At some point or another you will probably get an SEO enquiry that involves work in another country or language. It is quite common for large companies to operate across several countries, particular in Europe where there are many different languages spoken. This can present some problems for you as an SEO, despite the principles of SEO being the same across any country, there are challenges in doing SEO in another language.
One way to try and overcome these challenges is to work with foreign SEO companies. However this in itself can also present some challenges. If you can overcome these challenges, you could benefit massively and work closely with SEO companies in other countries to serve very big clients.
In this article we will discuss some of the issues you may face when trying to run an effective SEO campaign in another company with the help of a foreign SEO company.
One of the first things you need to consider is how you will communicate with the SEO company in another country. What is the time zone difference? When will you cross over with office hours? Is there a native English speaker at their end? How often will they be available? You need to consider all of these things when trying to make a project with a foreign company work.
In terms of what to use to communicate, one of the common ways is to use Skype conference calling. The great thing about this is that it is free to call, although you will need a good internet connection in order for a video call to work well. If you find that you are using Skype a lot across your business, you may find it beneficial to get a business Skype account which is paid for, but generally gives you a better call quality. This is even more useful if you use video calling a lot.
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Another option is to use a Google+ Hangout. These are also free (but you’ll need a Google+ account) and allow for video calling. One great thing that Google Hangouts allow for is sharing documents between all callers, this is very useful if you are dealing with a company and want to review specification documents.
As we know, an important part of SEO is producing high quality content. If you already have high quality content in English, it isn’t advisable to simply use a translation tool. Although many online translation tools, such as Google Translate, are very good, they can make mistakes. The mistakes tend to occur in the subtle differences between languages such as grammar and contextual differences.
For this reason, it is highly advisable that you hire a native speaker to translate content. This person will know the subtleties and minor differences in translations that an automated translator will not find.
If you are working with a foreign SEO company, you should make sure that they either have someone who can do this work or are able to find a good native speaker who can do it. They should also keep a close eye on the content produced to make sure it has been translated correctly.
Like production of content, keyword research should also be carried out (or at least checked) by a native language speaker at the SEO company you are working with. There are various tools you can use yourself, such as the Google AdWords Keyword Tool which will allow you to assess keyword search volume in other countries. However you need to know the differences in the way native speakers will search. It is not enough to do a straight translation and see if that has search volume, there may be subtle differences which means that foreign users type the words in a different order or with extra words. A native speaker will know this and be able to save time and money by sense checking your target keywords.
One of the key things to remember if you are link building with another SEO company in another country is the way you email people. Not only must you take account of cultural differences in the way you ask for links, but you must also remember to use the correct language and not make it obvious that you are not a native speaker.
The SEO company you are working with should be able to help with this, they should be able to give you templates and advice on cultural differences, or even do the link building outreach for you.
Something else to bear in mind, is that some European countries have very small markets which means there are less people to get links from. For example the technology blogger community in Finland is much smaller than the one in the UK. So there are naturally fewer link targets and you should compensate by spreading the net a bit wider and to other close countries.