Keyword research

There has been a remarkable surge in the popularity of gin in recent times. The sector is enjoying steady growth – not only in Ireland, where consumers are spending record amounts on gin, but also in Europe, where Euromonitor International forecasts that gin consumption will rise by 26% between 2015 and 2020.

Irish craft producers are differentiating themselves from their big-brand competitors on the basis of artisanal values such as history, location, distillation process, and ingredients. This was particularly the case for Silver Spear's international customers, and our research phase focused on the marketing message and the very specific terminology used across the gin landscape.

As a result, we were able to identify specific search terms with high Google search volumes for both the French and German markets. These were the definitive terms used by prospective international customers when searching online for gin products and, from an SEO perspective, it was critical that they were incorporated into the new French and German language website content at the appropriate density.

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Content translation & optimization

All original English-language content on the www.silverspeargin.com website was automatically extracted by our specialist website localization software and converted into a suitable format for professional translation. Using the keywords identified in the research phase, the content was translated and optimized by senior, native-speaking, in-country translators.

On-page SEO

In addition to optimizing content by incorporating high-value keywords at the right density, other page elements – such as meta titles and descriptions, H1/H2 titles, and image alt text – were translated using the high-value keywords identified, as these elements are also factored into Google's algorithm.

Domain strategy

When it comes to multilingual website content, an effective domain strategy is an absolute prerequisite for successful Google ranking. Simply put, search engines must be “informed” of who your multilingual content is intended for, and one of the most important ways to do this is to ensure that you have well-organized multilingual content with clean, one-to-one, language-specific URLs. The original website domain, silverspeargin.com, was a generic top-level domain (gTLD). As such, a strategy of serving language-specific versions by way of sub-domains and adding Google-based “international targeting” for each new URL was selected as the best option for the new-language websites. We created the required sub-domains on behalf of Silver Spear and implemented all the required international targeting settings for both de.silverspeargin.com (German) and fr.silverspeargin.com (French).

Technical SEO

A good technical SEO foundation is essential when it comes to successful multilingual SEO, and without it, other SEO activities are doomed to fail. In this Google-dominated search environment, a Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) account is essential. From here, we can manage all the essential technical SEO tasks for each URL. The technical SEO configuration for both de.silverspeargin.com and fr.silverspeargin.com included the following:

  • Creation and submission of a multilingual sitemap with hreflang tag implementation
  • Submission of each website URL for indexing
  • International geotargeting for France & Germany
  • Validating Google crawl status and correct format of robots.txt file

Website publication

Prior to final publication, all optimized and translated content was deployed to a non-Google-indexed staging server, where a second senior linguist completed a thorough QA review. This in-context testing approach means that reviewers have direct access to the new-language website in the exact format it will be published in, and can make informed decisions based on the context at hand, thereby ensuring the quality and credibility of all new language content.

Full-coverage functional testing was also carried out by developers, ensuring that there were no technical issues with the new website. For example, our developers verified that the contact pages were routed correctly to designated emails and that all plugins were functioning correctly.

Once the QA cycle was completed, both de.silverspeargin.com and fr.silverspeargin.com were published on the TranslationLoft platform.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a widely used analysis tool that provides data and metrics on website traffic and user behaviour. Full Google Analytics integration is included with all TranslationLoft website localization projects.

Custom language switcher

For the Silver Spear project, TranslationLoft designers created a custom language switcher component, which was implemented in the original website to allow users to switch between different language options.