Keyword Research Across International Borders
The most important thing to bear in mind when conducting local keyword research is that one should never translate keywords, but ideas. It is best to do keyword research for local markets and then use the keywords in the translated content. Translators aren’t marketers and we have seen many cases of literal translations that just don’t work in the local language/market.
Keyword research is initiated for a new country by translating some of the terms that lead to good results in other markets, e.g. “negotiation training”, and we should never assume that what worked in one country will necessarily work in another.
Keywords are the expression of specific needs and trends, which may differ significantly from country to country. Words that people tend to associate with their topic of interest may change due to cultural elements. For example, while in some countries most people may search for discounts, deals and free games, in other countries these terms can be perceived as indicators of low quality services and may not be ideal for all brands.
Furthermore, it is important that for several high popularity keyword clusters, such as those related to local celebrities, local places, news or events are country-specific, and cannot be translated – they need to be discovered through local research.
The main terms are called ‘seed’ keywords/ideas which are then turned into sets of local keywords through research. Once a satisfying selection of local keywords has been generated, it can be further expanded for long-tail queries using tools like Google autocomplete or keyword planner.
There is also potential to look at the keywords that successful local competitors are focusing on; their local knowledge could be an invaluable indication of what works well in the industry.
If you require help on keyword research then please do get in touch at 0207 097 8906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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