More than 90% of business leads begin in a search engine and at least twelve languages utilizing localized dialects and cultural touchstones are required to connect with 80% of the Internet. 

However, executives’ knowledge of global SEO is usually antiquated with brands often doing little more than a quick website translation in their attempts to create global connections.

In fact, most enterprise brands try to apply the same keywords and search behaviors across all audience outreaches. But it’s imperative to understand a foreign audience’s specific search behaviors beyond a simple translation to create a sustainable, data-driven technique that drives global lead generation.

Search behavior is not the same all over the world. Your customers search differently based on where they live and their culture, and this can have a significant effect on a brand’s SEO efforts.

The algorithms that power search engines are constantly updated based on these changes behaviors. Because of this, it’s important to understand how to optimize your site(s) for different regions and cultures.

Understanding the influence of cultural differences on search behavior is critical for a brand’s global marketing and SEO success. These differences can lead to vastly differing attitudes that will influence:

  • how people search online
  • what they look for in a website
  • the content they are more likely to share or endorse with others (such as reviews)
  • and their expectations of which platforms provide trustworthy information.

Brands should adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. Here are just a few of the steps to consider when developing your global SEO programs.

  1. Assess your most profitable foreign markets and make sure you understand where you most converting traffic originates.
  2. Develop keyword research for each foreign market and consider local language and cultural differences/meanings.
  3. Be sure to consider the right search engine for each market. It’s easy to think Google will be the best channel for your SEO campaigns. But consider that in Russia, Yandex is far more valuable. In Japan, Yahoo! Japan supersedes Google and in China, you will want to leverage Baidu. Be sure you examine the best engine for each region you target as this can change based on a very small geography.
  4. Consider local/regional legislation and rules regarding your website and its content. This is especially important when it comes to privacy laws.
  5. Make sure you fully understand the right URL structure for each region as these vary, even within countries.
  6. Localize the site pages in the target language. We recommend you utilize native speakers as a basic translation doesn’t always include “slang” or other commonly used phrases. This is especially important when it comes to your specific products as different groups may use different terms to describe your products. Be sure to consider Hreflang and internal linking structures as well.
  7. Remember to utilize currency differences as well.

Defining and utilizing a minimum set of criteria or best practices to follow is crucial to guarantee the user experience is matched to each locale and language you wish to target. Different nuances between locales or languages can slow down a process that should be streamlined as best as possible.

If you need assistance with your global SEO strategy, please give us a call. Remember, it takes 12 different languages to reach 80% of the internet. Here at Acronym, our teams currently speak 14 different languages fluently. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your customers wherever they are.