As you expand your business to customers in other countries, you might want to change your website’s content and setup. This said, you’ll find that you need to learn more about international SEO and how to implement it. International SEO, if executed the right way, can rake a huge ROI for your business.
What is international SEO?
International SEO is optimizing your web pages so that the search engines will be able to identify exactly which countries you are targeting, the specific content you are displaying, and the language of the user in the specific location. In a way, it’s like Miami SEO for small businesses. However, instead of just focusing on Miami, it targets multiple locations.
Though many websites, in an effort to implement international SEO, copy and paste versions of their local website into different languages, it is not ideal. It’s true that translation and localization of the web content are important steps in the process. However, you also need to be able to fully optimize your websites to cater to each country’s local audience. And, yes, you need a separate website for each country.
Different Phases of an International SEO Process
It’s important to understand that it takes careful planning to be successful in your international SEO. If you don’t know how to go through it, here’s an overview of the fundamental phases of the process:
You need to validate the potential of your international market. Do not venture where you know you’ll fail. You might want to use tools like the Google Analytics to find out the volume of organic search traffic and visibility from each country.
Which countries show impressive organic search volume of relevant competitive keywords? You need to target these and prioritize them in your SEO efforts. You also need to affirm that you’ll have a huge target audience and the conversion volume is potentially high.
Once you know your target, you need to optimize your website and make sure that it is indexable. Pay careful attention to its overall performance. You don’t want to face search results misalignment issues. This happens when your websites compete against each other or, worse, not indexed at all. For instance, your website designed for Los Angeles should not appear or outrank your website designed for Singapore.
Improving International SEO
If you have already taken the first steps towards international SEO, and you still don’t see any results, you might need to improve your strategy. Here are tips that you can use:
1. Choose the right search engines.
Remember that Google is not the only search engine in the world. In fact, in China, Baidu is more widely used. In Russia, there’s Yandex. In South Korea, there’s Naver.
2. Remember that translation is not enough.
While it’s quicker and easier to translate the original local content, you might not be able to get the right message across. You should consider the change of audience. Your approach in one country may not work in another.
3. Localize your content.
If your webpage contains several languages, it might not be considered relevant by search engines. You need to localize your website.
International SEO is a complex process that needs careful research and analysis so you can target your global audience correctly. It will not be easy to achieve success in your international SEO goals; you need to build a strong strategy and implement it.