Talk to anyone about the most important aspect of web localization and you’re bound to hear almost a dozen different answers. Discussions will likely center around constructing good global gateways, having customized social media, optimized keywords and knowledge of local search engines. The conversation might shift to the nitty-gritty: Link building, meta-data and alt text or other off-page SEO tactics.
The brightest of the bunch might debate on the importance of cultural knowledge, leading to a discussion on how to properly use calls-to-action, making color choices or selecting the proper user interface for a market. However, there is one aspect of web-loc that is often neglected and, when not done to the best of one’s abilities, can result in the nullification of hard-work in any of the aforementioned areas: Translation.
Thanks to faster internet speeds and more consumers with access to computers and mobile devices across the globe, today’s web users are engaging with content at a rapid rate. But with such a plethora of choices out there, from news articles to blogs, infographics to video and everything in between, what exactly are people watching and reading? What’s more, who’s clicking what?
The average consumer is spending more time with computer-based video content and less with their television, a Q3 2012 Nielsen Survey of global multi-screen media usage revealed. To support these habits, internet connections worldwide are speeding up, with Asia remaining in the lead. Hong Kong stands tall with the fastest online connection of 49.3 Mbps speeds, Gavin O’Malley reported in Media Post. The U.S. can’t even compare – falling in at 14th place. Continue reading »
We all know that to successfully establish your company’s global footprint, you need to localize your web presence. However, what many fail to realize is that doing it right goes beyond simply translating your site into a few different languages and slapping the proper country code on the end of your URL. High quality web localization caters individually to specific markets and is much deeper than having a good global gateway and quality translation.
To have a chance at success, you must be acutely aware of cultural factors such as which web format your market best responds to and what color connotations are in different markets. You must also know who makes up your market and their general user behavior including how they browse, the local search engines, date formatting and local currency. Continue reading »
These days, any combination of the words “European,” “market,” and “growth” are typically tied with a warning label and lots of fine print. With repeated talks of bailouts and austerity measures, it seems like every option for a business in Europe is high risk low reward. Can a global business do anything to stay ahead of the curve without having their ambitions beaten to a pulp by a failing Euro?
While stocks and bonds continue their erratic behavior, believe it or not some European markets are experiencing growth. In my opinion, with the steady pace of decline in manufacturing activity across Europe, eCommerce is one of the few industries that will continue to report growth for the future. Even in the Euro-zone, where low-balling an estimate is gospel, state statistical research organizations recognize eCommerce as an over 200 billion Euro industry. Continue reading »
I’ve spent nine years working in search engine optimization and have yet to come across someone in the field who doesn’t feel passionate about it. I’m always amazed at the level of dedication those involved in search have to this ever-changing industry. What was once considered a simple process of keyword stuffing and keyword density targeting has now become an intricate process of content creation, technical development and ongoing data analysis – and this just skims the surface of the art and science behind successful search engine optimization. Continue reading »
In a recent interview, Google’s Matt Cutts spoke about the importance of truly unique content to searchers and search engines alike. Simply put, Google and other major search engines reward sites that have fresh, unique content because they signal added value to users.
While many organizations we work with typically follow this advice in their domestic market, the challenge of publishing unique content that is SEO-friendly on a regular basis in different markets is often viewed as a zero-sum game. As a result, some are risking Continue reading »
Google claims the majority of the search engine market share in the U.S., raking in nearly 65 percent of all searches in May 2012, according to a study by Hitwise. The same can be said for many international markets, yet statistics on international search engine behavior outline that, depending on country and language, internet usage worldwide can be drastically different from their American/Western counterparts.
To expand globally, data mining needs to be done at the local level. The world’s internet population is growing – increasing nearly 528 percent between 2000 and 2011 alone according to Internet World Stats – and global organizations are increasingly leveraging in-market data and uncovering new growth opportunities that directly impact their bottom lines. Gone are the days where marketers view SEO as a mere inbound marketing tactic. Today, as the trend of internet marketing spending continues to spike, SEO and SEM are considered primary revenue performance channels and access to in-market data is key for global marketers to plan, prioritize and calculate marketing ROI.
So, if you had a global footprint that spanned over 26 countries around the globe and access to a human knowledge network in virtually every market, what data would be most useful to your organization’s digital strategy? What internet marketing information do you feel is missing from your current global view?
I spent last week speaking with a number of leading global marketers in London. We had a full day session with a number of great company presentations and some very open dialog about the operational challenges of global digital marketing and SEO web translation.
At the end of the day, I asked the group what was the single biggest takeaway for them from the session. The nearly unanimous response was the diagram below:
The Venn diagram represents three worlds that used to be completely separate and are now being forced to merge together for global marketers to achieve their objectives – and it is painful. The three circles represent the following supplier groups:
A very interesting survey from ANA that you should check out. The main takeaway:
“The good news is that comparatively few plan to cut agency compensation — only 17% of all respondents, which is the lowest since 2008. Instead, they are asking agencies to look for ways to cut costs internally. More than half (52%) of marketers surveyed will challenge their agencies with such a request during the course of this year.
In essence, agencies are being called on to share the burden of cost-efficiency. More marketers say they are under pressure to tightly manage their controllable spending. Last year 77% of respondents said they had been asked to control spending; that jumped to 84% this year.”
We are seeing this in our client base. At many companies Procurement is involved for the first time in agency spend and promoting a “decoupling” of agency spend to improve operational efficiency. Agencies would be used for what they do best (strategy, creative, campaign concepts, etc.) but the digital production, translation and web publishing would be performed by an operations focused outsourcing provider.
Many companies we speak with are expressing frustration with their search engine rankings in countries outside of their home base. Most companies do a decent job with SEO in their home markets, but globally it tends to be a different story. A core part of the challenge for many of them is how they currently approach website translation. To assist them, we developed a 3 stage maturity model that you see below:
The majority of companies we speak with are still in the CRAWL phase and just now starting to take a look at international SEO search rankings and developing a solid keyword list in each market. For too long, translation and SEO have been artificially separated due to a separation in the vendor community between translators and SEO experts. These two worlds are now coming together and companies should look for a partner that has fully integrated SEO into the web translation process to effectively WALK. Some advanced companies in international SEO leading industries such as travel & hospitality are already in a RUN and achieving significant results.
Do you know where you stand in each of your global markets? If not, we offer a free Global SEO Analysis to help you begin the journey.