Keywords in other languages

If you want to read more about keyword research in general, visit our service page on the subject.

Taking keyword research onto an international level is one of the many challenges facing companies looking to grow their overseas profile. If you approach it as a translation exercise, you’ll be dead in the water; multilingual keyword research needs to be approached in its own right, and on its own terms.

Here are a few points to consider when you start thinking about your international keyword strategy:

You need linguistic knowledge

It’s all good and well thinking you’ve established your English keywords and you’ll just translate them – but searchers in different countries behave differently, because people in different countries behave differently. Translating your keywords directly is a bad idea. The English search for “Hotels in Paris” whereas many western European languages demand the singular “Hotel” (or similar). This is a relatively simple example; instances where languages don’t correlate are almost more common than those where they do.

It can help you understand your market

Properly-managed keyword research in foreign languages can help to guide your export strategy. Search volumes at their most basic are a representation of demand for your product online, and the balance between product areas can indicate where your focus should be. Just be careful once you venture outside Europe – Google is not always the most popular search engine, so make sure your data is complete.

It varies from region to region

What flies in France might not fly in Quebec. You need different keyword research for Canadian French and standard French if you want to get the best out of each search market. The same goes for Spanish from Europe and Latin America. Knowing your way around the linguistic landscape is important.

Your competitors can teach you a lot

When it comes to understanding foreign search landscapes, it helps to identify competitors. You might be able to gain some knowledge of the keywords that are working for them – and exploit their weaknesses. This isn’t really much different to English keyword research, but with the knowledge gaps that can occur when analysing foreign markets, it can be invaluable insight.

If you’d like to learn more about our multilingual keyword research packages and how they can set you down a path to selling into international markets online, please get in touch.