3 SEO and SEM tips on non-english site versions

by Simone Luciani May 7th, 2012 


"Going international" unfortunately isn't easy. Translating the corporate website is not enough.

Based on extensive experience helping companies enter the Italian market, XXX this 3 SEO and SEM tips on non-english site versions.

1. Professional Translation

Hire a professional translator, preferably from the targeted country, for your content and strategy. Don't use Google Translate

It's very important that when you design your new international strategy you get advice from professionals from that market. You need it for:

- Translations

You don't want to use tools like Google Translate to generate your new content. You should write content for your target audience, which will be completely different from the one you are using in your local strategy. Needless to say, you don't want to have errors and misprints on your content.

- Keyword strategy

You'll need help to figure it out. Google Keyword suggestion tool is useless without the expertise of someone that can tell the difference with a keyword and another one. It's not just a matter of translations.

- Search engines to target

Google is the major search engine in most countries, but not in all of them. You need to know in which search engines you need to be to be visible.

- Ad copy, meta descriptions, claims and so on

In other words marketing communications; you can't get those wrong! To create an effective ad you need someone that knows local expressions, traditions and so on.

The worst thing you can do is to have errors in your Ads. Even Google sometimes does it wrong and here is an example:

2. Local Domain & Brand

Try to use local TLDs. It helps your local SEO and in many cases will enhance trust.

If you can't use a new domain, use a subfolder, for instance /es or a subdomain, es.yourdomain.com .

If you are not using a local TLDs domain but still use a dedicated site, set your target country on webmaster tools .

- Log-in to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and select your website.
- Click on "Site configuration" and "Settings".
- On Geographic target select the country you want to target.


3. Link Building - Build Local

You need to build "local" links on your new domain or folder. Your old links will be almost useless. You will need to start from scratch and achieve links from trusted local websites in the same language.

Simone Luciani

Simone Luciani is a passionate Digital Marketing Consultant specialised in Search Marketing for UK and Italian Markets living in the UK. He has over 10 years of Digital Marketing experience, a degree in Internet Marketing and an IDM Diploma in Digital Marketing. He worked 5 years for eBay and now he is a proud freelance and entrepreneur, helping businesses that are eager to enter the italian market. He is the author of Rankfirst and occasionally Search Marketing Standard. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin

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5 Responses to “3 SEO and SEM tips on non-english site versions”

  1. Ahman Adam says:

    Very appreciative and excellent insight how to do things that I may have done slightly differently!

  2. Thanks Adam, I'm glad you appreciated the article.

  3. Leo says:

    Great post. I once helped a client (or attempted to, at least) in taking his English website to Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries and we totally bombed! And after reading this post, I can see why. It was wayy back, but a learning experience nonetheless.

    Slight correction: its TLD (not LTD), if you were referring to a Top Level Domain.

  4. The post seems to give good impression on how to make your non english website rank better and i like the thought of not translating rather you should make unique for it as well..!