LocWorld Session on International SEO

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International SEO Panel

Panelists: Andrew Bredenkamp (Acrolinx), Tim Coughlin (Translations.com), Gustavo Lucardi (Trusted Translations, Inc.)
Moderator: David Lin

As competition for international revenue grows, companies will keep pace only by localizing and optimizing their websites. After identifying keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), corporations need to ensure that writers use the keywords consistently. To meet the changing landscape of global communications, language service providers (LSPs) need to find innovative ways to promote and provide their services. This presentation will give guidelines and examples of how to optimize websites for any global market so that nothing is lost in translation. Topics include identifying and using keywords in a way that will improve both the output of machine translation as well as SEO on a global scale and case studies of how LSPs increase their sales using SEO.


What is the difference between international SEO and multilingual SEO? International = focus on country; multilingual = focus on language

Key elements of international SEO:

  • On site SEO: Things you do to drive traffic to your own site
  • Off site SEO: Forums, blogs, press releases, etc.
  • Long Tail Concept: using specific keywords

How does social media affect international SEO?

  • Social media optimization
  • Social SEO
  • Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and +1

International search engine marketing

  • Pay per click
  • International SEM
  • International PPC
  • Local search engines (Yandex, Baidu)

Selecting the right keywords for International SEO

  • Keyword translation or research
  • Keyword placement
  • Improve keywords: IPPC for ISEO; retargeting on site and off site ISEO keywords

Best practices for International SEO

  • Look for niche markets and the long tail
  • ISEO leverage your knowledge of languages
  • Avoid black SEO
  • Always use original content
  • Pay-per-click now; SEO and ISEO tomorrow


About five years ago, localization firms started getting pulled to clients’ SEO efforts.

ISEO Technical Basics:

  • Country specific TLD
  • Google webmaster tools = GeoTarget

Language Considerations:

  • Meta, image, and title tags
  • Relevant synonyms
  • Common misspellings
  • Industry specific keywords


  • Pervasive lack of market data
  • Micro-sites
  • Mobile sites
  • Top target full site
  • All require ISEO
  • Test, invest, repeat


SEO Technology Perspective:

  • People-intensive process
  • Lots of tools for Web Analytics (Google, Web CEO, SearchMetrics)
  • Some tools for Content Analytics (Covario, Acrolinx)

Four SEO steps: 1) keyword discovery & validation; 2) site audits; 3) site edits); and 4) Kaizen. This is an ongoing process.

Site edits currently present the biggest bottleneck; often outsourced and out of control.

Perspectives: SEO for user generated content; cross-lingual SEO

Keyword translation: pitfalls in automation; pitfalls in “traditional” translation

Customer challenges: rarely a “global owner” of SEO; difficulties in “translating” keywords; difficulties in validating and connecting global keywords


What is your strategy for international SEO?