Keyword Localisation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital component in digital marketing, aiming to improve a website’s visibility and ranking on search engines. However, with the rise of globalisation, SEO strategies should now cater to a multilingual and multicultural audience.

That’s where keyword localisation comes in – the process of adapting keywords to specific regions or cultures. In this blog, we will discuss keyword localisation and its importance for effective international SEO strategies.

What is Keyword Localisation?

Keyword localisation is the practice of including location-specific keywords in your content to improve visibility in local search engines. For example, using “football” instead of “soccer” for keywords in the United States may not be as effective as using “soccer,” which is the preferred term in that region. A well-localised keyword strategy should involve thorough research and understanding of the specific language, culture, and search behavior of the target audience.

Why you need keyword localisation?

Keyword localisation is crucial for enhancing global search engine visibility. By localizing your keywords, you can increase your chances of ranking higher on search engine result pages (SERPs) in target regions, leading to more targeted traffic and higher conversions. Additionally, keyword localisation can strengthen your brand’s credibility and authority by showing that you have a deep understanding of the target audience and their needs.

How to localise keywords?

To effectively localise your keywords, here are some key steps to follow:

Step 1: Market Research and Analysis

The first step in keyword localisation is to conduct thorough research and analysis of your target market. This includes understanding the language, culture, and search behaviour of the local audience. It’s essential to identify any regional differences or preferences that could impact your keyword choices.

During your market research, you should also conduct a  competitor analysis of the target market. By looking at the keywords your competitors are using, you can get a sense of what terms and phrases are popular and relevant in your industry or niche.  Also, by analysing the keywords used by local competitors, you can gain insights into the specific language nuances, slang, and colloquialisms that resonate with the local audience.

Step 2: Keyword Research

Once you have identified the keywords to use, it’s important to translate them accurately into the local language. Avoid using machine translation tools as they may not account for cultural nuances or colloquialisms that could impact your keyword’s effectiveness. Ask a native speaker to go through your keyword list to make sure they are properly localised. Or you can use the keywords from your competitors and start from there.

Step 3: Content Creation and Localisation

After finalizing your localised keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your content. Make sure to place the keywords strategically in your website’s meta tags, title tags, headers, and body content. Remember that simply translating your existing English content may not be effective for a local audience. It’s crucial to adapt the tone and style of writing to match the local culture and preferences. This will make your content more relatable and engaging to the local audience, leading to better search engine rankings and increased traffic.

In addition to incorporating localised keywords, you should also consider creating country-specific landing pages or subdomains for your website. These pages can cater to the specific needs and interests of the local audience, providing a more personalised experience that can improve your conversion rates.

Another important aspect of localising your content is to ensure that it’s culturally sensitive and relevant. This means understanding the cultural norms, values, and beliefs of the target audience and incorporating them into your content. For instance, certain colours or symbols may have different meanings in different cultures, so it’s essential to do thorough research before using them in your content.

Additionally, you should also consider using local imagery and references in your content to make it more relatable and appealing to the target audience. This will help create a strong connection with the local community and establish your brand as being culturally aware and inclusive.

It’s also crucial to ensure that your localised content is of high quality, both in terms of language and information. Avoid using machine translation tools and instead hire professional translators who are native speakers of the target language. This will ensure that your content is accurately translated and free from any errors or cultural faux pas.

Step 4: Testing and Optimization

Once you have successfully localised your content, it’s important to continuously test and optimise it to ensure its effectiveness. This can be done through A/B testing where you create two versions of the same localised content and analyse which one performs better.

You should also regularly monitor and analyse your website traffic, conversion rates, and search engine rankings in different regions to identify any issues or areas that need improvement. This will help you make informed decisions and make necessary adjustments to your localised content.

Moreover, it’s essential to keep track of any cultural or linguistic changes in the target market and update your content accordingly. This will demonstrate your commitment to staying current and relevant in the local market, which can greatly improve your brand’s reputation and credibility.

Lastly, always seek feedback from your target audience and use it to improve your localised content. This will not only help you better understand their needs and preferences but also show them that you value their input and are dedicated to providing them with the best possible experience.

⭐️ Tips:
After publishing localised content for a few months, use Google Search Console data to identify relevant long-tail and question keywords to optimise your page.

Benefits of Keyword Localisation

Keyword localisation offers a multitude of benefits, especially for businesses trying to reach a global audience. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Improved Search Engine Ranking: Localising keywords can significantly improve your website’s visibility in local search engine results. By using the terms and phrases that are popular and relevant in a specific region, you can increase your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  2. Increased Website Traffic: With improved search engine rankings comes increased website traffic. When your site ranks well for localised keywords, more people are likely to find and visit your site.
  3. Better User Experience: Keyword localisation ensures that your content resonates with your target audience by using the language and terminology they’re familiar with. This can greatly enhance the user experience, making your website more engaging and easier to navigate.
  4. Higher Conversion Rates: localised content can lead to higher conversion rates. When users see content that’s tailored to their language, culture, and location, they’re more likely to trust your brand and make a purchase.
  5. Competitive Advantage: If your competitors aren’t localising their keywords, this gives you a significant advantage. You’ll be able to reach and connect with your target audience more effectively, giving you an edge in the market.
  6. Understanding Consumer Behavior: Localising keywords helps you better understand consumer behaviour in different regions. This knowledge can inform future marketing strategies, helping you further refine your approach and achieve better results.

Remember, keyword localisation is not just about translation; it’s about understanding and catering to the unique needs and preferences of your target audience in different locations.

Best Practices for Keyword Localisation

By following the best practices for keyword localisation, you can create a more effective and culturally sensitive strategy that resonates with local audiences, improves your search engine rankings, and ultimately drives more traffic and conversions in your target markets.

To ensure successful keyword localisation, follow these best practices:

1. Understand the Local Culture and Language

In keyword localisation, it’s vital to delve into the culture and language of the target market. This involves more than just translation; it means understanding local nuances, idiomatic expressions, and slang. Literal translations often fall short in capturing the cultural context and may not resonate with the local audience. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest time in cultural and linguistic research to ensure your localised keywords and content feel natural and relatable to the local audience.

2. Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research

Effective keyword localisation begins with thorough research. Employ keyword research tools that are specific to the target region or language. This research will help you identify the most relevant local keywords and search terms that reflect how the local audience searches. By understanding local search behaviour, you can tailor your keyword strategy to align with their preferences and expectations.

🔖 If you’re researching keywords for Chinese-speaking market, check out my review on the best Chinese keyword research tools for Google.

3. Prioritise High-Volume Keywords

To make the most impact, it’s essential to focus on keywords with a high search volume and relevance in the local market. While long-tail keywords can be valuable for specific targeting, starting with high-volume keywords ensures that you’re capturing a substantial portion of the local search traffic. These keywords often represent broader topics and can attract a larger audience to your localised content.

4. Analyse Local Competitors

A valuable source of insights in keyword localisation is studying local competitors. Analyse their websites, content, and keyword strategies to identify which keywords they are ranking for and the tactics they employ. Learning from the successes and failures of competitors can inform your own keyword localisation efforts, helping you refine your approach and stand out in the local market.

5. Optimise Meta Tags and On-Page Elements

Localising your meta tags, including meta titles, meta descriptions, and header tags, is a fundamental aspect of keyword localisation. These on-page elements provide search engines and users with information about your content. By incorporating relevant localised keywords into these elements, you not only improve your search engine rankings but also enhance the click-through rate and user experience.

6. Create High-Quality, Localised Content

One of the most critical aspects of keyword localisation is creating content that resonates with the local audience. This goes beyond translation; it involves crafting content that addresses the specific needs, interests, and pain points of the local market. Whether you’re creating blog posts, product descriptions, or landing pages, involving native speakers or professional translators is essential to ensure that your content is culturally sensitive and linguistically accurate.

7. Implement Geotargeting

Geotargeting allows you to specify the target country or region for your content, making it highly relevant to local audiences. Use Google Search Console to configure geotargeting settings and make use of hreflang tags to indicate language and regional targeting. These practices not only improve your website’s visibility in local search results but also enhance the user experience by presenting content that is specific to the user’s location and language preferences.

8. Monitor and Adjust Regularly

Keyword localisation is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor the performance of your localised content using analytics tools. Pay attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) such as ranking improvement, organic traffic growth, and conversion rates. Regular monitoring enables you to identify what’s working and what needs adjustment, allowing you to stay competitive in the local market.

9. Test and Experiment

To fine-tune your keyword localisation strategy, consider conducting A/B testing to assess the effectiveness of different localised keywords and content approaches. Gathering user feedback is equally important; it provides valuable insights into user preferences and can guide refinements in your keyword strategy and content localisation efforts. Experimentation and feedback are essential for continuous improvement.

10. Maintain Consistency Across Platforms

Consistency is key in keyword localisation. Ensure that your localised keywords and content maintain a uniform message and tone across all digital platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and email marketing campaigns. Consistency helps build brand trust and recognition within the local market, making your efforts more effective.

11. Stay Informed About Local Trends

Keyword localisation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Stay informed about local news, events, and cultural developments that may impact your keyword strategy. By aligning your content with current trends and topics relevant to the local audience, you can demonstrate your awareness of and engagement with the local community, further enhancing your brand’s local appeal.

12. Leverage Local SEO Tools

Take advantage of local SEO tools and plugins designed to simplify and streamline the keyword localisation process. These tools can help automate various aspects of localisation, from keyword research to content optimization. Additionally, consider using content management systems (CMS) that support multilingual and multiregional content management, making it easier to manage localised content across your website.


To sum up, keyword localisation is critical for effective global SEO. Taking the time to research and localise your keywords can significantly improve your visibility and credibility in target regions. By using best practices and utilising tools to help you localise keywords, you can create a more targeted and effective SEO strategy that resonates with your global audience.

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey Yung

Aubrey is an SEO Consultant with 5+ years of B2B and B2C marketing experience.