Here are some specific search and localization practices to consider including in your strategy:
1. Have a Clear Localization Commitment for New Products
It's important to differentiate between concepts of "country" and "language." So it's best not to use flags to represent languages. Also don't limit support to the official language(s) of a country/region. Some languages may need to be supported even though they don't have official status. Finally, since languages don't have borders and need to be supported globally, it's key to capture users' preferred language(s) so you can serve them in their language independently of their location.
2. Tight Alignment Between Localization Stakeholders
Once a localization strategy is in place, there must be a commitment to localization vendor search marketing training. By doing vendor and reviewer training in region, you invest in their success. There also needs to be in place a strong partnership between global search, localization, and international Web production teams. With this in place, respect for deadlines between all three increases efficiency. Specifically, SEO is not considered an afterthought or simple checklist item, but integrated into the loc process early on. Consistent information sharing between teams naturally leads to a shared commitment to results.
3. Adhere to an SEO Localization Workflow Process
Having a defined and agreed upon process keeps all stakeholders informed, communications clear, and deadlines adhered to. Below is a step-by-step summary of our localization workflow process:
- Future launch event initiated by a business unit or product introduces a need for new content to support future products
- North America and in-country keyword research begins
- Localization process started with International program managers and country-specific localization vendor reps
- Final review and agreement on keywords based on local nuance, intent, and in-country demand initiated
- Content localized using keywords (mapped to content, videos, images, and other assets) and integrated with overall SEO best practices
- Localized content goes live and quality assurance (QA) completed to ensure accuracy
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