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March 16th, 2011

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy that helps businesses to increase the visibility of their website on search engines. Using the range of SEO services on offer such as article writing, social media marketing, link building, directory submission and social bookmarking, businesses can certainly reach audiences throughout the globe.

A multilingual search engine is a good option as nearly 60% of the online users surf in their regional languages such as Portuguese, Russian, Telugu, Bengali, Tamil  and Japanese.  French, Italian, German, and Spanish, popularly called ‘FIGS’ in the localization industry are the most commonly localized languages on the web. Translating the entire website from English to a regional language is a challenging task. An effective alternative is to translate at least one page, optimize it with relevant keywords and meta tags, and then submit it to the local language search engines. You can even translate catalogs and manuals into any language, and convert them into different file formats.

A local TLD (top level domain) is a possible solution as it would help to enhance the rankings.  However, it is not always easy to get a TLD. In Australia, a business owner has to establish a new business either as an independent entity or as a subsidiary to register for a local domain.

Here are some key points on local language that can help optimize local SEO:

  • The company should use keywords that the local community can relate to. For example, if a barbecue restaurant chain is located in Dallas, Texas, keywords such as “barbecue, beef, Dallas, Texas, and restaurant,” can be used.
  • An MNC has to tailor its content to suit the needs of local customers. US soft drink giant Coca Cola uses local key words for its country-specific websites. In a multicultural and multi-linguistic nation like India, Coca Cola has used Hindi keywords; its catchy punch line: “Thanda matlab Coca Cola” is extremely popular among Indians.
  • The tone of the website is also important. It can vary from formal to informal. Usually, a semi-formal or conversational tone works well; language preferences vary with the nature of the business. Keep in mind the sales language and usage preferred in your locally targeted markets.
  • Use phrases and key words from the regional languages as this helps consumers establish a direct and emotional connection with the product or service. Using the script of local languages has found takers on social networking sites as well.
  • Although English is spoken throughout the world, superficial differences in dialect, accent, and spelling, crop up in every nation. For instance, India, a former colony of the British, follows what is called the Queen’s English or BBC English. Nowadays though, given the nation’s increasing interaction with US clients, American English is becoming the norm in corporate circles.
  • Go local by integrating local listings from international directories, and submitting releases and articles that have regional flavor.

Adapting your website to suit the foreign market is a step towards achieving a wider customer base and multilingual SEO success. Visitors should have the choice for language, since they know what would suit them best.  Optimize your website for SEO before you take the plunge into multilingual website development!

vSplash Team

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