European and International SEO

Wow, the exhibit hall just opened and the Google guys were taking 100 beta testers for their website optimizer and it was mobbed, pushing and shoving. Brutal.
Christine Churchill is asking how many people are doing international marketing, quite a few hands went up.

Dixon jones:
He says he only speaks english, but europe is his home turf. He’s expressing to MSN spaces for speeches and things that he does.
Receptional is an international marketing agency, they have two top 10 ranks for “internet markting”.
Europe has 90mm more internet users than the US right now and there is another half billion that aree coming online soon. There are 40mm who speak english in the UK. In UK and Sweeden 10% of all ad spend is online, that’s bigger than the US.
This should tell you that your market is 5 times larger than you previously thought.
The US is only the 7th richest place via GDP, but via population its the richest county. Real GDP growth rate shows “weath of the future”: China #10, India 24. The US is 139th. (between namibia and guatemala).
Attack is the best form of defence (unless you are guy kawasaki, in which case military metaphors are banned).
Language differences can be a boon for SEO’s, in the english langague “london” has 50 million results, but in spanish it only has 4million results, but in a few years there will be as many people speaking spanish as english on the web. in greek its 700k.
He says there is no easy way to do international SEO. You will need a website in the local language from top to bottom.
You can do the SEO yourself in the language, or you can find a local SEO.
If you do try to do SEO yourself:
Buy a TLD for the country
or host the site in the target country
regionally theme your links
use native translators
minimize legal issues and “troops on the ground” untill you are confident.

Jessica Bowman business.com
This is her second day on the job with business.com.
She asks how many people have optimized or are going to for a language you don’t speak.
Keyword research
you need a seed list, brain storm with a native speaker and go to the competition.
Often other country SEOs aren’t up to snuff so sometimes keyword lists won’t be good on competitor sites.
keyword tools are a challenge, wordtracker and overture is not good, she recommends trellian’s keyworddiscovery.
The volum of search results in english tends to correspond to the volume of searches. Like competition numbers.

Page Optimization
find a native copy writer, but its not always an option.
Translation companies, not many know SEO.
learn the translation process inside and out, breakdown is inevitable.
They use automate tools, not good for SEO. Get a demo of these tools.
Sometimes translations are out of sync.
Consider SEO and non-SEO version of the translation data. Sometimes certain words need to be translated a certain way, but they won’t want to do the whole site like that.
Check the translated copy. examples of problems:
“you are not allowed to login” for an incorrect password error
wrong words.
different words referencing the same things on the same page.
Make sure that your validators check against the english version. otherwise they’ll miss inaccuracies.
sometimes it comes back very long and doesn’t fit in the allocated space.
content added to expand on the meeting (legal issues) sometimes the translation services add stuff that was purposesly left out
train the translator on SEO give examples of good and bad.
Send useful info, screenshots, is it a button, link etc character limits.
send corrections back to translation company.
“car rental” vs “car hire” the company could not translate UK english.
germans have high expectations, translation needed to be accurate,
german tends to come back 3 times longer than the english.
german grammar is a killer for SEO, like cancatenation.
There are two forms of the german language. formal vs informal
treat UK vs american as a different language.
the british are more verbose
you need a native speaker to review copy.
if you are translating into spanish you must consider which region you’re targetting.
use North American spanish for US spanish speakers
spain spanish is very different.

Micheal Bonfils SEMInternational.com
10 steps to crack Southeast asia, about 300 million internet users, the majority is coming from chinese speakers (118MM), japan (86m) south korea (34m). China on 9% of the population is online. if china had the same penetration rate as taiwan they’d have (784m) users, it would almost double the total internet usage.

  1. undertand your audience
  2. understand domainnames
  3. hosting
  4. SEs
  5. translations
  6. keywords
  7. paid search
  8. organic search
  9. analytics
  10. red tape

Understanding your audience what is funny and creative over there may not be funny and creative here. (he’s showing some corny cartoons) the internet is used for researching, but the buying is often done downstairs. products are cheaper, branding and research is great, direct marketing may not work as well. In china about 50% of all usage comes from a cafe.

Know the major SEs the big SE in china is baidu (62.1% of the market) google has 25% and yahoo has 10%. Baidu’s growth is huge. in taiwan 90% use yahoo, 5% google, in japan 55% use yahoo, 35% use google and 5% use msn, in south korea, 63% use naver, 14% use daum and 11% yahoo korea. He’s showing a “bruce lee search relationship chart”.

Get an asian domain name make sure your domain name is pronouceable, google is not pronoucable in china, they call it googoo, they can’t make the “gle” sound. the TLDs are .cn/.com.cn, .kr/ .co.kr .jp/.co.jp .tw/.com.tw .hk/.com.hk look at competitor TLDs. www.cnnames.net you can ussually easily purchase asian TLDs.

get hosting you can host here, the access is very slow, but economical and easy to pay for. Hosting in asia can be very expensive. Chinese hosting is very fast for chinese users, they are politically regulated (the bigger the more regulated) online payment systems can be hard to find, you oftne have to wire. www.net.cn, xinnet (he showed some hosting companies).

Translate Well don’t make mistakes:
pepsi: meant to say brings you back to life it really said pepsi brings you ancestors back from the grave.
coca-cola: they found a word that sounded like coca-cola, but the word means “bite the wax tadpole”
ad:tech: Cost per lead translated badly to cost per leadership.

develop your keywords the same expression in english may be expanded to 15 variations. simplified chinese, traditional chinese (hong kong) and taiwaneese.

Impliment Paid Search: Start with paid search, SEO is a “tough nut to crack”. Local paid search “baidu” paid listings are sometimes in the center of the listings in baidu.

Organic Search similar SEO to the US. link pop is not as strong a factor (in google it is still). think asian (webcrawler and infoseek) think local, local company favoritism, local hosting, local domain. (He shows a list of submission links).

Understanding reporting: daily spending reporting, he shows a baidu keyword report. its hard to find cost-per-impression in china as much. Yahoo is similar, Impliment google analytics.

Understand the Red Tape: in china: customer service is very limited, not as friendly as the US, they’ll hang up on you etc. No APIs yet. ebay is one of the only companies that has an API from baidu. CPM reporting is missing. Kickbacks and discounts are very commonplace there. bribery for favoritism is commonplace. SEs often give discounts to agencies sometimes. Poor payment methods, you’ll probably have to wire funds. political favoritism, chinese competitors are partnered with the gov, money flow goes in they don’t like money flow out. High speed access is limited, most people are 56k, except for hong kong and taiwan.

Barry Lloyd is in china so:
Andy Atkins-Kruger:
He says brits are verbose, heh. Multilingual search blog.
He’s showing a sort of venn diagram of SEO, PPC, pr and something else (I missed it).
Now a graph of how the internet grew, africa asia and europe are on top.
Research is key. he uses “football boots” in british, with would be “soccer cleats”. but spain swould be the biggest market for that. You can chose central control or an in-country agency.
trans-optimization:
keyword list,
glossary,
translation,
optimization
You do need a local domain, its not always possible but if you can get it, you should, local links are also important, but beware of duplicate content issues.
Most of the time the SERP result numbers are corrrelated to the amount of searches.
plurals and singulars are often very different in languages. football boots vs scarpe da calciao/scarpa da calcio. Football boots are never searched for as a singular, but in italian they’ll search for both. prepositions and particles, people search both with and without prepositions. Accents, people will also search both with and without. 50% of search done by french people don’t include accents where they’re suposed to. Alternate characters: germany had a spelling reform in 2000, people might search both with the correct characters, some won’t. aggregation/concatenation keywords often run together. people tend to split terms commonly when they search. (less competition on the less-correct terms). declensions, SE”s often don’t do well with non-romain languages. local algos are written to handle these better. free online mistranslation, don’t use them.
There are many markets where google isn’t first, go local.

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