Keyword research is defined as the act of finding phrases and words that Internet users type into the search engines’ search boxes. It is essential to the various tasks in search engine optimization (SEO) as well as in discovering specific and appropriate content related to the information an Internet user wants to find.
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Keywords are vital to business owners, website managers and marketing managers, since the best keywords can give them a good chance to appear higher in the results delivered by a search engine. Those sites, companies and content that appear, for example, on top of the first page of the search engine results are likely to get the most traffic and eventually more revenues (for e-commerce sites).
Is It Possible to Translate Keywords?
This is a very tricky question, as there are two sides to this. It is possible to translate keywords because they are, after all, normal texts. However, keywords are culturally and linguistically dependent, as speakers of other languages typically already use their own language when searching for information online.
There is another problem when translating keywords literally, since it can lead to the creation of another keyword that is not as popular as the native one. Here’s an example.
English speakers who are soon to be married might search for a wedding ring online. The Spanish translation of this is anillo de boda. In this example, the number of people in the UK who searched for a wedding ring each month was 74,000. However, in Spain, only 5,400 people searched for anillo de boda per month. It’s intriguing that the number is quite small. It turned out that Spanish speakers do not use anillo de boda. They use the word alianza, which also means wedding ring. When that was implemented, the results showed that about 10,000 people used it each month.
In this sense, the proposition is that translating keywords is not going to be very effective. It is very clear by looking at the example that the keywords resulting from the translated keyword may not yield the desired results, as the numbers would be lower. It leads to lower engagement, lower site traffic and therefore, lower sales.
There are things that could be done to work around the problem and it’s called keyword research.
When you are implementing an SEO campaign, a keyword research is the first step that you should do. Keyword research helps you to find where you should go and determine whether your campaign in going as planned.
Finding the right keywords helps in determining the desires, fears and thoughts of the market you are targeting. You gain insight into the specific information or products your potential and target consumers are looking for, as well as the right search words and phrases consumers use.
The first step is to have a list of topics that you think your target market is searching for. You should think of topics that are related to your type of business.
Once you have made a list of possible topics that might interest your target market, start doing your research. Type each topic into the search box of your favorite search engine and look at the suggestions of your search engine. For example, if you type “marketing techniques” you’ll find several suggestions such as:
- marketing techniques pdf
- marketing techniques for small businesses
- marketing techniques to attract customers
- marketing techniques examples
- marketing techniques for real estate
- marketing techniques definition
List these suggestions as these are very good keywords. This means that they are the keywords used by more people seeking information. You can do the same with YouTube.
Go back to the search engine you use. Press enter to search for ”marketing techniques.” As you scroll down the page, you’ll see a list of “Searches related to marketing techniques,” which are good keywords as well. The search engine is already giving you quite a good number of keywords to add to your list. You can check out each of those suggested topics to find additional keywords.
Keyword research is not limited to your favorite search engine and YouTube. You can find more general and specific keywords from Wikipedia and the sites of your competitors. There are other free keyword research tools as well. You can try using Keywords Everywhere, Ubersuggest and Keyword Planner (from Google). These tools give you various statistics and analysis to help you create a better list.
For example, looking for ”auto insurance” at Ubersuggest yields these figures:
- Search volume – 201,000
- SEO difficulty – 74
- Keyword ideas
The site provides several other statistics. A dropdown menu at the search bar allows you to search for keywords in various languages.
Using “Assurance voiture,” it yielded 33,100 searches a month, whereas searching for “assurance auto” showed a search volume of 110,000. Surprisingly, using the standard French translation of ”auto insurance,” which is l’assurance automobile, the search volume was only 70.
Keyword Research Translation
Consumers from foreign markets prefer to search for information using their native language. Thus, global companies wanting to reach these foreign consumers have to come up with multilingual websites. They need to have their site content available in the languages that their target consumers speak.
Initially we mentioned that keyword research translation might not be effective and could only lead to failure of the global SEO campaign.
However, it is also possible to do keyword research translation provided you hire a professional translator who is a native speaker of the target language. Companies should work with a translation company that can provide translators with intimate knowledge of the language, so they can use the words and phrases that are typically used by local consumers instead of the standard translation, as shown in the example of the ”wedding ring” earlier.
Although we are talking about keyword translation, the process involves not just the keywords but the entire content as well. The keywords are included in the content, which the search bots of search engines find in order to index your webpages.
Thus, it is vital to have a good set of keywords that international audiences use. They should be carefully chosen and analyzed to ensure that they are effective. You should have a mix of single words, 2- to 4-word keywords, as well as long tail keywords. The latter are keywords that are longer and more explicit.
See to it that these keywords are translated into the local jargon, meaning that they are translated into phrases and terms that locals actually use. This is very important. Since keywords used by local Internet users are those that they use in their everyday lives, it is not always possible to do a direct translation from English to another language.
Afterwards, the content should be translated and the original keywords replaced with the new set of keywords that have also been translated.
Translating the Content
There’s more freedom in translating web content compared to other translation project such as legal or medical documents. Therefore, the translator can be more creative in doing the translation, keeping in mind that the original message should be maintained and properly delivered in the target languages.
There could be additional keywords based on the target language and it is possible to include them. Parts of the content could be altered and additional text could be included, again, depending on the language, the preferences of local consumers and the requirements of the client.
As the client would be dealing with different consumers, the company has to contend with a slew of consumer trends, preferences, expectations and behavior. The most important thing here is to work with a professional, experienced and native-speaking translator who can give full justice to keyword research translation. Only a local would understand the terms that can be used appropriately in a specific market. And for SEO purposes, the recommended keyword density must be maintained.
Therefore, to be successful in the global SEO campaign, careful research and data analysis are required.
Allow Us to Share Our Linguistic Expertise
Since we are living in a global society now, it is inevitable that we mingle with several multilingual communities. Businesses going global have to contend with differences in language. Since websites are one of the primary tools to enjoy a wider audience reach, business owners want to ensure that their websites are optimized for global users.
In accepting the fact that not everyone speaks English, using keyword research is a must. To prepare for multilingual web users, Day Translations, Inc. offers global SEO services. We ensure you that we only work with native-speaking translators who live in-country. This means that they fully understand the nuances of the target language and know the local culture by heart. We are open 24/7, 365 days of the year, so you can call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us anytime, day or night, wherever you are.