Want to increase traffic to your multi-language websites on a global scale? If that’s the case, then you (or your translation service) really ought to pay attention to international search engine optimization (ISEO). After investing a lot of time, money and brainpower into website translation and website localization, it would be a heartbreaking shame if no one actually visited your professionally translated webpages. This is where ISEO can help.
What is International Search Engine Optimization?
First, let’s look at how international search engine optimization differs from more traditional search engine optimization (SEO). When it comes to online marketing, translation, transcreation and localization are key elements in helping your company’s brand move across cultural and linguists barriers — as is implementing a well-rounded SEO strategy.
If everyone searched the web in English, SEO centered around English language keywords and phrases opens in a new window would probably be enough to guarantee that your tech or medical device firm received a decent amount of traffic. But that just isn’t the case.
For example, taking advantage of professional Arabic translation services would be a great way to start when breaking into the Arabic-speaking business world. But simply leaving your English language SEO strategies (or translating keywords directly into Arabic) in place for an Arabic website localization project won’t necessarily help Arabic speakers naturally stumble upon your firm’s online presence.
In a nutshell, ISEO means applying the rigorous SEO strategies a company uses for its English language websites to its localized, non-English web content — with a few important additions.
ISEO Strategies Involve Transcreation
One of the main aspects of transforming SEO practices into good ISEO involves combining copywriting, marketing and translation skills into a workable ISEO bundle of relevant keywords and phrases. Once compiled (and updated often), this valuable linguistic toolkit can be used with text, titles and tags — as well as be inserted into a site’s top-down, localization-update-friendly translation memory (TM).
Another important ISEO research-based concept is transcreation. Transcreation goes beyond mere translation by not focusing on translating keywords directly, but rather finding specific keywords in the local vernacular that people actually use to search the web. The real marketing translation trick here is that even within a certain language, these keywords can vary from region to region.
For example, an Arabic translation services transcreation specialist working on a website localization project involving different Arabic-speaking countries would have to take into account the fact that Moroccan Arabic (Maghrebi Arabic) has been influenced by Berber, French and Spanish over the years — which has had an impact on vocabulary and grammar today. Thus certain keywords and phrases Arabic speakers from Morocco or Tunisia might use to search for something online could vary widely with intuitive vocabulary choices made by someone from Lebanon or Saudi Arabia searching for the same thing.
How ISEO Can Benefit Your Company
In the Arabic translation services example above, website translation and basic localization practices will only get you so far. And while website translation and localization are all good steps in the right direction, ISEO can help attract more eyes organically to the marketing material you’re posting online. This is why no matter how headache-inducing it might be to think about ISEO, it shouldn’t be ignored when promoting your international brand.
The ultimate goal here is to foster a solid international inbound marketing strategy and increase organic searches for your business’s content online through a comprehensive website localization process. This is why merging all of the strength of SEO with the research and linguistic subtleties of ISEO can help boost a company’s regional or international visibility online considerably.
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