audience and answering their questions or addressing their concerns—thereby also following a keyword strategy that responds to the search behavior of the target audience. A well-defined keyword strategy will ensure unique keyword targets are being used in all website areas beneficial to SEO. Primary and secondary keywords will be applied where they would occur naturally in text. Furthermore, to get extra traffic from voice search, certain keywords will be fine-tuned to be more conversational. You can read more on SEO keyword research and optimization here.

Brands put a lot of effort into defining and maintaining their brand voice, style, and terminology, which becomes a critical requirement when taking content global. When optimizing content for search engines, it is important to ensure that these assets—which help define the brand’s language and the way the brand interacts with its audience—are maintained. This requires a healthy balance between search engine optimization and safeguarding the brand’s identity and voice.

It is paramount to have everyone on the same page in terms of brand-specific guidelines you want your online content to consistently follow. In defining your brand voice and terminology, you also define which keywords your brand wants to rank with and which to avoid.

When launching your online content in a new market, your language service provider (LSP) is involved in defining your global brand voice, and responsible for protecting your brand’s language in the new market. If you plan to optimize your global content for SEO, it makes sense to get your LSP involved early on. The main goal is to bring your content to the forefront of the new target audience, and your LSP should be able to support you in doing so. Here are a few reasons why an LSP is a great resource to optimize your global content:

1. Quality and Brand Control

Your LSP helps with global brand management by providing resources, processes, and technology that ensure your brand is safeguarded throughout the localization process. By integrating SEO into the localization process (from pre-flight to final launch) you are not running the risk of your brand voice becoming diluted.

Furthermore, your LSP’s technology setup will ensure that SEO is included as part of the implemented quality measures and that your translation memory is already updated with the optimized content (SEO content will be marked with an attribute within the translation memory).

2. Local Market Expertise

Your LSP is your expert in the different local markets and will work with SEO specialists that have the cultural and market understanding to identify a keyword strategy for the leading local search engines that will be most effective in responding to the search behavior of your new target audience.

3. Process Management and Control

A technology-supported SEO process for your target markets, will make sure it takes place within a controlled environment. No additional resource—other than your webmasters—will need to access your CMS, and no additional CMS training will be required for this purpose.

4. Efficiencies in Time to Market

By integrating the SEO optimization into the website localization workflow you will have less rework and approval phases and will achieve a shorter time to market.

Work with your LSP to research the keywords that your new target group will be using when searching for your brand, services, and product, and make it a vital part of the localization project preparation and pre-flight. Your optimization strategy, which will go hand in hand with content creation for your international markets, will be defined during the brand onboarding process.

To successfully take your brand content global, you must implement an international SEO strategy from the initial stages, in order to seamlessly integrate into the localization process of your digital content.

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