The multilingual SEO category features blog posts related to the latest news on translation and localization for SEO, SEM and CPC ads. Some post give advice for SEO and SEO translation for AdWords campaigns.

Killer Landing Pages By Google

Google Breakfast Briefing: landing pages by Google

Landing pages by Google

Web designers and marketing gurus are always on the lookout for the next killer design for landing pages or home pages.

Getting new customers to your site and then having them buy, or convert […] is a tough challenge. Recently, Google held a presentation in the Foundry, part of Google’s EMEA HQ called Breakfast Briefing to share their best practice advice for website design.

Damian Scattergood, our managing director, attended and here’s what he learned…

Landing pages
Interestingly, the most important point about landing pages is that “Every page on your website is a landing page”. In terms of SEO and the copy on your website, you should consider every page as a landing page. People often consider a few pages as actual landing pages though. The logic is that at some stage, someone will land on any page of your website. What will they do when they get there? Every page should be a landing page and have a call to action on it.
Keep it simple
Google advised that all web pages should be simple and to the point. Don’t talk about how brilliant you are. Nobody really cares. They came to your page for a reason; if they want to buy a washing machine, they’ll need to know the price, credit terms and how to buy it. That’s it! They can drill down into other pages if they want more information. Don’t overcrowd your pages with text either. We were shown an example of a dentist’s website that talked about where they were located and how great the clinic is however, the site didn’t mention anything about teeth.
Use simple graphics
When it comes to web design, keep the images strong but limited. On an obvious note, it takes ages to download lots of images which makes users frustrated. Design your site yo be simple, giving a general idea means that it’s clear and easy for users to find what they want and how to do it.
CTA (Call to action)
Make sure all your pages have clear call to action buttons. Just one is sufficient. Two at maximum. Make it easy for your customers to read your text by keeping it short and straightforward. Make the site easy to navigate so that they can find the next step in the process. Do you want them to call , email or send something to you?
Short web pages
In today’s busy world, people don’t have time to scroll down 2 to 3 pages to get to the information they need. It should always be visible. On smartphones this is even more important; keep your pages short and to the point.
Use bullet points
Bullet lists are easy to read. If you have lots of information on features of the products / services you sell, then list them as 1, 2, 3… It’s easy to read and to the point. Long descriptive passages aren’t read anymore. Keep bullet points on one line. Don’t turn them into “bullet paragraphs”.

We hope this helps you on the way to improving your landing pages and getting the conversions you need.

The STAR Team

International SEO and Impact of Stock Images

International SEO

A great question by a Webmaster asked to Matt Cutts from Google this week, “does using stock photos on your pages have a negative effect on rankings?”

Interestingly, Matt states that using stock images has no affect on your Google ranking.

He also states that original photography does not influence ranking either. Effectively, for now, Google treats all images the same. He suggests that maybe this is an area that they could certainly look at in the future.

Original imagery can certainly make your product or site stand out. Using good SEO practices such as using describing your images using the alt tag will certainly make your site more compelling and indexable. In a small way, this may have an impact on your rankings.

When in comes to international websites, you do have be to a bit careful in what images you use on your site. Flags often cause some concerns. A lot of people use flags to signify the language of a website – this is not actually correct. Flags represent political boundaries and should be used in that context. We recommend, for language websites, that you use text to define the language. For example, instead of a Union Jack (UK flag) “English” should be displayed. If you use an American flag, customers in the UK may not be happy to click on it!

When to use flags

If your website has a web page for a particular country, then use a flag. The website targeting the United States of America should use a US flag and not just text; and a UK flag for a site serving British customers.

However, if you just have a multilingual site, then it’s best to just use text.

Look at the our site, as another example. We translated it to show we can translate and therefore use text. This is also good for SEO as it’s indexable content. The phone numbers on the language pages all lead to our Irish office. This tells foreign visitors that we are an Irish operation, but we translate to their language to help them communicate with us.

Sites like Amazon have stores in every country; they have a website dedicated to that country making it appropriate for them to use flags.

The STAR Team

How do you check your website ranking?

Check your website ranking with Alexa

Check your website ranking with Alexa

Check your website ranking / Alexa: An Amazon Company

A common topic we often discuss with customers is their website ranking. They come to us saying they are not getting traffic and are not sure about translation as how will the know if the translated site will get traffic as well?

STAR can help you with your international web traffic, but let’s look at English websites for now as it’s the perfect starting point. SEO and web ranking is a bit of a black art, there is magic and there is some science involved. However, the average user can get some basic information themselves to gauge what’s going on. One such free system is Alexa.

Alexa is own and managed by Amazon, so you know they have a good reputation. It’s not 100% accurate; you have to take it with a pinch of salt.

Alexa tracks users who use their system (free toolbar etc.) to search the Internet. It’s a measure of site’s popularity compared to others.

The good side is that the system is consistent – you get consistent results from a portion of Internet users worldwide. It’s perfect for webmasters and SEO managers helping track whether traffic is improving or not. You should track this every month and see how you are doing.

It can take up to 90 days for some web changes to impact your SEO ranking.

Did you know it typically takes about 90 days for any major change to your website to appear on Google as well?

To use the system, visit Alexa’s site ranking page and enter your URL.

It will tell you roughly what keywords are being used to find your site; how many inbound links you have and your overall traffic ranking across the worldwide web.

Next time we’ll discuss multilingual SEO and how STAR can help you deliver your website in the right language to drive more traffic, and in turn, business to your site.

The STAR Team

New AdWords Location Targeting Feature

This week we noticed that Google has changed the AdWords location targeting features.

Some functions have been retired and a number of new ones have been added to improve the service.

Search suggestions
When you start to type a location term, Google will provide suggestions to help you quickly find your desired location.
Nearby locations
Nearby locations are locations that are nearby that you may also consider adding. Nearby locations can be added to or excluded from your campaigns.
Related locations
Related locations may be near the location that you’ve entered, have a similar name, or enclose a location that has a similar name. Related locations can be added to or excluded from your campaigns.
Enclosing locations
Enclosing locations are larger areas that contain the location that you’ve selected. You might consider adding this larger enclosing location if you want to reach a larger audience.

Google have provided a video introducing the new features to make it easy to implement them straight away.

The STAR Team

Google search changes in algorithm

We see Google has changed its search algorithm again today. Its interesting that they say the change is subtle and only affects 11.8% of their searchs. By my reckoning that a lot of search content.

The main change is around reducing popularity of sites that are not great content and contain lower quality text. I fully commend Google on this as webscraping and low quality content has certainly been on the increase in the last few years.

The change has only just been released in the US (Google.com) and they will roll it out across the world following review of the impact on US search results.

For the official release on the update visit Google Blog.