Key functions of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) include Search Engine Advertising (SEA) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEA increases Google rankings through digital advertising (Google AdWords), while SEO helps to secure top positions through organic searches. David Schlee* – Managing Director of conversearch GmbH and consultant to EVS Translations for many years – explains how this relates to translations and why Google alone is not enough.
3 steps to international success
Translate your keywords and advertisements
Expanding your business into new markets inevitably raises the question of translating your company’s advertising materials. Critical to this task, though, is the translation of keywords and online advertising in order to communicate with these new markets and draw attention to your product. So let’s say a German company wants to enter the Russian market. As a starting point, the current landing pages are examined for important keywords. We, as an SEA agency, pass on these words to the translation company which does not simply translate them into Russian, but also identifies synonymous keywords that might perform better in the local Russian market. Using keyword planner tools, we check if there are appropriate search volumes for the translated and supplemented terms. And depending on the results, Google AdWords campaigns can then be adjusted on a target group basis.
British English is not American English and German German is not Swiss German. An American wanting to take a break might perform a search using the term “vacation”, whereas a British person would search using “holiday”. Likewise, a German would search using “Urlaub”, and a Swiss person “Ferien”. In this case an American company advertising in Great Britain with American words would be found less frequently than an American company using British English. The same goes for German and Swiss German. Two things should be clear: the main target group and any key cultural features that have to be taken into consideration.
Google alone is not enough – the role of Bing, Yahoo, Yandex and Baidu
If you restrict your SEO and SEA efforts only to the search engine giant Google, you are losing range. This is because other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, as well as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, can also impact a Google ranking. You need to take into consideration any search engines that have more impact than Google in your target markets. In Russia Yandex is the market leader with a market share close to 65%, while in China Baidu garners a market share of approximately 55%. Strategically prepared SEO translations placed in the right search engines can result in a considerable improvement of your company’s ranking.
If you have access to SEO tools and prefer to perform search engine marketing in-house, Schlee recommends an external check with an expert once a month to identify: the keyword sets that are doing well, which of these can be advertised more intensively, and where there is potential for savings.
* David Schlee is Managing Director of conversearch GmbH, an SEA agency founded in 2009 which focuses on consulting and management across a wide variety of search engines. His key focus areas are Google Analytics and web analysis, as well as PPC on Bing,Yahoo, Baidu and Yandex. He also offers workshops, seminars and coaching for companies that want to improve their search engine ranking.