In episode 94, Veruska Anconitano joins the show to talk about the opportunities and challenges within Multilingual SEO.
Veruska shares some insight into the advantages of an effective Multilingual SEO strategy and the impact it can have on revenue for your business.
We also discuss how cultural nuances can influence the results you see from your strategy and what mistakes you’ll want to steer clear of.
[4:14] The Biggest Challenges in Multilingual SEO
[7:17] The Benefits of a Well-Executed Multilingual SEO Strategy
[9:09] The Extra Layer of Multilingual SEO
[11:25] What Should Businesses Consider Before Starting Their Multilingual SEO Strategy?
[14:21] How Businesses Should Approach Local Research
[16:15] Where Do You Begin With Implementation?
[19:05] Education & Accountability
[21:40] Technical Considerations
[23:35] How To Make User Experience Culturally Relevant
[28:22] Don’t Reach for the Stars
[30:41] Cultural Nuances
[32:22] The Champions of Multilingual SEO
[34:18] Is Google Translate Getting Any Better?
[38:22] Rapid Fire Rankings 🔥
Title: Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant
Bio: Veruska is an SEO consultant specializing in International & Multilingual SEO with years of experience helping companies enter non-English speaking markets and working at the intersection between SEO and Localization. She works at the intersection between SEO and Localization. Having a sociology/sociolinguistics and semiotic background supplemented by a master’s in Data Science, she follows a 𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐨 𝐒𝐄𝐎 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐠𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐩𝐬𝐲𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐨𝐠𝐲, 𝐧𝐞𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐚. As a proponent of a cultural view of International SEO and aiming for equality and removing access barriers for everyone, Veruska often speaks at webinars and conferences while constantly fighting against people butchering Italian food.
Rank your best SEO marketing win:
I was in charge of launching a massive e-commerce website in EMEA and APAC (SEO and Localization together) and succeeded organically in key markets after a few months by strategically tapping into local users’ needs, motivations, and issues and completely driving away from the US website. This drove qualified traffic, leads, and, most of all, revenue and brought me to lead the same strategy for the US.
Rank your top 3 SEO tools:
Rank your best SEO trick or tactic:
Comparison pages for non-competitive players.
Rank what you love most about SEO as an industry:
I work in a very peculiar and unique field: SEO and Localization together, managing people, processes, resources, etc. So, to me, it’s all being able to demonstrate that there’s more to measure than the usual SEO stuff when working in a multilingual environment.
I love being right.
Rank your best SEO learning resource:
Rank the top 1-3 SEOs or Marketers that you most look up to:
Rank your number one cause/charity that you want to promote:
EMERGENCY is an independent and neutral international organization founded in 1994 to provide free, high-quality medical and surgical care to victims of war, landmines, and poverty. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity, and respect for human rights.
Host: Garrett Sussman
Title: Demand Generation Manager
Garrett loves SEO like the 90s loves slap bracelets.
Each week he interviews the most interesting people in the world (of SEO). When he’s not crafting content, he’s scouting the perfect ice coffee, devouring the newest graphic novels, and concocting a new recipe in the kitchen.
Get insights, stories, and strategies from a range of practitioners and executives leading the charge in SEO.
Enjoy this podcast? Check out Garrett’s video show round-up of everything search engine optimization: The SEO Weekly
Garrett: Welcome back to another episode of the Rankable podcast. I’m so excited. My name is Garrett Sussman of iPullRank. And today we’re talking about a really interesting, complex, but fascinating topic. We’re going to talk all about multilingual SEO and localization, specifically in the context of the social and cultural impact that businesses can have in various different regions. I’m joined today by Veruska Ancanetano. Hopefully, I didn’t butcher your name, but Veru, she is awesome. She’s an SEO consultant specializing, obviously, in international and multilingual SEO. She’s been doing it for years. She’s a sociologist with a sociolinguistic semiotics background. She also has her master’s in data science. What doesn’t she do? She follows a culturalized approach to SEO and localization, so leveraging cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and data, all to provide a great user experience at the regional level. She’s going to talk a little bit about SEO, but also actual user experience and how you build out a website so it’s a good positive cultural experience. That’s a whole lot to say. Thank you for joining me today, Veru. How are you doing?
Veruska: Good. Thank you for having me. Hello, everyone.
Garrett: Yes. Not only that, a little fun fact about you is we were talking before the podcast, you’re like, it’s okay if you butcher my name, but what I shouldn’t butcher is Italian food because you are a passionate cook, chef. Tell me a little bit about your obsession with culinary arts.
Veruska: Oh, well, we could do an episode just on this, to be honest, because for me, food is like the language, is the foundation of a culture, is a foundation of a country. It’s just what ties up people together over the centuries. I know that food crosses culture, but there are certain things that have to be the same, no matter the location. So if a certain type of pasta is done in a certain way, it has to be done in a certain way. You can do and you can change whatever you want, but please don’t call it in the way it’s not. I’m used to butchering Chinese food as well. And it’s like pretty much killing Chinese culture abroad and not giving Chinese people the credit that they deserve. So my approach to food, to Italian food, it’s the same approach that I have in terms of language and culture. And then I’m also, I really, really love to eat. So there is this other component, which kind of makes up for a lot of things when we talk about food. So it’s just a mix of trying to preserve my heritage and to pass along my heritage to other people and also my love for food and this love for food.
Garrett: I love that. I personally have never been to Italy, but I can only imagine I truly haven’t had like a real Italian culinary experience unless you’re in Italy. I mean, in the States, in America, it’s like we have almost American Italian or like to your point about Chinese, literally like it’s American Chinese is completely different cuisine than actual Chinese food, which is awful and hilarious. And yet I am Jewish and every Christmas we eat Chinese food like American Chinese food like that is part of my culture. So you are all about multilingual SEO. A few weeks back, you wrote this excellent article in Wix kind of detailing the beginning to end nuts and bolts of it. And I want to tap into that. So first off, kind of at a high level, what are the biggest challenges that you see for multilingual SEO?
Veruska: Well, in fairness, there are challenges on different levels. There are business challenges, skills challenges, and also outcomes challenges. Just not to go too in-depth with these, for sure, some of the most impacting and important are the first one probably is telling the idea that it’s not about quantity, but about quality. And it’s not about what you, as a business owner, think will work, but what your users are looking for and what will work for them. And this is extremely hard to sell, especially when we talk about localization and multilingual SEO for websites starting with a very solid foundation in their source language, where there’s basically some sort of fear that you’re basically putting your business at risk if you don’t follow a standard process and you don’t follow what you think you should follow. That’s probably the thing that puts a lot of weight on multilingual SEO. And it’s one of the biggest challenges.
Garrett: And another one that I see pretty much every time in any situation, no matter if it’s a big company, a small one, a B2B or B2C, is the need to put together a project management and cross-discipline plan. That is always something that business don’t think about. It’s just like, this is something that international SEO will manage, but then they don’t think about all the stakeholders that need to be involved. Or this is something that localization will manage, and it’s the same. So lack of project management is extremely huge. And last but not least, but I think this is basically span across all SEO is accountability. Who does what? Why something has been done? Why something is happening? And lack of resources. That’s tied up strictly with the idea of, okay, what happens if I fail? I’m wasting money. While if I follow a standard approach, it’s easier to justify if you are failing.
Garrett: You know, and it makes so much sense of like why a business might oversimplify the complexity of moving into a new market. And you kind of hit the nail on the head where it’s like, you have to actually plan out and project manage market research, content generation, and SEO, and it all plays together. And we’re going to talk a little bit about the business strategy of it too, because that’s almost like the first part before you even consider it. Obviously, it’s not just about translation, translating to a different language. It’s so much more, but what would you say, assuming that you do everything right, you plan and you move into this market, what are the benefits of a well-executed multilingual SEO strategy?
Veruska: So for me, I know that the majority of SEO people and marketing people think that the ultimate goal is revenue. So conversion, the truth is that we have multiple levels of conversion and in terms of multilingual SEO, for me, it’s deepening your relation with your target users in order to kind of create foundation for brand loyalty. If you have brand loyalty, if people start recognizing you just by looking at a page title that appears on Google, then you won them over. And it’s basically multilingual SEO. That’s why I always say that multilingual SEO is the way to understand how people search in other countries, but also to anticipate what they may search for in a specific timeframe, in a specific language, in a specific country. The ultimate goal is to deepen the relation the company has with them.
Garrett: It’s very interesting how important it is to get that right. To your point with SEO, you talk a little bit about the idea of even if you get the title tags and the meta description for your target keywords right for a specific area, once they go to the actual website, if that’s not aligned with it in terms of their expectations of what the page will look like, the kind of that region standards for the offer and the visuals and the placement of the elements, then it’s not going to work, right?