5 Most Common Keyword Mistakes That Hurt Your Budget

SEO has gotten a lot of attention over the past few years and for good reason. Once overlooked as the science of chasing rabbits it has been recently crowned king as the best long-term traffic growth strategy. These days, most businesses have a domestic SEO strategy in place, however, international SEO is a different game in its entirety.

Mastering the endless SEO sprint is no easy task. Even more so – when a business has to break out of the comfortable shell that the English language has provided them with.

Just like domestically, tapping into the organic potential of the targeted international audience is directly linked to a SERP rank. While the technical side is universalkeywords are not.

In order to rank high in international search queries a business first needs to do their homework with multilingual keyword research, which comes with a lot of pitfalls. Here are our top 5 picks of mistakes to avoid when doing multilingual keyword research.

1. Direct translations

While direct translations can be useful as inspiration for keyword basis – it is not the best practice. Simply because a translation does not cover the cultural aspect and other intricacies of looking something up in a search engine.

For example: Say your business is considering expanding to Europe and selling apples. You begin doing keyword research to estimate how many people are looking for apples in different countries of the EU. You notice that, out of all places, Lithuania has an outrageously high score for the word “apple”. Immediately, you are under the impression, that there is a large potential for business in this country. In reality, the search “apple” is so popular is not due to three thousand people loving the fruit and searching it every month, but due to a large Lithuanian publishing company falling under the same name – “apple”.

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2. Stopping halfway

Research takes a while. While one keyword in Germany can have two or three translations, the same keyword in France could have twenty. It’s difficult to find all of the variations without having someone who is native to help. But do not get discouraged – doing full-fledged multilingual keyword research may be time-consuming, but the long-term rewards it brings are worth it.

3. Only looking at keyword volume

Search volume is important when deciding what keywords to target, but it is not the sole variable. Seeing large numbers behind search volume can be incredibly motivating to pursue a specific keyword, however, there are other factors to take into consideration. Always keep in mind the strength of your website against the websites currently ranking high for a keyword. Not doing so is the equivalent of entering a wrestling match in the wrong weight class.

4. Forgetting about the big picture

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As there is more to local SEO than optimizing content for local keywords – the same rule applies internationally. Invest time into developing your full international SEO strategy and infrastructure. Make sure to include the way your keyword research findings interact with your backlink and technical strategies.

5. Considering keyword research as a one-off activity

It’s not. Traditionally, keyword research is closely tied to the continuous generation of optimized written content. Keep this in mind when choosing the focal keywords and remember that you will need to generate content to start showing up in people’s searches. It’s best to put keyword research into your international content strategy to avoid losing traction.

Keeping all of these pitfalls in mind will help avoid making the same mistakes as the large majority of internationally expanding businesses. If this seems like too much to keep in mind or if you want to learn more about multilingual keyword research and international SEO – plan a meeting with us!


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