For any business, finding new customers is paramount, but it can be a daunting task. Although print marketing still yields results for many companies, customers tend to head online when searching for products and services, so having a strong online presence is vital.
The internet makes it possible for companies to connect with potential clients directly, but you can’t just set up a website and expect the orders to come rolling in. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online advertising like Google Ads come in.
Search Engine Optimization explained
SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic (non-paid) search engine results. Successful SEO will make sure the right people, those who are looking for the services or products you provide, see your content, which ideally translates into more customers.
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, there’s a logic to good SEO and professionals who can help you achieve your goals.
There are many ways to optimize your content for search engines, for instance:
- Including both inbound and appropriate outbound links.
- Optimizing your images (relevant, correct size, with image alt text).
- Writing strong meta descriptions (include keywords, no more than 160 characters, use action-orientated language etc).
- Creating an informative title tag of the right length.
- Encouraging sharing on social media (e.g. including ‘share’ icons).
The real linchpin of SEO, however, are keywords.
How to use keywords
If you’ve had any experience with creating web content, you’ve probably heard of SEO keywords, but what exactly are they? Essentially, they are words and phrases in your online content that enable people (and bots) to find your site via search engines.
In order to reach the greatest number of the right web users you have to choose appropriate and specific keywords.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer looking for your services; what would you type into a search engine? Do your research; you could check out the keywords your competitors use or even try a keyword research tool.
Where you use your keywords is almost as important as the words themselves. They should be found where both humans and bots look, so that includes:
- The body of your text.
- Meta description and meta tags.
- Your title tag (URL).
- Header tags (H1, H2 etc).
- The Alt tag and file name of images.
Reach a global audience with SEO translation
For companies hoping to reach an international audience, translation of websites, social media, and other online content is necessary.
However, if you want to ensure that your translated website is seen by your target audience, you should work with a translation service provider that understands and has experience with SEO translation.
Perhaps you’re planning to expand into a new region or maybe you aren’t reaching as many customers as you’d like in a country where your business is already established.
Whatever your situation, a translation agency like BeTranslated, that has years of experience translating online content specifically to improve SEO, is the best option for you.
A business trying to gain more clients in Germany, for example, may decide to have some of their most successful blog posts translated into German.
A translator with expert knowledge in SEO, such as those working for BeTranslated, will be able to translate the text in a way that is pleasing for the new German reader.
They will also concentrate on optimizing the post for the German market.e.g. advising on the best keywords and making sure all metatags are relevant.
Google Ads get you seen
Another way to improve customer acquisition around the world is through paid online advertising, such as PPC (pay-per-click), a model in which businesses pay each time a user clicks on one of their online ads.
The most popular PPC advertising system in the world is Google Ads, which was known as Google Adwords until 2018. This popularity is no surprise given that an estimated 2.3 million searches are performed using Google every second. So, could Google Ads be the key to your business success?
Google Ads guarantees that your business appears on the search engine results page (SERP) for customers looking for the types of products or services you offer (based on keywords) via Google Search or Google Maps.
Ads appear much higher on the SERP than organic results (those that are not paid for), even those with great SEO. The higher up the SERP, the more likely people are to click onto your page.
Make Google Ads work for you
The great thing about using Google Ads is that you can target those that are particularly interested in your services, so you reach your target audience at the right moment: when they are searching for a business just like yours.
It’s possible to be even more specific about who your ad reaches by aiming at precise geographical locations, such as a certain distance from your physical store or countries/regions that you’d like to target.
You can also customize your Google Ads budget; you decide how much you want to spend. You’ll be given some expert advice based on similar businesses and estimated results, but then you set your monthly cap and it will never be exceeded.
Plus, you can pause or stop whenever you need to. You are then able to analyse the performance of your ads and edit them as needed, to ensure you hit your campaign goals. According to Google, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads, so it could be an investment worth making.
What are you waiting for?
Now that you’ve learned about optimizing your web content for search engines, including hiring professional SEO translators for your international projects and discovered how Google Ads works, you’re ready to expand your business in your home country and overseas. Good luck!