Multilingual Search Engine Optimisation 2 - Blog - General Coding Tips for Web Design

GJC Website Design UK, Joomla Developer, VirtueMart Developer, Template Developer, web site designs, England, Britain, UK, Belgium, search-engine optimisation (SEO). Multilingual.

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Advice for multilingual SEO. Part 2

Finding the keywords for all the markets.

There are many resources in English on the web to help us find relevant keywords for our web sites. And of course if English is our mother language we're already halfway there and our intuition can then be checked against search engine reality.
But when it comes to available tools and methods in non English languages we are not so well off.

First step.

Our first option is direct translation of our English keywords and copy into the required language. This sadly is rarely satisfactory but it is at least a starting point.
Ideally you should use local resources i.e. friends, colleagues etc to find out what terms are used in everyday situations and are therefore likely to be the relevant search terms. Beware of course of "in-house jargon" or technical terms known only to a small sector of your target population unless of course these are your target markets.
You can then cross reference these resulting keyword lists against known high ranking competitor web sites either manually or with software products such as Keyword Elite or WebSEO.

Online Tools.

Keyword research sites such as Overture and Miva can be accessed in various languages and serve up a good selection of search terms with the proviso that these are pay-per-click research results. I personally find the results they give can be suspect on occasions, giving large hit values for very obscure or long search terms probably the result of spamming or search term crawlers.
But generally they can be a useful means of cross checking your researched results.

"Foreign" Markets.

One thing that will become apparent within at least the French, Dutch and German markets (the only ones that I am familiar with) is that the "spread " of keyword combinations especially when English terms are used is much greater than in the English speaking market. By spread I mean the various combinations of known English terms and their "strange to our eyes" usage.
A good example is the French language market for web design. Very common search terms are combinations such as -

"web internet design"
"site internet design "
"web site design"
" website design"

So you can see that there would have to be a "broader" keyword optimisation for a page dealing in web design than the English equivalent.

The three "foreign" language markets that I am familiar with can also have very different keyword characteristics depending on which sector or market area your interested in.

The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is relatively straight forward for business or technical areas as the use of English is widespread although of course everything must be double checked as a few quirks of language are always possible.
For example the more popular term for what an English speaker would call "Management Consulting" is "Business Management" although again as both terms are widely used, both terms need to be targeted.
For product or shopping sites the Netherlands is much like any other market in that they have their own names for products so this makes it a lot easier ...if your English page is selling "Stairs" then your Dutch page is selling "Trappen".


The French language market's main peculiarity is their urge to have their own French equivalent of all technical and business terms and the tendency of the more cosmopolitan web users to persist in using the original English term.
I touched on this above concerning web design but it is apparent generally so it can make keyword relevancy very hard to pin down. Is it a "computer" or a "ordinateur". The two possibilities are either to optimise for a larger range of target keywords or to have multiple landing pages optimised perhaps for the French terminology and the English terms in general French usage.
For product and shopping pages the Netherlands advice applies.


For the German language market their method of producing very long compound nouns can make SEO particularly challenging.  To give an example the translation of "small business tax advisor" is "Kleinbetriebsteuerberater". The search engines cannot of course break down these long nouns and an additional problem is that in the real world German users often break them up themselves when searching.
Again you have the two options mentioned above, a broader and therefore not so tightly targeted page optimisation or multiple landing pages which will of course tend to dilute your linkage. As the site gets older you will be able to fine tune it against your opposition and your results so far.
English terms used in unexpected ways ("Homepage" instead of "Web Site") are also common in German so this is yet another area local knowledge is very valuable.
For product and shopping pages again the Netherlands advice applies.

In the next article I will discuss using your hard fought for keyword lists, multilingual web site structure, file names and special characters.
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2009 07:46

Multilingual Search Engine Optimisation 2|Blog | General Coding Tips for Web Design

GJC Website Design UK, Joomla Developer, VirtueMart Developer, Template Developer, web site designs, England, Britain, UK, Belgium, search-engine optimisation (SEO). Multilingual.

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