How to do keyword research for a global SEO strategy

You may be looking to take your business that one step further and break the international barrier, and that’s great! But there are a few things to consider beforehand. One of those things is keyword research.

Keyword research is at the heart of any SEO strategy. It informs the content you write and helps you know what terms to try and rank highly for in the SERPs. But how does the research change when it’s a global SEO strategy?

This step forward may seem overwhelming, but we’re here to break down how you can tailor keyword research for going international.

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The basics of keyword research

Performing keyword research means finding which keywords have the highest search volume and then building content around this. Content that targets keywords is likely to rank higher as more people are searching for those specific terms.

All SEO strategies involve keyword research, but the approach to this research may change depending on the type of SEO you implement. For example, local SEO would tailor keyword research towards the local area that it aims to rank highly in.

How does keyword research change for a global SEO strategy?

What does going global actually mean for your keyword research? Global SEO (or international SEO) aims to optimise your website to appear in the SERPs globally instead of focusing on one region. This is a good practice for businesses looking to expand their audience and create more opportunities for revenue.

So, if your target audience and ranking opportunity are expanding overseas, then your keywords may need to change. The research means identifying the foreign language keywords and aiming to optimise for these instead of the keywords in your current location. After all, you want to rank for clusters of keywords that your users are searching for in other countries so your site can be found.

How to tailor keyword research for a global SEO strategy

So how do you tailor the ins and outs of keyword research to an international SEO strategy? Here’s what you should do:

Begin with your usual keyword research

The first step, of course, is to determine your keywords. Identify the ones you’d like to use so you aren’t overwhelmed with the hundreds of possibilities. Pick seed terms, ones with high search volume and that have potential internationally, not just locally.

Your usual keyword research can be done with tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner and many other useful tools. Check out our blog about 10 free keyword research tools that you can use anytime, anywhere with the bonus of being completely free!

Translate and localise the keywords

Once you have your keywords, it’s essential to translate them. By translation, we don’t necessarily mean a direct translation- it means finding an equivalent of your keyword in a different region, which may have to be an entirely different phrase altogether.

Localising your keywords means translating them in a way that’s understandable for an international audience so your site will rank highly for their user’s search queries. The localisation process means the differences between languages and cultures aren’t overlooked.

Consider search engine differences

Different search engines may be used more or less frequently in other countries, so optimising just for Google may be a risky move. Focusing on just Google’s algorithm limits your opportunity for ranking on the more frequently used search engines in other regions, so it’s valuable to include general best practices wherever possible. Use keyword research from other search engines, not just Google.

Check your translated and localised keywords

Once you’re happy that your keywords are translated and localised, it’s definitely worth putting them back through an international keyword research tool to check their accuracy and search volume.

If it comes back that they have a low search volume, then you may want to reconsider your choice of keyword and go for something that people are more likely to search for. Or, you may want to double-check the translation and localisation process to see if the words have been properly localised to the area.

Analysing the search intent behind the keyword helps you know what content people are actually wanting to find with this keyword. This is one of the key checks to see if the new keywords are going to work for whatever search query is typed. Helpful content that aligns with a user’s search intent is rewarded by the search engine, so it’s worth checking whether search intent varies between regions.

Want help with your SEO strategy? Contact Embryo today

Our Embryo SEO team can help develop a strategy tailored to your industry needs and help you achieve the goals for your business, whether this be on a global or local scale. Whatever your need, we’re here to efficiently optimise.

Got a question that’s not covered here? Give us a call at 0161 327 2635 or email [email protected].

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