Multilingual Keyword Research and Analysis

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Keyword research is one of the most important factors for online success and something that should be conducted even before launching a site.

The reason is simple; keyword research is at the heart of market research. And when you know your market, the chances for your great idea, product or service to prosper in a competitive world are much higher than anyone else.

With a systemic approach to keyword research you should be able to:

  • know IF people are looking for what you are offering, online and offline
  • understand WHAT people are looking for in order to match your selling proposition with their buying process
  • find out WHO are the ones looking for that special something
  • learn WHEN they are looking for that something special
  • create the right message to talk to them in their own language

However, keyword research should not only help you find out the terms (keywords or keyphrases) that are being searched for the most with their estimated volumes. It should also help you understand the searcher's intent and what he/she is looking for.

A recent study(1) shows that...

for more than 35% of queries, there are no clicks on any result. More than 80% of web queries are informational in nature and approximately 10% are transactional, and 10% navigational.

Navigational queries should be understood as the ones performed to find specific sites, for example a search for Informational queries have the intent to find specific information, for example a search for SEO Company. And transactional queries are the ones whose intent is to perform an immediate action such as buy SEO services. Additionally, there are geografical queries that because of their nature tend to add another layer of proximity and language categorization. Think about why people search for Spanish SEO or SEO Consultant in Denver, Colorado.

Our keyword research services will identify the right sets of keywords in English and Spanish for your campaign and help you understand the proper context in which they apply.

However, this process is labor intense and requires a high level of specialization that goes beyond simple translation of terms and understanding of generic SEO. Indeed, to conduct multilingual keyword research, the researcher should:

  • be a professional translator, preferably but not necessarily a native speaker
  • understand cultural aspects where the source and target languages are used
  • be a seasoned multicultural & multilingual marketer who is familiar with the intricacies of both markets
  • have extensive search engine marketing experience in both markets

Spanish SEO team members have all those traits and more to provide valuable keyword research in English and Spanish.

Keyword Research Process

Our multilingual keyword research and analysis process is comprised of the following stages:

1. Keyword Identification and Translation

The first step in the keyword research process is to gather substantial information from different online and offline sources that will help us create a keyword seed list. The next step will be to conduct a literal translation of the most relevant keywords from English into Spanish. The purpose of the translation is to familiarize with the terms used in the vertical market and to structure the semantic correlation in the Spanish language.

Translating an entire seed list is not always the best option. There exists a high probability for certain terms to have no relevancy for your campaign. Instead, we will translate a minimum of 200 keywords that will become pivotal for the research.

The following techniques, sources of information and tools will be used to collect keywords in English and Spanish:

  • Web analytics tools and traffic analyzers
  • Server logs
  • Internal search
  • Brainstorming
  • Competition analysis
  • Translation
  • Traditional media sources
  • Colleagues, partners and industry leaders
  • Thesaurus: synonyms
  • Modifiers databases
  • Misspelling databases
  • Keyword suggestion tools
  • Keyword estimation tools
  • Keyword grouping tools
  • Competitive research tools
  • Pay per click tools
  • Pay per click ads
  • Content categorization tools
  • Tag clouds
  • Sitemaps

Search volume estimates from the main search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft Live and Miva will be included. However, since information for keyword research in Spanish is limited, we will make use of proprietary tools, techniques and data to consolidate estimates.

2. Keyword Classification

Once data gets tabulated, we will proceed to classify keywords in groups based on taxonomy, semantic correlation, goal relevancy and other targeted categories. Keep in mind that due to the complexity of the Spanish language some keywords will have more than one classification, translation and interpretation. Moreover, some categories may contain keywords whose literal translation in English does not exist, but which require contextual translation to understand their applicability.

Another important aspect to consider when classifying keywords in Spanish is the increase in the number of translated terms. This increase tends to fluctuate between 10 to 30 percent, and is something that needs to be carefully considered for on-page optimization.

3. Keyword Selection

At this stage we will provide a preliminary keyword research report for the top 50 core keywords for further analysis. We will discuss with your team members the accuracy of our assumptions and make the necessary adjustments to the report.

The selection process is based on objective factors such as type of search, commercial intention and search volume. Keyword relevancy associated with the business or product is also included as a subjective factor. Each keyword is rated from 0 to 100 with intervals of 10. The rating is expressed in percentages. The higher the percentage the more relevant the keyword is for the campaign.

Even though we can assign a subjective factor to each keyword based on what we believe is relevant for the campaign, it will be up to your team to determine its relevancy. We will go through the preliminary keyword research list and explain the contextual translation in Spanish for each keyword if needed. As a result of our collaborative efforts, the top 50 most relevant keywords will be clearly identified.

Additional keywords found in the discovery process will also be included, discussed and analyzed. We can expand the preliminary keyword research report at any time to include other terms that were not originally considered.

4. Keyword Competitiveness Analysis

Analyzing and understanding the level of competitiveness for each core keyword is vital for your campaign. We make use of several competitive analysis tools to identify the number of competitors ranking for the same keyword, cost per bid per keyword and other important SEO statistical information.

The level of difficulty assigned to each keyword is a subjective interpretation that is a combination of a good understanding of how the web works, advanced SEO knowledge, and experience with Latino and Hispanic marketing.

The competitiveness analysis of the top 50 core keywords will also be included and expanded in the final keyword research report.

5. Final Keyword Research Report

The final keyword research report will include not only the list of the top 50 core keywords with their respective competitive analysis, but also a list of additional related keywords that we found valuable throughout the research. Depending on your vertical, service/product, and the depth of the research, the list of related keywords can go from a few dozen to several thousand keywords. They will include modifiers, misspellings, calls to action, nouns with high commercial intension indirectly related to the campaign and other terms that can be useful for content optimization.

The final keyword research report will help you understand the real value of each keyword and their market potential. Our recommendations will also provide some insights in terms of market opportunities with the Latino and Hispanic market that otherwise might have been disregarded.

There might be special situations with certain keywords where further explanation will be needed to better understand the context in which they apply. This explanation can also be included in the final keyword research report or discussed with your team members over the phone. And yes, we talk to you directly because we don't outsource our work to inexperience parties.

Now that you know you can rely on expert SEO consultants who know what they are doing and speak the languages of your customers, contact us to discuss your needs.


(1) Jansen, B.J. and Spink, A. (2009). ‘Investigating customer click through behaviour with integrated sponsored and nonsponsored results’, Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, Vol. 5, Nos. 1/2, pp.74–94.