Tips for Multilingual Keyword Research

It might be surprising to learn that English is not quite the top dog many people think it is when it comes to online search.

Research shows that consumers are much more likely to buy from sites written in their native language, which have a local top-level domain and which display their currency. That’s why you need your website to be translated into the native languages of your target markets, if you’re serious about attracting customers abroad.

But once you’ve had your web content translated for your target countries – preferably by a professional translator rather than a machine – then what? In order to attract customers from abroad you also need an effective SEO strategy, including correctly localised and researched keywords.


A good place to start, when it comes to finding those important keywords that drive traffic and attract customers, is the keyword research that you did for your English site. If you haven’t done that yet, time to start! Translate your English keywords into the language of your target market. Next, come up with related terms and synonyms in English, if you haven’t already, and translate those too.

This is a good time to bring in a native speaker to make sure there are no embarrassing or incorrect translations. Using literal dictionary translations is risky due to the fact that keywords often involve idiom, colloquialisms and other language quirks. You could get a direct keyword translation from a dictionary, but a native speaker may inform you that no one actually says that in real life, and in fact they’re more likely to say (or search for) something entirely different – this is invaluable information.

Subtle differences are important to bear in mind – don’t forget that the language spoken in Spain is not exactly the same as that spoken in Mexico and Argentina, despite the fact they are all Spanish-speaking countries. This is why it’s always better to create country-specific sites for all your target markets, rather than language-based sites.

A native speaker will also be able to tell you whether the correct keyword to use is an adoption from English, as is often the case with technical terms – German in particular makes use of many adopted English terms.


Now it’s time to apply some statistics to this keyword list and find out whether anyone is actually searching for these terms. Google’s free keyword tool is good for this. The golden combination for keywords is those keywords that lots of people search for, but which not many people are using. It’s quite a hard combination to find, especially in English, but the good news is that there is less keyword competition in languages other than English.

Using Google’s keyword tool, choose a combination of short-tail keywords and more specific long-tail ones. These will be used in your web content and any Pay Per Click advertising.

You can’t rely on Google alone, though, especially in markets abroad. Whilst it’s the main go-to search engine for most English speakers, in some countries other search engines are dominant, so you’ll need to repeat the keyword process using tools in engines like Baidu (China) and Yandex (Russia).

It’s best not to guess about search marketing strategies for foreign search engines. If you’re not from the country you’re researching, and are not familiar with search marketing for that country, why not ask someone who is? It’s the fastest and most reliable way to find out.

Search engine tools won’t do everything for you, though. There is still a strong element of trial and error and refinement required to target the most effective keywords.

Reflect and refine

Choosing your keywords is not the end of the story. Once your list is ready, it’s time to let your keywords loose online and see how they perform. Use analytics tools to see which keywords are driving traffic and attracting conversions, and which ones are simply not working. This will tell you which ones to get rid of and which to keep. Check what your competitors are up to keyword-wise as well. Keyword research is an ongoing process that needs to be constantly monitored, revised and refined. You need to be checking the performance of your keywords on at least a monthly basis.

Creating a Campaign on Clicksor

Not like the other networks, Clicksor is a rare ad-network to lets you to choose the language targeting. Language targeting helps you to have more efficient and relevant uses and traffic to your campaign. Clicksor is an online advertising network established in 2004. They serve over 3 billion impressions each month and they have all types of traffic that you need. They also let you have more targeting like time, geo, channel, country and etc and provide full by assigning an account manager. They will help you to optimise and monitor the campaign 24/7 so that you can maximise traffic and sales/leads.

Overall strategy

Of course, keywords are not the be-all and end-all, and they work in tandem with other strands of overall SEO strategy. When you’re localising your website for markets abroad you’ll also need to think about issues such as design, images, colour, hosting and accessibility, as well as link-building and Pay Per Click – but those are topics for another article.