We’re more connected than we’ve ever been before, so why limit your business’s reach strictly to English speaking countries? By deploying international SEO, you can make your company a global entity and, when executed correctly, international SEO can garner a huge return on investment even for the smallest of businesses. However, before you go about devising a strategy it’s best to receive some advice. Our guide to getting started in international SEO covers all the core touchstones that you need for your business to become a global success!
Discover Your Audience
There’s not much point adapting your website for countries across the world without first understanding where it’s most likely to succeed. To find your international audience, conduct some research into your sector and the countries where similar businesses tend to gain the most traffic. You can take a look at some reports published by competitors, research stats about your industry itself and even review your website’s own data to see if you have any international visitors who are regularly using your site even though it hasn’t been optimised for them yet.
Fortunately there a number of great resources online that you can access this information from, the first are trade organisation and government websites. These sites will give you insights into the latest news and statistics regarding your specific industry that might affect how well your website performs abroad. There are also a number of statistic consultancy firms that provide information on how well websites are converting internationally and the potential actions that can be taken to improve that rate.
Amend Your Website
The second step you’re going to need to take is to complete an audit of your current website to see which features, pieces of content and functionality can be carried over when you eventually list it on your targeted foreign search engines.
This will involve the translation and localization of any content that appears on your website and amending any messaging and offers that you might need to change. These adaptions can include anything from your terms and conditions, to your delivery capability, or even a phone number that users can contact you on, this information all differs according to the country where someone is viewing your site from.
For this reason, it’s best to tailor each version of your site to a specific country rather than duplicate it on mass. Just because a site is performing well in the Asian market doesn’t mean that the footfall will translate to Eastern European countries. Also, by taking a bespoke approach to your site’s globalisation, you ensure that you do not accidentally create a duplicate site and have one or more of your website’s competing within the same rankings for the same search term. You can ensure this doesn’t happen by using the correct canonical or hreflang tags to ensure that they are indexed into the correct search results.
Find The Right Host
There are plenty of great international hosting providers, however, it’s not about finding one that is serviceable, it’s about finding one that will best suite you. If you want one specific provider to host all your sites then it’d be best to opt for one that has multiple server farms in a variety of countries, this way you can be confident with your site’s speed wherever someone is operating it from.
To ensure that a hosting provider is reputable you can complete some background research on them using either forums, online reviews or feedback found on their site. Certain attributes that I recommend you look out for is that the hosts have a good uptime guarantee promise, this refers to how long your website may go down for maintenance throughout a year, whether their sites tend to perform well and whether or not they give access to website builders or CMS software should you need to upload or change any content. If a hosting provider possesses those three characteristics they’re a pretty safe bet.
Target More Than One Search Engine
Although Google is by far and the way the most commonly used search engine in the majority of mainland Europe and the United States, it isn’t always the leader in other international countries.
For example, online publisher, Medium, revealed that in China, 70.26% of search enquiries are made on Baidu, while only 1.47% of searches were completed using Google. They also discovered that 51.08% of Russians preferred to use Yandex as their search engine opposed to Google, Yahoo! or Bing.
So before you go about focusing all your international SEO campaign’s efforts on gaining traction on Google, consider if there are any other browsers where your website might be able to reach a wider audience.
Budget Your Resources
Now as with any global campaign, international SEO requires that you pay particular attention to your business’s budget’s constraints. After all, you don’t have the luxury of having unlimited resources in all the countries you intend on launching a unique site in.
To ensure that you don’t tire or completely run out of the finances required for successful International SEO you need to create a comprehensive plan which you adhere to for the entirety of your global expansion. I’d suggest starting with just three core elements to focus on, before building upon them as your campaign becomes more sophisticated.
First, you’re going to need to consider how much budget you’re going to assign to the amendments made to your site, so how much you’re going to pay for copywriters, translating services and designers for the changes made to its content.
The second is how much you’re willing to spend on technical support, specifically your website’s operation. This should cover anything that relates to the mechanics of your site, so hosting, performance, page speed, functionality etc.
The final factor to deliberate is how you’re going to record and report how successful your site has been in achieving international popularity. Google Analytics, FoxMetrics, and Hubspot all offer very reasonable packages that can help you monitor your site’s data, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much.
So, that brings to an end our quick guide on getting started in International SEO. I hope that it serves as a valuable resource for you in the future!
If you would like to find out more information on your how you can employ an SEO company to help your business thrive internationally feel free to get in touch with a member of my team at my digital marketing agency, Absolute Digital Media, who will be more than happy to advise you.