A number of reports globally have mentioned that more than half of all the online searches done are in a language other than English. What does this mean for digital brands that aim to target a section of potential customers in an area that speaks multiple languages – a great example of this is a country like India where many languages are spoken. Each state has its own dialect and culture – where language is a strong part of their community.
With our growing ‘glocal’ business setups, Vernacular SEO has become a necessity for brands to stay ahead of their competition, stay relevant and to also grow and expand their market base. Digital marketers today cannot do away with just SEO without diving deep into where their customer interest lies and how they can make the most of their effort. This is where Vernacular SEO comes in and is undoubtedly still one of the under explored areas of digital marketer to increase their website traffic. When marketers work with Vernacular SEO, they are able to get lure in more organic traffic.
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What is vernacular SEO?
It is a term that refers to optimizing one’s website for regional or local languages by using keywords, phrases and culture based content that is relevant to the local language, the geographical location and their culture – all aiming to increase traffic. This type of SEO is essential to explore for brands when they want to target customers in different regions where the language is not English.
Why vernacular SEO?
One of the key reasons for Vernacular SEO to have become so important is how the majority of searches done showcased that English is not the prime language of search for the wide population of the world.
Take India as an example – a country with dozens of languages and dialects like Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, and more. For a brand to be able to truly connect with the audience of India, they need to be able expand into vernacular SEO that brings in organic traffic to their website/ application.
A report by KPMG and Google in the past has reflected that the user base for India for vernacular content grew close to 536 million by 2021 which roughly accounts for 75% of the total internet users of the country.
Not only does vernacular SEO help to bring organic traffic to the website, but also in improving the conversion rates. When a user can read in their local language and engage with the website – there are bound to be more clicks and a higher engagement rate has a higher chance of conversion.
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Brands should consider the following when seeking to implement vernacular SEO
Conducting a keyword research
First step to start your vernacular SEO journey is to do a basic keyword research of what are most commonly used phrases, liners and words in the local language of the region where you want to gain an audience. Make sure to choose the correct tools from ones available like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush that will help you to identify relevant keywords.
Type of search engine
Picking the correct search engine is important. While Google is the most common version, the region you want to target may be using another search engine – if so, your SEO for Google alone will not help to make the cut in bringing organic traffic, rather efforts will go in vain. Take time to find what search engines are widely used in the area you want to gain an audience in.
Localized and linguistic content
Once you know your region, their search engine – now comes the step to build content that is niche, curated and localized to the language and culture. From your blog posts, articles, videos to infographics and visual content of sorts – everything must be apt for the region. Hire an expert in the language who can guide you with the language usage. Your research should be able to help you find relevant topics in the local language.
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Optimize your Meta tags
When a user visits your website, the websites meta keywords are their first point of contact – as a brand and digital marketing expert you must make sure that Meta title, Meta description are presented in the language you aim for in the meta tag – this means that the language you are targeting. One must also make sure that the website overall language remains consistent.
Building high quality in-country links means to focus on generation links in the native language by the use of high-quality backlinks on the brands website through local search engine submissions, use of local directories and local business listings in forums communities and other means. This step is key since the main ranking variables are still links and it helps to increase the website’s relevance in the area/ region.
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If your aim is to bring out the authentic voice of the brand on the web, vernacular SEO is your go to. Use of SEO to rank well on search engines is very effective and offers you an increase in traffic. A localized keyword is easier to rank in search simply because it is more specific than generic ones. Vernacular SEO hence can help you reach the right audience and accomplish the following:
A. Increase and enhance brand awareness and credibility
B. Bring organic traffic to your website and increase the website traffic
C. It will improve the overall engagement of customers on the website and customer satisfaction
D. It will increase your conversion rate, bring in more leads and revenue
E. Help enhance online visibility of your products to the right audience
F. Give you an edge over the competition
By optimizing your web content with local and regional languages you can reach a wider audience, the right audience and offer a nuanced engagement with your content, product and services.
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