Are you looking to make traction in a new international online market? Whether that’s to sell your products or services, or build global brand awareness, you’re going to need to invest in an effective SEO strategy.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, a term referring to the process of generating organic traffic to websites through search engines. It's a broad practice, covering a wide array of angles and approaches. For example, you’ve got local, glocal, global and international SEO, and then you’ve also got your technical, CRO, content SEO and more.
Why international SEO is important
When you implement an international marketing strategy that is highly focused on SEO, you’re increasing:
The amount of website searches your website can show up for
The experience customers have when they visit your website
The chances of making a sale or convincing someone to invest in your services
Your brand’s reputation.
And much, much more.
How do I optimise for international SEO?
The type of international SEO your website needs will depend on what audience you're targeting, your goals, and your website's current state. It's important to remember that it is not something static, and will change over time. So what we would do for one site, we might not recommend for yours.
However, there are a few things that are considered best practice. If you are looking to reach a new international audience, here are five SEO tips that can help you succeed:
1) Carry out new search term research
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Just because a popular search term works in one country, it might not work in another. So you need to carry out new research on both an international level and a more in-depth, country-specific level.
Luckily, there are multiple tools available to help you ascertain what you should and shouldn't be targeting.
Pro tip: Don’t just select all the terms with the highest search volume, as these may not be relevant to your offering or easy to show up for. Make sure you’re choosing short and long-tail search terms, and allocating these to pages that will actually be useful to anyone who clicks through to your site to give your SEO a boost.
2) Create individual pages for each country you’re targeting
This will give your website/s another boost as there will be more search terms to rank for and it will help keep things neat and tidy and ensure that audiences from specific areas are taken to the right page or can easily find it once they land on your site. There are a few pathways you can choose to go down with this:
Subdomains: which is an entirely different site targeting your chosen country. The domain could look something like: us.yourwebsite.com
ccTLD: Which means 'country code top-level domain'. Essentially, after your primary domain, you'll have a code that represents the country you're targeting. This might look like: yourwebsite.us
Subdirectory: You can also host pages that target specific countries within your main website. Just like any other subpage, a subdirectory URL could look like: yourwebsite.com/us
Pro tip: While these may all look similar, and you may not think your choice to be important, it is. We highly recommend seeking expert advice to ensure you’re helping your SEO, not hindering it.
3) Translate your website
Translating your website pages into the preferred language of the countries you are targeting will increase your chances of showing up in search results and your audience seeing it. With only 36 English-speaking countries, if you don't translate your website, you'll miss tons of ranking opportunities and potential customers and clients.
Pro tip: When translating your website, don't rely entirely on machine translations such as Google Translate, as they may be inaccurate and won't take into consideration things like preferred tone and local vernacular. While they can be a great starting point, get someone who speaks the language and understands the culture to review the translations afterwards to further increase your hard work and effort.
4) Translate more than the words
Don't forget to translate any text on images as well as in the code of the picture. Also, it’s important to make sure that any photos used are culturally appropriate.
Ensure the correct currency and time zones are showing, and that the checking-out process is also in the same language (including any example text in the fields). This will not only make for a better user experience, but it will also keep things clear for search engines, which can only help your SEO.
Pro tip: Where possible, use developers located in the country you're targeting to beta test the website before rolling it out entirely. If you've been looking at the same website for days and days during your update, you might miss something glaringly obvious to someone looking for the first time. This is a great way to ensure a smooth and more successful international launch.
5) Think about more than just the search engines
A big push from Google right now is the experience a user has on a website. So while you can tick all of the technical SEO boxes, if the user experience or journey isn't great, people won't stay on your website or invest in your brand, which can harm your SEO.
Trust us; keeping your target audience at the forefront of your efforts will automatically help your SEO efforts.
Pro tip: Engagement statistics, like people leaving your website straight away, will likely impact your SEO. If Google thinks it’s sending people to the wrong website because they aren’t staying on your site very long, it might demote you in the search results.
How Jublo can help
At Jublo, we offer a range of digital marketing services such as:
With a specialism is international application.
We also provide in-depth translation services, including assigning your translations to someone who speaks the language and fully understands the culture of the market you’re trying to tap into.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you shape, implement and maximise the results of your international SEO strategy.