As cliché as it may sound, content is one of the key factors for any search marketing strategy at an international level. It is highly important to ensure that you have content worth viewing. Therefore the issue of localization and translation of content is key. To win in the ‘new world of search’ your site must contribute to the semantic web and add value, and you need to create content that focuses on your customers’ needs.
International SEO cannot be done without multilingual content creation in the form of on-site content optimization and off-site optimization (i.e., blogs, press releases, case studies, how-to guides, videos, etc.), yet content marketing is often a separate line item from SEO, and unfortunately a lot of on-site content isn’t optimized for SEO.
The best way to rank on Google is to produce content that is most relevant to users in each of the country you are targeting. And the best way to create the most relevant content is to create a topic and focus on a specific topic type. The writers we use for creating content are producing topical, focused content.
Of particular interest is keyword usage and density, in particular in strategic areas of the content ( title tags, meta tags, internal links, image alts text, urls, formatting…). We have to make sure that your content literally support your keywords, and that your content inventory matches up to your targeted keyword lists in the country of your interest. However, it is important to remember that we do not have to obsess over keywords: that way we are not suffocating the creativity of our writers. If the content is focused on a specific topic, then the keywords will naturally flow out of that piece of content.
Highly visible multilingual websites are well-written, and well-edited with significant word counts at both the page-level, and site level. They provide substantial content that backs up the theme of the site, as it relates to the respective keyword set. The content is generally engaging, and good enough that people would want to link and share it without being asked. To ensure that your website has the greatest possible impact on its target market, the copy is reviewed by a native professional: localization rather than translation is the key to a successful international content strategy.
When we investigate a multilingual website content, we try to answer the following questions:
• Does the page contain substantive content? There’s no hard and fast rule for how much content a page should contain, but reacent studies published by Buzzsumo showing that pages with over 1000words tend to perform better.
• Is the content valuable to its audience? This is obviously somewhat subjective, but you can approximate the answer with metrics such as bounce rate and time spent on the page.
• Does the content contain targeted keywords? Do they appear in the first few paragraphs? If you want to rank for a keyword, it really helps to use it in your content.
• Is the content spammy (e.g., keyword stuffing)? You want to include keywords in your content, but you don’t want to go overboard.
• Does the content is properly translated, minimizing spelling and grammatical errors? A multilingual website loses professional credibility if its content contains mistakes.
• Is the website really multilingual? Are the titles, meta data, urls, image alt texts localized in each of the target languages?
The purpose of a title tag is to make each page unique in terms of the page’s content. Since each page on your site should be unique, you need to have unique title tags for each page and each language if the site.
Title tags also carry huge weight in terms of how you rank, so we spend as much time as possible on writing great title tags that include keywords relevant to the page content.
However well-known your company and its brand may be, always use a popular keyword instead of your company name at the beginning of your title tag. Ideally, you may want to limit your title tag to be 40-69 characters at most.
The meta description should be written like how you would for PPC ad copy. A good meta description will increase your click-through rate (CTR) on organic search.
We make sure to describe what your page content is about, benefit or value to readers, and then a good call to action. Ensure that you spend some time writing your meta description. As a rule of thumb keep your meta description tags under 160 characters.
Missing Title Tags
In addition to writing unique title tags for each language, we need to check pages that have missing title tags or title tags with just your company name on it. We can use Google’s Webmaster Tools to find which title tags are missing.
Duplicate Title Tags
Auditing duplicate title tags and writing unique title for each page and language can be a good win. These are on-page SEO factors that are low hanging fruits in nature but provide you with maximum bang for your effort.
Missing Alt tags
Besides having benefits like making your site disabilities compliant, alt tags are an important on-page SEO audit element. They play a big part in optimizing your images as these tags are picked up by engines when including your images as part of image search. We audit the site to see if alt tags are localized or missing from your images.
Missing Image Names
Naming the images of the website correctly plays a big part in image optimization. If you have products on your site, we have to ensure that accurate keyword is used to describe them Image optimization can drive good amount of traffic through image searches.
Header tags tell the search engines that this is the headline of your page. We look out for any missing H tags in every language of your website. Ideally, the main headline should be in H1 and then maybe sub-headings in H2.
We make sure that the urls are translated and localized, that they describe your content, and that they are short, with the proper use of keywords in them for each of the languages targeted.
Keyword Mapping and Cannibalization
One thing that an on-page content optimization should uncover are multiple uses of same keyword on different pages on the site. Keyword cannibalization is not optimal because we’re:
• Confusing the search engines as to which page should rank for the keyword in question and as such letting the engines decide.
• Missing an opportunity to increase the number of keywords you’re optimizing your site against.
To identify cannibalism in content, you can create a keyword index that maps keywords to pages on your site. Then, when you identify collisions (i.e., multiple pages associated with a particular keyword). The idea is either to merge these pages or to target alternate (and unique) keywords.
A good keyword to page mapping strategy can help resolve this and it should be a critical part of your on-page SEO audit.
A website site has duplicate content if multiple pages contain the same (or nearly the same) content. Unfortunately, these pages can be both internal and external (i.e., hosted on a different domain).
We identify duplicate content on internal pages as well as on external pages to take effective steps and make sure your website will be properly listed.
There is no rule that says you must have a minimum number of words on your page, even if recent studies published by Buzzsumo in 2015 showed that pages with over 1000 words tend to perform better. But always keep in mind that you should be describing your content well and your visitors should easily understand what your page is about and what message you are trying to convey.Think of it as writing good marketing copy.
International SEO cannot be done without content creation, and that content has to be optimized. Call Openvalley to start your international SEO campaign and to optimize the multilingual content of your website.