The English language Internet is a crowded place these days – online consensus puts the total percentage of online content that’s in English between 50 and 80 percent.
Competition for keywords and domain names is at an all-time high in the English Internet. Newcomers entering the market and trying to climb the SERPs for a competitive English keyword face a long uphill battle.
This isn’t yet the case, though, for languages other than English. Foreign languages are experiencing massive growths online, year-on-year since 2000, according to Internet World Stats:
- Chinese has grown by 1,478 percent.
- Russian by 1,825 percent.
- Arabic by 2,501 percent.
But while the online audiences browsing in these languages are growing dramatically, the field of foreign language Internet marketing, which targets these growing audiences, is still very much in its infancy.
In many cases, there are still prime opportunities to jump on the top performing keywords for your product or service in foreign languages, and use these keywords to build anchor text-rich links to your translated websites or microsites (and in some cases even opportunities to snap up domain names using those keywords).
As all SEOs appreciate, links are one of the best ways to get a website climbing the SERPs. Our research shows that building links to foreign language websites delivers results far more quickly than link building for English websites.
This is the strategy we’ve followed my agency, and it’s brought us Google front-page results for most of our top keywords in multiple languages. Our multilingual search analysts have been consistently tracking the performance of keywords relating to our main services in our target foreign markets, and we’ve been building links with these keywords as anchor text, and securing domain names incorporating these keywords, wherever possible. Some of the translated websites where we’ve incorporated the local top performing keyword relating to translation within the domain name are: Übersetzungsbüro (Germany); Vertaalbureau (Belgium); and Translation Company and Bureau de traduction (both in Canada).
In situations where it hasn't been feasible to build our top performing keyword into the domain name, we’ve overcome that hurdle by concentrating on building links to our brand-name domain that use our top performing keyword as the anchor text.
For example, the links on my company’s “in other languages” page direct visitors to our other key foreign language subdomains by using their top performing keywords as the anchor text, for instance: Agence de traduction is the anchor text we use to link to our France site; Agenzie di traduzione links to our Italy site; and 翻译服务 links to our China site.
It’s a pretty simple trick, but one that can be invaluable in gaining prominence – and dominance – for top keywords in languages other than English. The more links you can build internally using anchor text that’s rich with your top keywords, the better.
As with any linking policy, you don’t want to spam the search engines with just a single keyword or key phrase as your anchor text, as that will do more harm than good. It’s worthwhile mixing up several of your top performing foreign language keywords as the anchor text that links to your foreign websites, as well as using natural links (such as "click here") and branded links (linking your brand name).
However, the point still holds that it’s an invaluable link building strategy to use your top performing foreign language keywords as the anchor text for links to your foreign language websites, as you’ll climb the foreign SERPs much more quickly than the English SERPs.
The next step after using these anchor text-rich links within the pages controlled by you is to start using quality content to build links with external editorial websites in the foreign language Internet – but that’s a whole other ball game, and a post for another time.