Maximising Global SEO Performance – Pubcon 2019

International SEO is often done badly as people just rely on Google Translate and don’t consider how they should localise their content to appeal to regional/local markets.

  1. Maximizing Global SEO Performance Presented by: David Iwanow
  2. What my session will cover? 1. Translate vs Localise? 2. Consider local languages 3. Google Translate? 4. Regional differences 5. Insights from Survey 6. Using data to guide your strategy 7. Scaling insights with GSC data 8. ??? 9. Profit
  3. Translate vs Localise? • Don’t take the easy path with Google Translate! • If you want success you need to localize the content • Cut corners and you will cut impact/results • It’s not a opportunity to do the bare minimum
  4. What is your team doing?
  5. When you just Google translate it
  6. Don’t stop at localisation go further…
  7. Learn, measure and adapt what works
  8. Think outside the translation box • Imperial vs metric • miles vs kilometres • centimetres vs inches • Fahrenheit vs Celsius • stone vs kilogram vs ounce vs gram • Liquid – millilitres, centilitres, litre, UK pint, us pint, fluid ounce, gallon • Currency #,### #.###,## #,###.## #,###.### • Currency (EUR) €1.234,56 1.234,56€ • Date formats – Day/Month/Year, Month/Day/Year, Year/Month/Day • How will text length change? Spanish typically uses more words than English • Use of Z & U – specialise vs specialize…. colour vs color • Consider layout on RTL (Arabic, Hebrew) • Consider layout on TTB (Chinese, Japanese and Korean)
  9. Consider how your market uses idioms Phrase/Word Australian meaning Common meaning Cold One Beer/Drink A name for the undead (pale skin) Arvo/S’Arvo Afternoon/This Afternoon ??? Save for ron Save for later on Save for someone named Ron Barbie Barbeque “BBQ” Barbie Doll Bush Countryside A plant Cactus Dead/Broken A plant Devo Devastated Definitely/80s Rock Band Hard yakka Hard work Clothing brand Manchester Sheets/Linen A town in England Rellie/Rello Relatives Relocation? Runners Trainers/Sneakers People who run Servo Service station/Garage/Petrol station Servomotor Skull Down a drink Enclosing the brain Slab carton of beers Concrete base Snag Sausage Hit a snag Swag Like a sleeping bag Free stuff from conferences Tea Dinner A cup of tea (hot drink) Thongs Flip Flops Underwear Tinny Can of beer/small boat Displeasing thin metallic sound Tucker Food A piece of lace or linen worn Woop Woop Middle of nowhere ???
  10. Think about variations and slang Item Common variations Poker machine, pokies, one-armed bandit, slot machine, fruit machine, coin machine, gaming machines Hotel, guest house, inn, motel, bed & breakfast, b&b, resort, motor lodge, motor inn, motor hotel, tourist court, hostel, accomodation, cabins Gambling, betting, bet, gaming, punting, punt, wagering, wager, venture, lay, put on, speculate, risk, flutter, ante, long shot, stake Money, banknote, bread, bucks, chips, cash, bill, coin, coinage, dough, gold, gravy, greenback, loot, pesos, wad, hard cash, legal tender, dosh, copper, quid, shrapnel, shrappers, tenner, lobster, pineapple, fiver, ten-spot, qe2, c-note, toonie, half a sawbuck, sawbuck
  11. Consider the acronyms you use
  12. Consider secondary languages Country Foreign languages USA English (70%) Spanish (11.4%) Chinese (0.9%) French (0.6%) Tagalog (0.4%) Korean (0.3%) German (0.3%) Arabic (0.3%) Canada English (58%) French (21.43%) Bilingual French/English (22.94%) UK French (23%) German (9%) Spanish (8%) Ireland French (20%) German (7%) Spanish (3.7%) France English (39%) Spanish (13%) German (8%) Italian (5%) Portuguese (3%) Italy English (34%) Spanish (11%) German (8%) French (16%) Spain Catalan (19%) Galician (5%) Basque (2%) Germany English (56%) French (15%) Russian (5%) Portugal English (27%) French (15%) Spanish (10%) Poland English (33%) Russian (26%) German (19%) Denmark English (86%) German (47%) Swedish (13%) Norway English (80%) Finland English (70%) German (18%) French (10%) Sweden English (86%) German (30%) French (11%) Netherlands English (90%) German (71%) French (29%) Spanish (5%)
  13. Consider all the official languages Country Official Language USA None… English is most widely used of 430 languages spoken in the USA Canada French & English UK English, Welsh, Scots Gaelic Ireland English & Irish (Gaelic) Switzerland German, French, Italian, Romansch (0.5%) Spain Castilian Spanish 74% (national); Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2% (regionally) Cyprus Greek & Turkish Singapore Malay (national) Mandarin, English & Tamil Hong Kong English & Chinese (Cantonese) Philippines Filipino (based on Tagalog), English Finland Finnish & Swedish Norway Bokmål Norwegian, Nynorsk Norwegian Niger French Nigeria English Netherlands Dutch, Frisian Mongolia Mongolian, Turkic & Russian
  14. Can be confusing and mistakes happen Country ccTLD ISO 3166-2 ISO 3166-1 Official language United Kingdom GB GBR EN Australia AU AUS EN Austria .at AT AUT DE Haiti .ht HT HAT FR, Haitian Creole Brazil BR BRA PT Spain (Catalan) .cat CA CAT Catalan Spain .es ES ESP ES India .in IN IND 22 languages Vanuatu .vu VU VUT EN,FR, Bislama China CN CN CHN zh-Hans (simplified) zh-Hant (traditional) zh-CN (Google)
  15. Localisation of content is important?
  16. Reliant on Google Translate?
  17. Google translate can be wrong
  18. Google translate breaks things
  19. Google translate can really…
  20. Google translate can really break stuff
  21. What you need to think about 1. Don’t refuse to translate it because most of your audience understands it 2. If you are just Google translating it you are doomed to fail internationally 3. If you are not localising your content you are likely missing the mark 4. Consider using data from internal sources such as Google Analytics or GSC 5. Google Trends can also be useful for highlighting regional bias 6. Engage with your local team as they will give you insights you can’t find in SEO tools 7. Doing Localised content is harder but doing it right is worth it 8. Localised content typically has a better chance of success in SEO 9. Localised content typically has higher engagement and conversion rates 10. Make sure you have suitable budget/investment to support you
  22. Yes translating can be complex Classification Variations of “Child” How many? Synonyms bairn, bambino, bud, chap, chick, cub, juvenile, kid, kiddie, kiddy, kiddo, moppet, sprat, sprout, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster, youth, babe, baby, infant, neonate, newborn 24 Related adolescent, minor, kindergartner, kindergartener, preschooler, rug rat, schoolboy, schoolchild, schoolgirl, schoolkid, babe, baby, bantling, infant, neonate, nestling, newborn, toddler, tot, tyke, tike, weanling, brat, devil, hellion, imp, jackanapes, mischief, monkey, rapscallion, rascal, rogue, urchin, whippersnapper, cherub, preteen, preteen-ager, subteen, teen, teenager, teener, teenybopper, tween, lad, nipper, shaver, stripling, tad, bobby-soxer, hoyden, tomboy, foundling, nursling, suckling, preemie, premie, bantling, kid, kiddie, kiddy, kiddo, moppet, toddler, tot, tyke, tike, boy, nipper, tad, juvenile, minor, youngling, youngster, youth, brat, imp, squirt, urchin, whippersnapper, girl, hoyden, tomboy 81
  23. Translation context is important English (Build) Synonyms Spanish Arabic Classificat ion frame, physique, body, conformation, constitution, figure, habit, habitus, shape contextura {f} complexión {f} construcción {f} generación {f} compilación {f} ‫ْﯾﺔ‬‫ﻧ‬ُ‫ﺑ‬ [binya] ‫ﻗﺎﻣﺔ‬ [qāma] ‫َوام‬‫ﻗ‬ [qawām] Noun assemble, erect, evolve, form, make, manufacture, produce, raise, reconstruct, set up, carpenter, cast, compile, compose, contrive, engineer, fabricate, fashion, forge, frame, model, prefabricate, rear, sculpture, synthesize, bring about, fit together, jerry-build, knock together, put together, put up superstruct, throw together, throw up, base, begin, establish, set up, start, constitute, formulate, inaugurate, institute, originate, boost, develop, enlarge, expand, improve, strengthen, aggrandize, amplify, augment, compound, escalate, extend, heighten, intensify, magnify, mount, multiply, swell, wax construir [construyendo|construido] edificar [edificando|edificado] fincar confeccionar [confeccionando|confecciona do] erigir [erigiendo|erigido; erecto] َ‫ﺄ‬َ‫ﺷ‬ْ‫ﻧ‬َ‫أ‬ [ʼanšaʼa] ‫َﻧﻰ‬‫ﺗ‬ْ‫ﺑ‬‫ا‬ [ibtanā] َ‫ﺷﺎد‬ [šāda] ‫َقﱠ‬‫ﺷ‬ [šaqqa] َ‫ﱠﻊ‬‫ﻧ‬َ‫ﺻ‬ [ṣannaʻa] َ‫ر‬ [ʻamara] َ‫ﱠر‬‫ﻣ‬َ‫ﻋ‬ [ʻammara] ‫ﱠ‬‫د‬ [madda] Verb
  24. Product names can be important
  25. Regional differences will occur Source:
  26. Regional differences will occur Source:
  27. Regional differences will occur Source:
  28. Regional differences will occur Source:
  29. Regional differences will occur Source:
  30. Regional differences will occur Source:
  31. NL-NL vs NL-BE
  32. NL-NL vs NL-BE + FR-BE
  33. What have I learnt? • Localised keyword research can be expensive • Badly done local keyword research can be underwhelming, fail and damage your brand • Poorly executed translation of keywords can be taken out of context • Competitors are often too busy/lazy to focus on the finer details of localisation • Words in some languages have a gender (Spanish) and some don’t (Finnish) • Context is often very important for translation
  34. Let’s ask the industry?
  35. Let’s gather some more data
  36. instead of
  37. instead of • English users more likely to do another Google search • Bilingual users are more likely to look for a US alternative • Bilingual users are more likely to get frustrated and give up search • Bilingual users are more likely to get frustrated and click anyway • Female visitors are more likely to try their Google Search again • Female visitors are more likely to get frustrated and click anyway Source: Google Consumer Surveys 30th July Respondents: USA – 539 Bilingual + 569 English
  38. Website not in your native language? Source: Google Consumer Surveys 30th July Respondents: USA – 562 Bilingual + 541 English
  39. Website not in your native language? • Bilingual users are more likely to use Google Translate • English users are more likely to leave the website • English users are much less likely to give it a go and guess • Male visitors are much more likely to use Google translate • Female visitors are more likely to leave the website • Female visitors are more likely to give it a go and guess Source: Google Consumer Surveys 30th July Respondents: USA – 562 Bilingual + 541 English
  40. Use data to guide your strategy
  41. What can you discover?
  42. But let’s start with GSC data
  43. Follow @jroakes for SEO tech
  44. Let’s start at v1
  45. So how is the output?
  46. Let’s improve the output in v2
  47. Now we are happy with the output
  48. Process for v3
  49. Process for v4
  50. GSC global average rank
  51. GSC global average CTR
  52. Process for future versions?
  53. Any further questions? Ping me on Twitter @davidiwanow