International SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s visibility on different search engines around the world. For many years, SEO efforts were focused on local search results and the development of local businesses. However, with the growth of the Internet economy and increased demand for products and services, Internet marketers have shifted their attention to international markets.
International SEO is a growing field that involves people from all corners of the world looking at your website through a different set of eyes. From the client that you’re working with at the moment, to the local search engine (LSE), all sorts of information is being gathered about your site. Through this information, international SEO professionals can work out how they can help push their company ahead in the eyes of locals.
One of the biggest misconceptions about international SEO is that you need to move to a different country in order to succeed. There are many great reasons why people choose to live in countries other than their home country, and many of these countries have excellent opportunities for SEO. International SEO doesn’t mean you have to live in an urban area or that you should move to a foreign country – it just means focusing on local search engine optimization techniques.
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International SEO checklist
The international SEO checklist is a list of strategies and tactics that could help an international business to rank better on search engines. These strategies and tactics can be used by any business regardless of its location.
Primary strategies are:
- Set up an International-friendly URL.
- Language-target your Audience.
- Tailor your content according to the user’s language.
Other Strategies are:
- Prepare for page experience.
- Avoid Machine Learning.
- Understand that keywords & SERPs vary from Country wise
- Don’t just build links; build relationships.
- Keep an eye on International & local trends.
How to Implement International SEO
Internationally, search engine optimization requires a significant investment of time and resources that can often be difficult to justify when making local promotions a part of your company’s overall strategy. Search engine optimization requires extensive knowledge of both local and global search engine standards as well as social media analytics and content creation.
International SEO is a form of geotargeting. However, instead of optimizing your site to attract traffic from your state or city, you are optimizing it for other countries and languages.
You can create an internationalized website by targeting a different country or language. Your top priorities for international geotargeting are threefold.
- Designate your target country and/or region with an international-friendly URL structure (country targeting).
- Language tags (language targeting) can be used to determine which language pages are targeted.
- Maintain and create content in the target language(s) of your users. These are the raw materials that you will rank.
Now Let’s delve into explanation of these Best Practises of International SEO
Specify your target country and/or region with an international-friendly URL structure (country targeting): The most obvious thing you should do when choosing a web URL structure for your International site is to make sure that every link points to a useful page. This is a good idea for many reasons; it helps search engines understand the site and find it easier, it keeps visitors informed of what’s going on in the site (especially if the site is moving), and it’s easy for people to find things once they have started searching. If you’re getting started with the web and don’t know where to start, I recommend taking a look at the very first page that Google displays for every site – this is often your best bet for determining what sort of page to create.
When building an international website it is useful to follow some conventions. One convention that is often ignored is having a singular www in the URLs. Having the www in the URL helps users via search engines to easily locate a site, even if they don’t have explicit search hints for that domain (e.g.: latinamericannews.com). Having the www also helps search engine spiders find and include your site in the first page of results for queries referring to that country.
Your international friendly website will help visitors find you easier online and tell Google which page they should go to if they are looking for information about something in your country. Many people outside your country don’t have easy access to the internet so having easy access to an organization’s information on their home page can be very beneficial for branding purposes. Try to keep the URL short and easy to remember. Make sure that all of the pages linked from your main site have an easy way for people outside your country to get to them. If a visitor is trying to find something on your main site but cannot find it, they will most likely leave and go somewhere else.
Language Target your website or web pages: For better optimization of your site’s visibility in search engines, use correct language tags. Use hreflang meta tags instead of titles. Titles are often very important when ranking pages in search engines, even more so if you are around 10 – 20% of the site’s visitors. On the other hand, meta descriptions are less frequently updated and therefore less important than title tags.
If the meta tag or hreflang attribute is set on your page, then visitors from different countries will see different content. Visitors from Hong Kong will see different content from visitors from the US or Germany. If your content is primarily targeted at users in these countries, you will need to make sure that there is sufficient value added for them within the page itself or that additional content is provided which sufficiently represents you to the user from their point of view.
Tailor your content to your target user’s Language and Culture: Content and features that are universal can be perceived as more authoritative and valuable to visitors from different parts of the world. Visitors from different parts of the world evaluate products and services according to the information they are presented with.
And, natural language processing technology has made it possible for website owners to personalize content according to the user’s native language. Visitors from different parts of the world also find it easier to make trust-based purchases in sites that are willing to go out of their way to understand their needs and wants.
Imagine for a moment that you live in a city where everyone speaks your language and also happens to be as interested in your culture as you are. It might not be an actual city, but it could be close enough. This is precisely what international SEO is all about. It’s about creating localized content in order to cater to the interests and needs of the target audience.
Yes, creating an international SEO strategy is a long, complicated process. But the most important aspects are keyword localization and URL structure.Start by putting as much effort into your localized keyword research and content planning as you have for your main site. And finish with implementing a long-term plan for your URL structure.If you can do that, you’re well on your way to entering new markets with a strong international SEO strategy to guide you.