Top Languages on the Internet

Languages like Chinese and Spanish have grown considerably on the web (see infograph) and Internet users in foreign markets prefer to conduct searches in their own language.

In order to tap into foreign search markets, companies need to provide a multilingual website that covers the languages of the targeted markets.

This post will outline strategies on how a non-speaker of foreign languages can conduct keyword especially for Latin based languages like French, Spanish, German etc.

Translating Keywords

The first step is to translate an existing keyword set to find equivalents in another language.

Translation tools like Yahoos Babelfish (recommended) and Google Translate can be used to translate keywords.Use translation dictionaries like Bab.La to verify their accuracy.

It is recommended that a professional translator, preferably a native speaker, is used because of their understanding of the language and ability to provide localized keywords.

Local understanding of what terms are appropriate in a market can generally only be provided by a native speaker.

Another way of finding accurate keywords is by analyzing competitors who rank highly for generic terms that are to be targeted; this can be used to get an idea of what search terms work in a specific market.

Keyword Insight & Analysis

Known online services by Google, such as Insights for Search and Adwords Keyword Tool, are useful for multilingual keyword analysis. They have the ability to provide insight and information for foreign markets in their specific language(s).

Googles Global Market Finder is another helpful tool for this research; it is a global market tool to research foreign opportunities by English language keywords. The tool isnt as widely used or well-known to search marketers as the other two services but its a very valuable for identifying overseas opportunities.

Global Market Finder locates search interest within specified group of countries in their own languages. It collates data from Internet searches globally to show the number of times a keyword is searched in foreign countries in local languages. This tool can be used by companies to find foreign markets that they should target if they intend to expand overseas.

For multilingual keyword research, the tool is useful in researching keyword search volume in foreign markets. The most beneficial thing about it is that English keywords can be used which are translated by the tool itself.

Google Global Market Finder

Google Insights for Search should also be used for multilingual keyword research. Research through this tool gives a good indication of the decline of English language searches in foreign markets as web users prefer to conduct searches in local languages.

The Internet population in emerging markets like Brazil has grown steeply in the last decade. Web users in Brazil now conduct web searches in their own language rather than English.

Google Insights for Search

Google Adwords Tool is able to gather information about search volumes and competition for selected Multi-language keywords.

The language can be selected from the top menu, and it becomes location specific for localized data. It also provides a list of related keywords that can be used to expand on an existing set and locate long tail keywords.

Once the set of keywords has been analyzed through these tools, the information gathered can be used as an indicator of how relevant the keywords are for a particular market.

It has to be noted that some markets have local search engines that are popular. Use the tools available from those search engines also before keywords are finalized. Use Stat Counter, for example, to find the market share of search engines in a particular market.

Once all the research and analysis is over, a final keyword list should be ready and the first phase of an SEO strategy should be complete.

Implementing the keywords will  provide live analytical data that reflects how effective they are for a particular company.

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