International SEO

There is a great history of music, pop culture, and even business moving from one country and taking over in another. Are you interested in invading another country with your wonderful web presence?

Today we are talking about International SEO and how you can optimize your website content for locations outside your own country. However, before we jump right in to International SEO, let’s go over some SEO Basics.

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is defined by Google as “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine”. This task is completed with many different tactics including keyword research, on-page optimization, creating content, external linking and local directory management. In other words, SEO is an organic approach to improving your website and the traffic that visits it.

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(Money can’t always buy you quality traffic either.)

How Does International SEO Work?

In all reality, International SEO is basically the same as your typical SEO practices. However, there are a few things to consider when it comes to optimizing a website for locations outside your country. Some of those things might include:

1. Language

Do you speak the language the people of the country use? If not, do you have someone there you can work with for translations. This person could also reach out to others and companies for off-site linking opportunities. Google translate is a great tool; however, it’s important to remember that it translates literally and may not make sense.

L1 L2

Above are a couple examples of the minor changes Google Translate can make. The most important thing to remember is that you do not want to translate your website; you want it interpreted.

2. Cultural Considerations

Simple things like dates, addresses, and websites might be a different format than what we’re used to in America. Is your client in a place where the layout for dates goes day/month/year? Is it called a state or providence? Does the URL end with .com or .ca, .es, .de? Even things like pants and sweaters have different names in other parts of the world (ex: trousers and jumpers). Knowing these types of differences will help make your work better.

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3. Keyword Research

Doing the keyword research for an international client is not as scary as it sounds. To start, gather a list of initial keywords based on what the intentions of the content are. Do not translate that list. You can use the Keyword Planner to select the targeted location and country. Once all of that is plugged in, you can discover what users are actually searching for. Easy-peasy, right?

4. Link Building and Local Search

This is going to take a bit of research. Once you locate relevant directories or local review sites, you can begin the process of link building. Once again, I’d like to bring up that if you don’t speak the language, you can get in contact with someone who does and ask that they reach out to help. As most people know a large part of link building is building relationships.

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Look for ways the business is getting involved (or could get involved) with the community. This is a great way to create relationships and find link opportunities. Most importantly, approach every locale individually. Cultures and communities are different across the world – by understanding the culture you’re working with, these practices will come much easier.

5. Get to know the Social Networks

Social media is a great way to bring in visitors. Much like the word of mouth, when people share images, videos or links from your business all of their friends or connections are able to see it. To maximize the results from social media, you first have to figure out where the crowds are. Is Facebook or Twitter the best option there or do they use social media platforms like Viadeo, Xing, or Netlog? While you’re researching relevant directories and review sites, make sure to also find out more about the social networks of the area.

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I hope this list helped to better explain doing SEO for international clients and made you feel more confident in taking on the task. If you have any questions about International SEO or would like to learn more about our services, please reach out to us or leave a comment below. To learn more about SEO and related topics, take a look through some of our previous blog posts.

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