The one essential element of “Going Big” in a business is gaining more visibility. You want to sell more? Get a bigger reach, explore new markets.
Here international SEO comes into play.
Table of Contents
The 3 W’s of International SEO
For those of you who don’t know International SEO, this blog is going to help you understand not only the concept of Google international but also provide useful information regarding international targeting
In order to achieve this, you need to follow international SEO best practices to make sure that the search engines are able to recognise the regions and languages you are targeting.
To elaborate we’ll answer three basic questions related to international SEO services.
What is an international SEO?
International SEO is all about targeting an audience in a foreign region or speaking a different language. To implement international SEO you need to know that it’s a practice to gain international reach via optimisation of the website.
Who to target in international SEO?
In Global SEO the target is a potential foreign market, where you see scope for your product or services.
To achieve the optimisation of your presence on a search engine, you just use international SEO to target the international audience of a specific region and serve the users in different languages.
When to aim for international SEO?
The best time to target an international audience is when you have established authority at home, and when you clearly see scope in a bigger market for your business.
Expanding is expensive
Before getting started you need to make sure, it’s worth it!
Let’s start with clarifying some concepts regarding getting some organic traffic through international SEO and services.
Multiregional SEO: a form of international SEO that targets several regions.
Multilingual SEO: a form of international SEO that targets several languages.
Before starting on International SEO best practices for international targeting, you need to assess your business goals well as your market place. If you want to be a part of Google international by getting international SEO services, you need to be on top of your game. Here is Why and How.
International SEO matters, but why?
Many businesses, whether selling a product or services, can offer expertise around the globe. They might not know this, but there could be a huge international market available for them to explore and conquer. Here comes the role of international SEO that helps you target the blind spot.
If you own a business that has a fair potential of getting expanded worldwide, you need to get acquainted with international SEO services.
Even if you are not sure about it yet, you need to look it up and research comprehensively regarding the benefits of an international market for your business. The first positive sign for you to keep moving forward is the demographics of your audience.
Do you get users from different countries? Or whether you are getting clicks from users that are in your region but they speak different languages?
Note: you don’t have to get overwhelmed with the idea of getting a whole new website for different localities. Keep reading for an alternate solution.
Are You Ready To Grow?
Before starting the process of your expansion via international SEO you need to be really sure about the prospects. If settled on time, this step can save you a lot of trouble and expenditure later on.
Know your market
This step is as simple as it is essential. To avoid an expensive failure, do a patient research in advance.
You might think your product is in high demand and your services are being dearly missed somewhere but in all honesty, you are most probably wrong and here is why,
The most common mistakes made in this regard are the misconceptions about the consumer market. Not every developing market out there is at your disposal and no two different consumers from the same regions have the same demands vis-à-vis your product or service.
So, what should be done here?
A thorough research on user demands and a study of competitors can help you a lot in this aspect of the business plan.
Ask some questions such as;
- Are you launching a new product or offering a unique service in a foreign market?
- What are the prospects?
- How’s the economy there?
- What niche are you targeting?
- What are their buying habits?
- If you have competitors, what’s their strategy?
- Are they growing or going at a loss?
What you got?
Let’s say you got done with the research part successfully and with a positive lead. Now the deal breaker is your finances and other resources. This includes all the assistance you might need in conducting the business deals and transactions and in the handling of other matters such as customer care, local deliveries etc.
Find the answer to these questions;
- How is your product better than theirs?
- How are you going to handle the logistics?
- How long can you sustain?
- How strong is your foreign team?
- Can you handle intentional delivery cost?
“I can just use Google translator. Smart, right?”
Well, quite the opposite really. International SEO is not about just translating content to a foreign language and hoping to get international reach. It just doesn’t work like this!
To get sales in the international market, you need organic traffic and rich leads.
They are less likely to occur if your best bet is poorly translated content, which is possibly incorrect too. (No offence to Google, but we all know translation is not your flex. Love the maps though)
So, yeah coming back to our point; you need explicitly written content. This will not only help you build credibility in the local market with customised content but also support your SEO practices.
Readmore: Global SEO vs Local SEO
International SEO best practices
If you have successfully ticked all the boxes in previous stages, here is how you can move forward in the global market with international SEO practices.
1. URL structure
You can use multiple URL structures to get an international audience of a specific audience in your target frame.
- gTLD with language parameters
- Different domains
2. Language target
The second method to go about it is the use of language via code using language Meta tags or href. The following example will make explain its use.
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://intelicle.com/fr” hreflang=”fr-fr”/>
- Before you target your users, just make sure that everything on the website is in the target foreign language.
- Before redirecting to other language ask the user, don’t redirect due to a certain location.
- Again, don’t use online translations!
3. Create a stunner local content
To be successful in a foreign land with their native user, you need to act smart and fast. Make it crystal clear for them that your website and your product is meant for them. You surely can’t achieve this with badly written or non-native content.
Try to act along with the user’s culture and contemporary issues to make a connection with them, this bond means trust and trust mean sales!
If you are using a different language for a specific page, you need to tell Google.
This tells Google that multiple versions of the same page in different languages exist.
By using hreflang attribute like this; rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”
Example: link rel=”alternate” href=”http://intelicle.com” hreflang=”en-us” />
To implement hreflang, the best practice is to:
- Declaring other languages and regions for other versions of the page
- Using x-default to mark the default page
- Declare what is the language of the page you are on
- Canonicalising the page
You can use the hreflang attribute in the on-page mark-up, the HTTP header, or the sitemap. Remember to use only one of these.
Example: <link rel=”alternate” href=”http://intelicle.com” hreflang=”es-es” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”http://intelicle.com/fr/” hreflang=”fr-fr” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”http://intelicle.com/pt/” hreflang=”pt-pt” />
Some more SEO practices to help you further in the international market.
- Try to get used to local search engines
- Build links from local resources
- Links with local content
- Use a local hosting provider for hosting your site
There are two ways to go about it, one is with the region/country and the second is international targeting through language.
Now, if your target is a particular country, go with ccTLD.
On the other hand, hreflang or subdomain is the best choice.
Here are some bonus tips for you to ace the international SEO
- Carry out a thorough keyword research
- Don’t ignore language targeting
- Reflect culture in your designs
- Think locally
- Prepare for Page Experience
- Remember, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness is key to success
- Optimise the technical security
- Stay in touch with local and international trends
The international SEO is the way forward for setting steps in the international market but that’s not an easy job. Unless you got help from an experienced web service provider that does the job for you.