The best way to conduct this research (or at least the most interesting) is to travel to your target country. But that’s not always practicable. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to give you access to the world of search from your own computer.
Here are five tools that provide highly useful information into what is happening around the world:
Google Adwords Keywords Tool
Using the advanced option of Google’s Keyword Tool, you can select keywords by country and language. Enter an initial keyword, select a language and/or target countries, and Google will return a list of keyword ideas with the associated monthly volume for each.
For a second source of international keyword research, also consider using Trellian’s Keyword Discovery tool which includes data from many European countries.
Google Insights for Search
Use Google Insights for Search to explore trends in keyword search demand over time. This is a great tool for identifying areas of growing demand for which new market opportunities may exist. There are options to search the hottest trends by country and industry. You can also start with one or more search terms and the tool will provide a list of the hottest related keywords in the country of choice.
If you don’t speak foreign languages, and don’t have the budget for translation services, you could start your research by translating your English language keywords using software such as Google Translator. After translating, use the keyword research tools to further expand your list and obtain search volumes.
But be warned. Google Translator is a very useful tool but is far from fool-proof. I wouldn’t use it if I were aiming to impress a native speaker!
Search engine results are often tailored to a user’s location. Location is determined by IP address. To understand how results differ from country to country, you can use a proxy server to search using an international IP address. This can be very useful for competitive analysis. Try this site for a selection of international proxy servers: http://www.proxy4free.com.
Rank Checking Software
To understand how well your site is ranking in multiple countries, try using a rank checking software that has international capabilities. Rank Tracker by Link-Assistant.com provides ranking results for the 3 major search engines in practically every country you can think of. You can also use it to keep tabs on the rankings of your competitors.