As an established company with an online presence, odds are you already know what search engine optimisation (SEO) is. You might also have an existing SEO strategy that is thoroughly implemented on the landing pages of your website. It drives the traffic you need to bring customers and your products together, and you’re delighted with the value that it adds to your business.
But what about your non-English landing pages? Say you’re seeking to expand your business to the Nordic market – would you be just as diligent about applying SEO to your localised content?
If you choose to skip the SEO stage when localising your website, you risk missing out on great business opportunities. Partnering with a specialist company to handle the entire process of translating and search-engine optimising your content, on the other hand, enables you to seize that opportunity, giving your customers the best possible experience at the same time.
But don’t just take our word for it! Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in international SEO for the Nordic market.
? What is SEO, and why is it important?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising webpage content with the aim of improving the webpage ranking in organic search engine results.
A good ranking in Google’s search results means that your webpage will be spotted before your competitors’, increasing the likelihood that users will visit your site and buy your specific products or services.
There are several roads to SEO of a website, one of them being the implementation of select keywords into the body copy of a landing page. These keywords are chosen based on a number of factors, e.g. how often users search for them in search engines and the competition from other pages using the same keyword.
Want to know more about SEO and how it’s implemented in a multilingual context? Have a read of our Beginner’s guide to multilingual SEO.
1. Customers tend to search for products and services in their own language
You may be wondering if it’s necessary to translate your content into the Nordic languages in the first place. After all, people in the Nordic countries generally have excellent English-language skills. While high English-language proficiency across the Nordic region has been documented by multiple studies, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish customers prefer to do their online searches in English.
In fact, a study from 2011 showed that 42% of EU respondents never use other languages when searching for products and services online. It does make sense when you think about it. Shopping for products or services on foreign sites might mean costly shipping and prolonged delivery times – or services not being available in the user’s home country – and who has time for searches with outcomes like those?
When it comes to targeting the Nordic market, communicating with consumers in their own language can give you that edge. If you choose to optimise your localised content for search engines, you’ll be able to effectively connect with your intended audience and engage with them in a way that could result in new business for you.
2. Localising keywords means less competition in search results
The fact that your Nordic audience is more likely to search for products and services in their own language makes it worth publishing SEO-friendly translations of your web content. But did you know that this also means filtering out competition in Google search results?
Let’s take an example. Imagine typing the words backlit keyboard into Google’s search bar and hitting enter. If you do, you get 54.5 million hits and a massive variety of pages giving you the option to buy backlit keyboards, watch how-to videos about backlit keyboards or read articles on which backlit keyboard is the best. Picture a company using this term as a keyword in search-optimised text on their landing page. The amount of competition from other web pages would be huge, and it would take a great effort for the landing page to rank near the top of the search results.
By search-engine optimising your translated content, you can drown out the background noise of your competition significantly. Consider the Danish equivalent of our English keyword above: baggrundsbelyst tastatur. When searching for this keyword on Google, you get just 385,000 hits – a mere fraction of the 54.5 million from your first search. Of course, the audience is much smaller as well, but it’s a higher-quality audience tailored to the market you’re targeting. Better to be a big fish in a small pond in this case.
Because of the widespread use of English on the internet, using localised keywords is an effective strategy to segment your target audience and reduce competition from other pages in the search engine results, making your products and services more visible to online customers.
3. SEO and localisation build brand credibility
As a business, having a trusted brand is crucial for generating revenue. Your products or services may be the best, but if your brand is suffering your customers might turn their backs and head to your competitors.
Localising your online content and making sure that it’s thoroughly optimised gives your customers a better user experience, meaning they can easily find what they’re looking for and read about it in their own language. Making your content easily accessible to your customers in this way leaves them feeling good about your brand and more likely to buy your products or services.
The impact of this effort is particularly appreciated in the Nordic countries, where some international companies don’t bother with localisation. Making the investment demonstrates to your Nordic customers that you value their business, and helps you stand out from international competitors that might not be as committed to the region.
4. SEO drives a higher conversion rate than traditional marketing channels
If you thought that SEO was an inadequate tool, that channels an insignificant number of extra leads to your website, you might want to read this. Statistics show that SEO’ed online content drives a conversion rate of a whopping 14.6%, as opposed to the 1.7% conversion rate from traditional marketing channels such as print ads and direct mail. This means that the number of leads coming to a website from SEO that go on to make a purchase is more than 8 times higher than those from traditional strategies.
The explanation for this is simple. SEO, being a “pull” rather than a “push” strategy, generates leads that are already interested in knowing more and may already wish to buy a certain product or service. So, publishing SEO-friendly translations of your online content is an efficient way of leveraging an existing interest in defined customer segments and boost revenue faster than traditional marketing strategies.
5. International SEO as a service is a convenient end-to-end solution
Using search-engine optimised translations of your online content certainly has its benefits, but maybe you’re convinced that it’s better to keep this task in-house and let your own employees handle it? You might be tempted to believe that this will save you both money and time, but letting a specialised company perform the task will in fact do exactly that – in addition to being a convenient end-to-end solution.
In our recent article 6 reasons why you shouldn’t rely on your own employees for translation, we explained why translation is a specialist skill which, when performed incorrectly, could cause more harm than good. The same applies to international SEO, where picking the wrong keyword could mean your efforts fail to bear fruit. Choosing a specialised company to translate and optimise your online content:
- Is highly convenient for you,
- Yields a high-quality result, and
- Allows for tailoring to your exact needs.
Let’s take a closer look at these three points.
Firstly, performing international SEO can be a struggle for untrained non-specialists. Navigating various advanced online tools and honing in on the right keywords is not easy unless you have the skills and know-how to do it. Handing over the reins to a translation company means that you avoid that hassle whilst trained professionals manage your task.
Secondly, choosing a translation company for the job means choosing professional translators, who not only have the education and training to deliver high-quality translation, but also the cultural expertise to help select the right keywords for your content.
Thirdly, a translation company can tailor your international SEO to your exact needs, whether you need an extensive search-engine optimised transcreation of your content or already have a list of keywords to be implemented in a text.
All things considered, investing in international SEO for the Nordic market yields numerous benefits and could be your leg-up into the Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish markets. Want to know more about what Sandberg can offer? Take a look at our Multilingual marketing and ISEO services page.