The challenge of succeeding in the search engines in English can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle but add to that mix the need to optimise your site for international markets and that hill suddenly gets steeper.
International SEO is not just about translating your site content for a multilingual audience but understanding the strategic considerations and technical aspects when adhering to the different search engines for different countries. Then there are the users themselves to consider, SEO is never just about search engines, there are some countries where website design and the user experience can affect sales. It’s essential to remember the same when advertising your products in other countries.
The world wide web is now accessible to more users than ever before and has undoubtedly opened up both new and emerging markets for businesses online to cast their net further afield and benefit from this. Reaching international audiences can daunting but if you get the basics rights then you’ll be much more likely to win.
To reiterate again, international SEO is not just about translation, even when both countries speak English there are different keywords for example ‘vacation’ is a more popular keyword than ‘holiday’ in America. A common mistake is to assume that direct translations of your existing keywords will work in other languages or countries as they do in English.
Keywords become even more important when you look at paid advertising in different languages as the short snapshot of text in ads is so much more unforgiving than a page of content on your website. Therefore it is essential to tie your ads carefully to the relevant keywords, a native speaking translator will also be able to help with suggestions and more likely to understand the differences between dialects and optimise for these accordingly, both for SEO and paid ads.
Optimise By Country Or Language?
It’s usually more efficient to optimise for a specific country rather than a language. This also means you can target your ads more effectively to your potential customers, taking into account any local traditions, cultural differences, country-specific search engines and online advertising rules and regs.
When optimising by country, one option is to use a country-specific domain extension such as .jp for Japan, .de for Germany and so on. This can impact on click-through rates and have a positive impact on your ads as users see a local website and are more likely to trust and purchase online. The most important thing to think about is what’s best for your business as to whether you want to target at a language level or a country level.
International search engines use a number of different indicators to help them handle international content, and geo-targeting settings are just one. Other international ranking factors include the translated content and URLs, local links from a country code top-level domain (ccTLDs), Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) info, alongside local currency and links to Google My Business profiles.
Once you’ve got the geo-targeting right on your website, this will help build trust for your site and you can utilise this information to ensure your adverts target the right location and audience too.
International SEO is growing rapidly as globalisation does, and therefore e-commerce opportunities will continue to boom. The worldwide digital forces of the likes of Facebook and Google continually look at emerging markets such as Africa and India and as these new users get online, we know from experience that access to the internet is closely followed by ‘buying’ online. Our International SEO experts are happy to answers any questions regarding international websites or advertising in different countries, so why not get in touch today.
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