Recipe for success for international SEO texts
Why do I need international SEO texts? The internationalization of one’s own business holds great potential. Especially for industries that are subject to high competitive pressure in the German market, foreign countries often offer attractive growth opportunities.
International SEO texts: The biggest challenge is the content
Does my internationalization strategy work? That depends on whether an adaptation to the respective market conditions succeeds. This also applies to the internationalization of your search engine optimization (SEO) measures, which we will now take a closer look at. One of the biggest challenges is to provide the right content adapted to the respective target market. In addition to the effort involved, the cost factor must always be taken into account.
To solve these challenges, there are various options for creating international SEO texts:
- machine translation of existing content
- professional translation of existing content
- redesign of content in the respective language adapted to the user search behavior
Each of these strategies has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we will take a closer look at below.
Important aspects for international SEO texts
There are several aspects to consider when creating SEO texts for the international market.
Technical aspects for international SEO texts
From an SEO point of view, internationalization depends not only on the right domain strategy but also on technical aspects. For example, a correct application of the hreflang tag and a correct definition and integration of sitemaps in international stores is crucial to be successful in international SEO.
Visual aspects of international SEO texts
A different language also means a different word length. In places where space is at a premium – such as menus, headlines or teaser boxes – there may therefore be problems with the presentation.
Character of the text
Are your texts descriptive, i.e. descriptive, or argumentative, i.e. advisory or explanatory? Successful SEO texts are usually argumentative in nature and are strongly geared to the user questions that a target group has about a particular topic. These can vary from market to market or country to country. Therefore, a redesign of your content is recommended if your texts should have a more descriptive character.
Demand in search
Search engine optimization is only successful if it creates content that serves a demand. However, this demand varies from country to country. On the one hand, this can already be due to different population figures, which cause a quantitative influence. On the other hand, the vocabulary of languages also differs. Topics that are clearly designated in the German language can be paraphrased in foreign languages using different terms and formulations. Often, however, it is the other way around: while many synonymous formulations and terms exist in German, this complexity is reduced in the individual foreign languages.
This can even occur with complex B2B topics. In Germany, for example, the terms “sash lock”, “turn-turn fastener” and “square lever lock” refer to the same component. In the English-speaking world, on the other hand, the term “quarter turn” is used exclusively for it.
Other living conditions and cultural backgrounds can also lead to variations in demand. For example, tastes as well as the sizes searched for in terms of bathroom equipment differ significantly when comparing search queries on the topic of “bathtub” in different countries. In Germany, for example, people often search for enameled bathtubs, usually with a size of 1.70 m or more. In China, on the other hand, bathtubs seem to play a subordinate role; instead, a high search volume is recorded for the question “wooden or metal bathtub?”. In Russia, searches are increasingly for bathtubs with feet, which have a length of 1.2 m to 1.6 m.
Translation vs. redesign of international content: advantages and disadvantages
From these points of view, the advantages and disadvantages of the various approaches become clear and are examined in more detail below.
Machine translation is not perfect from a grammatical perspective, although tools such as DeepL now provide excellent translations in some language combinations. On the other hand, this variant is convincing due to its low costs and at the same time represents a very fast solution. It is therefore ideal when time-to-market plays a major role or when small resources are to be used to test how the target group and market behave in other countries. However, the keyword alignment does not play any role in the machine approach – it is therefore not possible to react to a different type of search behavior.
Especially when large amounts of content need to be translated in a short period of time, keeping an entire team busy at the same time, it remains challenging to achieve consistent terminology and style. In this case, it pays to use professional translators. They are native speakers of the target language who know which expressions best convey the meaning of the original text and ensure a consistent style. With tools such as across.net, they can ensure consistency even in highly complex projects and support project management at the same time.
In addition, professional translators have the necessary cultural and linguistic understanding to assess which topics and expressions might be less well received by the target audience. However, the disadvantage of a professional translation is the price that has to be budgeted for it. In addition, the implementation takes longer than with the machine method, because search engine optimization experts may have to look over the texts afterwards. This is because the keyword alignment is not optimal here either, so that the reaction to a different search behavior is also only possible to a limited extent. Translators may be native speakers, but they rarely know anything about the specific search behavior of users or do not know the relevant keywords without a suitable briefing.
A redesign is expensive and usually takes even longer than a professional translation, but it can still score with some advantages. For example, this approach is very flexible and can be individually tailored to the demand, questions of the target audience as well as the necessary keywords for internal linking. This saves a subsequent revision of the texts, since all important content as well as SEO specifications can be taken into account from the outset and the texts perfectly reflect the user search behavior in the target country.
International SEO texts: Cleverly combine translation and redesign
In order to quickly produce content that is both SEO-relevant and individually appealing to your target group, it is worthwhile to rely on a combination of translation and redesign for international content.
Repeat keyword analysis in the target country
It is best to translate the German keywords first, taking synonyms and paraphrases into account. In addition, research manually using main keywords for the keywordplanner ideas. At this point, at the latest, missing synonyms and terms emerge that should be incorporated into the text. The Google Translate plug-in can help you to classify the keywordplanner ideas correctly. If more terms are found, you should combine them in common keyword combinators with different attributes. This way you will also discover useful long-tail keywords for your international SEO texts.
Text translation with revision
Then have a professional translation of the German text done. Provide the translator with a briefing containing the relevant keywords in the target language. This should also include the link texts that are required in the translation. This way, the translation can be done with a slight adaptation that takes into account deviations in search behavior.
Strong international SEO texts: Mix of translation and redesign
You want to create SEO texts for the international market to make your business even more successful and expand your target audience? Then you should orient yourself to the respective market conditions. The character of your texts, the internal linking and the demand in search have a decisive influence on the success of your content in the target market. When creating informative and meaningful international SEO texts, a combination of translation and new conception is recommended. This is the only way to align the texts with individual keywords and save time at the same time.
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