5 tips for successful global SEO

8 October 2019

Are you planning on taking your business international? Translating your website texts is one of the first essential steps. And search engine optimising these translated texts will further increase your chances of achieving optimal results. Here are 5 tips for successful global SEO.

High-quality content in all languages

High-quality SEO texts will ensure good findability of your company website, which is exactly what you need in order to bring in new customers or sell your products/services. The same goes for taking your business international. Translating your texts is an essential step, but optimising the translated texts for search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing increases your chances of achieving the best results.

Knowledge of on-page SEO is of course important, but knowledge of the language in question and the local culture, and how to choose the most appropriate keyword, are an essential part of this process. High-quality, appealing content is crucial for the success of global SEO. Here are 5 tips from us!

Successful global SEO

This blog focuses on on-page SEO. This means that we will only discuss search engine optimisation in content, not with regard to technology or authority. As part of on-page SEO you have to make sure that your website texts are based on a solid structure of appropriate keywords, page titles and meta descriptions. Page structure, images and links/URLs are also important. And above all, the texts should contain relevant information and be readable. The main aim is to capture the attention of the reader and keep them on your website as long as possible.

Tip 1: Find the best translations of your keywords.

You might already have conducted keyword research for your English texts in order to determine which keywords are the best option for your texts. The same thing is crucial to your global SEO as well: literally translating your English keywords won’t cut it. Your potential international customers will only find your website if your keywords match the words they use in a search. Therefore, it is wise to try to answer the following questions:

  • Which synonyms exist for my English keyword?
  • Which translation option best fits my product or service?
  • Which term will have the largest amount of search results?
  • Which search engine does your target audience mostly use?
  • Which keywords are used by your competitors?

By conducting thorough keyword research, you will find the right keywords to use in your translated texts. You can use various tools to do this, for example Ahrefs or Mangools.

Tip 2: Observe the guidelines for page titles and meta descriptions and make sure they contain the translated keywords.

If you enter a search in Google, a large list of results will show up. The blue headers are the page titles of the websites found. The black text below the header is the meta description. These two elements help potential customers find your website. The more appealing your page title and meta descriptions, the more likely your customer will visit your website. More often than not, literal translations of page titles and meta descriptions are not very effective. You want to tempt your customer and that also requires understanding of the local culture. Feel free to ask for assistance if necessary!

When rewriting page titles and meta descriptions, take into account the following:

Page titles

  • Use less than 60 characters for your page title
  • Do not stuff the page title with keywords
  • Only use the most important keyword of the relevant page in the title
  • Give each page a unique title

Meta descriptions

  • Use at least 150 and no more than 300 characters
  • Try to keep in mind the point of view of a potential customer while writing your meta description
  • Avoid using double quotation marks as these will cause Google to cut off your meta description
Tip 3: Create an organised page structure and be sure to include appropriate headers and subheaders.

An organised page structure is not only important to the reader, but also for search engines. With a clear structure your page will be easier to scan for search engines, which in turn improves your search results. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Start every page with a header (this will often be the page title)
  • Divide the text into short paragraphs
  • Include a summary subheader above every paragraph
  • Use bullet points to write enumerations

A literal translation also won’t be sufficient most of the time when it comes to translating headers and subheaders. Using the right terms is paramount to this.

Tip 4: Translate image file names and alt texts and incorporate previously translated keywords into them.

Images are also an important part of your on-page SEO. Therefore, you should make sure to use correct and appropriate translations for the file names and alt texts of all images. (An alt text is an image description that helps search engines understand what the image displays.) Where possible, use the keywords you have determined for that particular language.

Tip 5: Create links to internal and external pages in the corresponding languages and make sure the URLs are readable.

Don’t forget to adjust any internal and external links on your web page to the relevant language/culture. For example, it looks extremely sloppy when a French web page still refers to a page in Dutch or English.

In addition, be sure to correctly translate the URLs on your new web pages to the relevant language. This helps the reader as well as your search engine results. The ideal URL contains a translated keyword and is easy to read. For example, do not use “www.yourwebsite.co.uk/post?ID=54” but use “www.yourwebsite.co.uk/global-seo” instead.

Would you like to conduct global keyword research?
Feel free to contact us!


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