International SEO: The What, The How, and The When

Ciklopea 4 weeks ago Comment

All businesses should know by now that a quality SEO strategy is essential for success. As people are now googling more and more, international audiences are the next step to growing your business. But how do you know when to expand into international waters?

Google dominates Europe and America, Yandex is used by most of Russia and Baidu equally in China
There is no such thing as translating a keyword

Discover your potential international markets

Reviewing analytics for your business’ website can often be tedious and boring. But it is also the best place to find insights on new markets. If you’re a British company providing IT solutions, serving only the UK and analytics reveals that a large chunk of your views have been coming from Ireland or Germany, then it’s time to review your policies and expand. Keep in mind, although Google dominates Europe and America, Yandex is used by most of Russia and Baidu equally in China. So if these countries are your goals, they may require further research.

Website Localization

When translating and localizing your site, do you need to be multiregional or multilingual?

Multiregional refers, for example, to add both UK and US versions of English to keep both markets happy and similarly for other polycentric languages, whereas multilingual refers to adding an extra version of the site in the target country’s language (just like our own website is available in four languages). Google doesn’t like content translated by machine translation, so to get good rankings, you’ll have to get a quality LSP (language services provider) involved too.

Domain and URL

The next step to success after speaking the language, is looking local. Country Code Top Level Domain Name (ccTLD) is a great way to boost your ranking in the target company. To look local, your site needs a domain in the target country. Hosting your site on a ccTLD may be an additional cost, but it gives your new customers extra trust in the site, although some countries don’t make it easy to bear their signature. For example, gaining .co.uk is a lot easier than gaining .ie, as Ireland requires Irish residency to setup a .ie URL.

Site Structure

Since the internet never stops evolving, neither should your website. Every website could be improved if you have the passion or interest to keep developing it. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is finishing its website and leaving it to rust.

Your website does require a lot of attention to grow. Annual restructures and research for best practice is also helpful.

International Keyword Research

If you’re dedicated to bettering your website, tools like SEMrush and MOZ will show you how your site is performing in target countries. They also come with keyword research tools. These tools will help show keywords that you should be using in these countries.

Performing SEO into a new language can be a bit of a minefield so these tools will help point you in the right direction. Just remember, there is no such thing as translating a keyword! Every language has a different way of searching for something, so you have to make sure that your search terms are local too – and global success comes from local adaptation.

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