Multilingual SEM, SEO & SEA

If you are planning to do search engine marketing (SEM) to increase search engine visibility to attract German clients, you first need to have an up-to-date keyword list in German. The list has to be created with dedicated keyword research – a word-for-word translation of your keyword list in English won’t do the job. That’s why it’s also called SEO localization. The word “sneaker” for example can be translated with “Turnschuh” and “Sportschuhe” (both with 10 thousand to 100 thousand average monthly searches) or with Sneaker with 100 thousand to 1 million average monthly searches*. A keyword blacklist that helps you to be safe from unwanted clicks on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) might also come in handy. Then you need to decide if you are going to opt for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to organically appear in the top positions or prefer Search Engine Advertising (SEA) to get you ahead of competitors by paying pay-per-click ads (PPC).

It is very important to adapt the content to the German market to obtain the same result as the source text does in the local market. That applies to any SEM content e.g. Snippets – the title, URL, and description of your page that are visible on the search engine results pages (SERP), which are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a user. Google Ads have character limits (30 characters for headlines and 90 for description lines). Bear in mind that the average length of words in German generally is longer than the average length of words in English, so often it’s necessary to omit words to avoid exceeding that limit.

For a successful SEM translation, it’s important to create a comprehensive briefing.

*Search results based on a search in Google Keyword Planner (reviewed on the 24th of February 2022).

Before scheduling an online meeting or a phone call with a translator, it’s recommendable that you create your project briefing.

Information that can be useful:

  • Planned starting and end date of the project.
  • Dependencies of the project – for example, the date of a new product launch, planned German Google Ad campaigns, company anniversaries, etc.
  • Contact person for questions after project kick-off.
  • Should all the client communion be in English?
  • Which communication channel should be used: E-Mail, Skype, etc.?
  • Is it a completely new market entry or does the company already have German clients, German marketing materials, keyword lists, glossaries, etc. that should be taken into account?
Jelena Morgan

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