Without local resources at your disposal, expanding your online presence internationally can be a challenge. However, proper preparation and understanding of the basic principles of international SEO can get the work done.
Below are five things to consider before taking the global SEO leap.
Your Current Scope and Limitations
Don’t be giddy in analyzing your existing resources and potential barriers. Start by assessing your target market’s region, language and other important distinctions that will affect your decision making. Additionally, know the strengths and limitations of your existing content managing services (CMS), and plan how you’ll handle your localized URLs.
After identifying your brand’s technical limitations and before you build websites, choose an optimal website structure that targets your business aims. Additionally, select the appropriate domain’s format since it can affect your page rank within a particular geography. Albeit the pros and cons for each varies, you may use a country code top-level domain format (site.fr), generic top-level domain (fr.site.com), a subdirectory generic top-level domain (site.com/fr) or a URL parameter (site.com?loc=fr). But bear in mind that there’s no absolute rule in selecting website structure. You can either have a uniform format for all of your websites, or choose to diversify your localized contents.
Search Engine Selection
Know which search engines are most popular in the countries you’re targeting. Don’t assume that United States will mirror the search engine landscape. That being said, it’s imperative to do localized keyword research and rank checking.
Localized Optimization Practices
Your keyword research should be performed on a local level to understand which queries are most relevant to your market. The good thing here is that basic SEO practices apply regardless of your visitor’s regional identity. When it comes to link building, though, make sure to acquire inbound links from trusted local sites so that you can gain authority in your target region.
A flawed translation might cause your target customer to doubt your brand. In turn, he or she is less likely to purchase any of your services. Additionally, cultural factors should also be considered when integrating e-commerce. There are people from other countries that require in-depth research before allocating funds, while others don’t. Furthermore, you should also optimize localized terms and jargons that will be incorporated to your website. The key here is finding the balance between SEO-friendly localizations and eloquent translations.
In general, cultural relevance and content quality matters most for global SEO, since it will definitely affect your website’s conversion rate.
Article written by: Maricris Libo-on