Making SEO a Part of Your Localization

by | Jan 15, 2018

Integrating SEO into localization is something that businesses either have
no clue of or get completely wrong. In fact, several surveys have found
that most businesses seem to have no idea of how to use SEO effectively in
their localization efforts.

Most of them claim they understand how SEO works with regard to
localization, but the harsh reality is that their efforts aren’t even being

SEO plays a very critical role in a business landscape where global search
optimization is more important than ever. If a business’s localization
efforts don’t factor in SEO as a prime requirement, failure is inevitable.

So, it’s time for companies to have that much-needed meeting with their
localization teams regarding what’s being done in the SEO integration area.
Apart from paying attention to the entire process, companies also need to
start looking at keyword management.

Know Your Process

The first thing you need to do is to get to know the localization process
that your team uses. Sometimes, what you hear might just surprise you. For
example, a common issue among localization teams is the inability to adapt
their primary keywords into the target language.

It’s observed that, quite often, translators eliminate keywords from the
original content for the sake of retaining cultural connotations and such
in the translated content. However, this only ends up diluting the content
in terms of its SEO effectiveness.

The translators only pay attention to the translation and end up leaving
the actual localization to the marketing teams in the local market. In
other words, most efforts to integrate SEO with localization ends up
failing to align localization term management with keyword management.
Simple translation ends up replacing actual localization.

Term and Keyword Management

It is necessary for businesses to understand how term management is handled
as part of their localization efforts. The term base is a critical resource
that can be leveraged to produce significant benefits. It is basically a
system that manages terms that are relevant to the concerned business’s
brand and culture. Other than that, it also serves a resource to employees
who want to stay updated on the company’s terminologies.

Proper term management allows businesses to retain their original voice
across the global market, whether it’s linguistically or in terms of how
the brand is perceived.

Term bases, typically, are made up of product names, brand names,
individual phrases, and product categories etc. that are relevant to the
concerned organization. When this information is contained centrally, it
becomes easily accessible to everybody who finds the need for it. This
could include everybody from content teams and translators to editors and
project managers.

Even the tiniest update to the base and you’re looking at several roles
having access to it. So, just imagine if the term base isn’t managed with
the utmost attention? Even the slightest mistake such as a spelling error
can end up being replicated throughout the content line.

This is exactly why global search managers need to review the process and
align term management with keyword management. In fact, this must be done
periodically (maybe every quarter). Additions and removals need to be
discussed with all teams to ensure that relevance and consistency are


Localization teams have complex and time-consuming tasks to deal with.
Search managers have to factor this aspect of their work and start a
dialogue to understand the process followed. Once this understanding is
achieved, they can offer their input on how integration can be achieved
with minimal intrusion.

They can also work on developing a roadmap for the localization team to
follow. While that is being done, tutorials on keyword management and best
practices can be shared.

Terminology management is a challenging task, but the term database is a
very useful asset in terms of SEO integration. So, make the most of it. The
ROI is worth the hard work.