70% of search is not in English, so you if you’re not already looking in to international SEO, then you should start. However, it’s not easy, especially when you don’t speak the language. The most difficult aspect of international SEO is keyword research. There are a wide variety of challenges that arise when you try and optimise your site for another language.
• There aren’t many keyword research tools available in non-English languages.
• You may be researching in a language that you don’t understand, which can cause huge amounts of confusion and won’t result in good optimisation.
• Translating English keywords into foreign languages doesn’t mean that you have foreign language keywords. This can be catastrophic for your site.
• Languages may not have a uniform spelling or correct grammar
The only solution to conducting proper keyword research is to employ an SEO executive who speaks that language, preferably a mother tongue speaker or someone who is fluent to a very high level. They should have experience in SEO and writing content too.
A high command of the language is needed as the ability to use the same thought processes as a native speaker is necessary, as opposed to simply translating keywords. The keywords that you use when searching for something may not be the same keywords that someone in a different country searching for the same thing uses. In effect, when you attempt to translate keywords you’re attempting to translate a thought process, which is why direct translation will not work. As a native speaker, they will also know which words may be spelt in different ways, or whether a longtail keyphrase really makes sense.
SEO experience is necessary so they can present the right findings and do the correct work, and the ability to write means that they are able to write content for the website and articles that are compelling- just as you’d want for your English SEO. They may also know which local search engines are popular in the country you’re targeting. Google isn’t the dominant search engine in Russia or China for instance, and they may rank their search results differently to Google, just as Bing or Yahoo do.
Multilingual SEO opens up possibilities for your company and if done correctly, will mean that you will have traffic coming to your site from all over the world.