3 tips for successful keyword research and content localization

Good localization is just good SEO.


Because having your content translated and localized specifically for your target market definitely helps that target audience find your content in organic search results.

And when they arrive on the page, localization helps them understand your products and services and take the actions you hope they take.

Poorly translated content (i.e. content that was not created for the best interest of the local audience) is more likely to struggle to gain visibility in organic search results.

Localization projects can be expensive.

However, consider the alternative: a cheap, poorly translated website.


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The results would be terrible – not just for SEO, but for the future of your business in this market.

Using the right words counts

Any local keyword research should always be done as the first step in the localization project.

Using the right word during the localization process will help you better connect with the local audience, which will impact the company’s success in these markets.

The word “good” does not mean that it is the word with the most search volume.

This means that it is the word most commonly used in the local market by the target audience for the type of industry your business is in.


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The word “analytical” can be translated as “解析” or “ア ナ レ テ ィ ッ ク ス”. Both are correct Japanese translations.

Let’s say you are trying to get subscriptions for your scan tool in Japan.

The analytics audience will have no problem with either word.

However, if you search for small and medium business owners, especially an older person, they may never search using the word [アナレティックス] like their search query and won’t find your content when they search for a tool.

Challenges faced by many foreign website owners


Just because a person is a native speaker doesn’t mean they can write professionally in the local language.

Not everyone has good writing skills.

The addition of the translation skill makes it difficult to find the right person for the job.

Some people use translation software to get the job done when asked to translate content (this happens more often than you might think).

Many companies choose to bring in internal talent. This makes sense because they often have a better understanding of the content.

The problem, however, remains: he / she may not be a good writer.

From an SEO perspective, there is concern that neither the translator nor the internal staff understand SEO.


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Especially when a person is skilled at writing and becomes very creative at localization work, sentences need to be completely rewritten, which can go against best practices for content optimization.

Translation project

Usually, the translation project is carried out independently.

SEO and other teams rarely have the ability to provide the information needed to create optimized content using the right keywords. Some companies have an internal team to review and edit content translated by an external agency.

If a business cares about content optimization, this is usually when content optimization happens, with a quick keyword research by the local team.


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While it may take longer to post content to the local site, it is probably a more reasonable process for many businesses.

Maintenance of local content

Unfortunately, another common challenge is keeping content local.

Once content is initially translated and localized with keyword research, it is usually left as is and is never updated, although the content is always refreshed and new pages are added to a parent site. .

The interests and queries of searchers can change surprisingly quickly, and the word on the site and even the content itself can become stale.


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The change could happen quickly and suddenly, even for some traditional businesses (as many learned during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Local businesses that immediately adapt to such changes can then update existing content or add new content to the site.

It is one of the biggest challenges for foreign companies to remain competitive in other markets.

Tips for Successful Keyword Research and Content Localization

1. Create a translation / localization process integrating keyword research and SEO

While SEO shouldn’t be the job of translators or content editors, having some understanding of SEO makes it easier to launch successful local sites.

Create SEO guidelines to follow.


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2. Always monitor website performance

After you launch the local site, monitor the performance.

Resolve issues quickly as you identify them.

If the pages are not ranking well, review the content optimization.

If the pages rank well but aren’t getting a lot of traffic or conversions, review the translation / post and user experience points.

Make sure you test the form and other conversion points work fine in the local market in the local language.

3. Talk to the local team and contact points

Through ongoing communication with the local team and other points of contact, including sales representatives, find out if they have noticed any changes in local interests.


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Ask them if the content of the site needs to be updated or changed. They may have seen the recent activities of local competitors.

Encourage them to provide such feedback which can help grow the business in their market.

Takeaway meals

It is essential to effectively integrate localization, SEO and content creation into a coordinated workflow.

The faster this happens, the faster you can achieve increased efficiency and performance.

This collaborative process will enable the entire business to understand the needs and wants of consumers, improving product innovation, content engagement and conversion.

Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita / SearchEngineJournal

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