Updated: May 5
Wikipedia defines Search Engine Optimisation as “the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.”
SEO looks at the algorithms that the world’s biggest search engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, Yandex, and Baidu, use to determine how high up in the search results a website will appear. The exact Google algorithm, although a well-kept secret, focusses on several factors, including:
Visitor time on the site
Pie chart courtesy of MOZ
Today I would like to focus on keywords.
Keywords allow you to attract your target audience and help search engines prioritise your content in the appropriate markets. When incorporating keywords into your web content, it is essential that research is carried out into which words will be the most effective.
You can see that certain word combinations are searched for more than others. Incorporating the more popular keyword combinations into your web content will help you return more hits and will also help your website appear higher in organic search engine results.
Useful free keyword tools to help you choose your words carefully:
Translation vs. Localisation
But how does this work when we translate web content? Do keywords return the same results when translated into different languages? The short answer is: no!
A good example of this is when we look at UK vs. US content. In the UK, consumers might look up ‘localisation services’, but in the USA, these would be ‘localization services’. This may seem trivial, but what is entered into the query box makes a world of difference to whether your website appears in the results.
If you want to look up information about 'lifts' in the UK, you would not enter the word ‘elevator’, but you would struggle to find much information about lifts in the USA!
If we look specifically at Russian to English translation, it would be easy to make simple mistakes that can have significant consequences, for example, the word ‘brilliant’ (блестящий) vs. the word ‘diamond’ (бриллиант). A “brilliant ring” (блестящее кольцо) is not the same as a 'diamond ring' (бриллиантовое кольцо)!
These keywords will give you vastly different search results and could lead to many missed opportunities for your business.
It would be easy to think that we should just look at the Google algorithm and do our best to ensure that our web content matches up to their requirements, but this would not give you the best results in all countries. Google may well be the world’s most popular search engine however, it is not the ‘go-to’ in all countries. Yandex is most popular in Russia thanks to its dedication and ability to handle the specifics of the Russian language, followed by Mail.ru, Rambler, and Google. The Japanese often prefer Yahoo!, and in China, Baidu is the most popular search engine. Each search engine has slightly a slightly different focus for their algorithm, so it is vital to take this into account when you localise a website.
A useful tool specifically for Yandex:
Familiarising yourself with the nuances of different search engines, their algorithms, and the keywords that work best in each country can be time-consuming, which is why more often than not, it makes sense to trust a professional with what is fast becoming a company’s most valuable asset – its website.
Translating a website is the first rung on the ladder to increasing your international audience; localisation will get you to the top.
Who will you choose for your next project?
If you have questions about any of the above or you’d like to speak to a someone who can help you with translation (Russian, German, or Dutch), localisation, or you need a native English proofreader/copywriter, then please see my services here or get in touch today.
I promise to help you find the right solution for your project every time.
Marjolein, The Native Crowd
Russian, German, Dutch Translation
Cumbria, North West, UK