Choosing the Right Keywords for Multilingual SEO

Companies are constantly trying to optimize their website’s functionality. An important part of this is choosing the right keywords for multilingual SEO.

Here are some tips on how to choose the most effective keywords:

Brainstorming. Use keywords related to your company. Find at least 30 keywords, and organize and number them by relevance to your company.

Think about the Target Group. Find out what your customers are searching for. Perhaps they’re trying to find information or maybe they’re looking for solutions. Try to expand your list of keywords with these search terms in mind.  For example, if you are a company that sells ponds, perhaps people are looking for “UV light pond” or “algae control” instead of “installing a pond for the first time”.

What Search Terms Do Customers Use to Find Your Website? Because people are already using certain search terms to find your business, knowing these search terms allows you to check for synonyms and similar terms, to see if these are searched for more frequently.

Find Your Competitor’s Keywords. The more often a keyword is used, the harder it will be to get higher on the list. Of course, these keywords shouldn’t be excluded. Try checking the source of your competitor’s website. How To Do This: After fully loading their site in your browser, right click and select “View Source”. Then, try to find the <title> , <META NAME= ….. > and <H1>: these are the main keywords that your competitor focuses on. Another easy way to find these keywords is by using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Once you enter your competitor’s website and go to the “Extracted from Webpage” tab, you can see which keywords are used to land on specific pages on the website.

Think Local. If your company is focused on a local market, (as an example, let’s use Washington State), focus on staying local. Make sure that your state or city is in the list of keywords. Focusing on being found on a national level will create an unnecessary challenge.

Stick to Your Choices. After you’ve compiled the list and are happy with the results, implement them and stick to them. Varying your keywords often will not benefit your Google ranking. If you change your keywords regularly, the Google algorithm will change the keywords as well, resulting in your ranking to become lower. Consistency is very important.

Adding Keywords. Don’t add too many at once, but slowly and over time. Gradually adding keywords is more beneficial because you don’t risk removing previously chosen keywords.

If you would like to follow these steps to optimize a foreign language website, consider hiring a professional translator to find the best keywords before you translate website content. This way, the keywords that are chosen are accurate and specific to that language.

About Tim Oldenhuis

I’m a native Dutch translator living in the Netherlands. I translate for Coursera to help make education accessible for everyone. My interests are SEO, Gamification and Marketing. I translate website content and blogs, primarily from English and German into Dutch.