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Keywords, Domain Names and the Foreign Language Internet was sold in November for $500,000. Whilst we could talk all day about whether any domain name is worth that much money (for the record, a domain name is worth as much as someone’s willing to pay!), from a search perspective, it’s perhaps more pertinent to discuss the value of having keywords within domain names…and the implications this has on a company’s international efforts.

To use as an example, the website is currently in the process of being set-up but will eventually offer an affordable logo-design service. So seems to the perfect domain for a company offering such services.

Better still, from an international perspective, the word ‘logo’ means the same thing in many languages – From English and German, to French and Italian. In fact, the word ‘logo’ is the same in Finnish, Dutch, Romanian, Polish, Norwegian…and many more.

And this helps to illustrate the true value of A big localisation headache is alleviated simply because the word ‘logo’ is universal. Yes, it would also help its SEO efforts by having in-country domains too, but that discussion is for another time.

Of course, it will prove difficult for you to find single-word domain names that are popular keywords in your industry – without, at least, having to fork out a veritable fortune. But not all is lost – you can include one or more key search terms, alongside an identifier that is unique to your particular brand.

But depending on your industry, there’s a good chance that the main keywords won’t be universally understood across multiple languages. This means that people are more likely to search for a particular item locally in their own tongue.

And whilst this should be reflected within the main text on each of your foreign language websites, including properly localised keywords, from a domain name perspective, this also means you should plan well in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on the best domains for your company.

So when deciding on your company name in the first instance, it’s perhaps worth looking ahead to the future and the implications your company name will have on your international efforts. In the digital realm, a company’s brand identity and its associated domain name(s) are closely linked – there’s no getting away from this.

It doesn’t cost much to register domain names in your desired countries. And this will also help ensure you have locally-hosted domains for each of your target countries, which is crucial in terms of ranking highly on local search engines, such as (France) or (German).

So, if you have opted to include a keyword in your English-language domain name, you’ll need to properly research and localise this for your target market, as there’s a strong chance a different word will be needed.

For example, online florists Arena Flowers has considered this when launching its international, locally-hosted websites, such as Arena Bloemen in the Netherlands, Arena Blumen in Germany and Arena Fleurs in France.

By properly localising its international domains by incorporating a keyword likely to be used by locals searching for an online flower delivery service, the company’s SEO efforts are thus strengthened across the board.

Of course, this does mean having separate logos for each of its websites. And whilst a single, global identity may well be the ideal scenario, it won’t always be possible if you’re thinking about striking the right balance between having a unified international brand, and the practicalities involved in hitting the giddy heights at the top of Google’s search results.

Category SEO
Christian Arno CEO at Lingo24

Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a global translation company. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 200 employees ...

Keywords, Domain Names and the Foreign Language Internet

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