How to Begin a Global SEO Strategy

August 16, 2018

I have worked on many global SEO projects and have identified a few items that will help companies get started with their global SEO strategies. Companies need to do more than translate their websites if they want to be found in their global audiences' local searches. In this blog, I will highlight a few things to consider when planning a global SEO strategy.

Create a Market-Specific Plan


gpi-global seo plan-home

A first step would be creating a global SEO plan for each market you are localizing your website for. I have spoken to many companies that planned to localize their website but did not consider how to localize their SEO strategies.


At a conference I attended about five years ago, an executive for a large cosmetics company gave a keynote speech on how much effort they took to provide a localized experience for their website visitors globally. After his presentation I spoke with him and while I understood his website translation needs were met, he did not mention his company's global SEO strategy. I asked him how they addressed global SEO and it was quite interesting to see his eyes bulge the way they did.


This is not uncommon and even large multi-billion-dollar companies who are trying to address every aspect of producing a localized website can miss some important items. In this case, spending millions creating a multilingual website, but not investing in SEO efforts could mean your target audiences never see your localized website.

Localize Your Keyword List


Never assume your SEO agency will know the best practices for your global audiences. I have spoken to many SEO agencies who have often relied on Google Translate for keyword translation. A literal machine translation may not yield the terms a global audience would use to search for a product or service in their local market. Keyword research and localization is needed to identify how global audiences search.

Localize Your Ad Campaigns


Like keywords, your ad copy should also not rely on a literal translation. You should seek a native-speaking, in-country copywriter to adjust the ads so the intended meaning is not lost in the local market. An ad that has cultural references, tone or other consideration in the source market, may not resonate the same in another market.


Ad length should also be considered. Google's ad length limits apply to all languages, but if you are translating ads from English into another language, character expansion may be an issue. For many languages like German and Spanish, the expansion may be 20% or 30%. A copywriter can adjust the localized message, but keep in mind they can only do so much with the limited space.


These items are a good start for beginning your global SEO efforts. Please visit the below blogs for additional information on this topic.

Additional Global SEO Resources from GPI


You may gain further insight into global e-business, global SEO, website translation and country-specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:



Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

Global SEO
Global SEO, SEO strategies, International SEO

Adobe Creative Cloud LibrariesHow to Export and Import Translations in Adobe Experience Manager


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Peter has over 20 years’ experience in business development within the localization industry supporting clients for documentation, software and website globalization services. He started his career in the translation industry in 1995 and over the years has worked for several leading localization service providers including LMI, Berlitz, Welocalize, GPI and Beyondsoft. Throughout his career Peter has led by example and always put his clients’ needs first to ensure client expectations are understood and successfully met. Over the years Peter has trained extensively in Solution Selling, Action Selling and Localization Sales, Testing and Project Management. Peter handles many of GPI’s global accounts helping educate clients on GPI’s comprehensive suite of globalization services and industry best practices.