International expansion involves more than just product development. Every strategy a company uses domestically should also be used internationally to ensure success across the globe. International search engine optimization (SEO) is no different. Below are the top-five things to consider when developing an international SEO plan.
Goals and Limitations:
Establish the parameters for your international SEO strategy. Figure out what resources you have at your disposal and use them to the best of your ability. Your company may already have a branch in your target foreign market. Discuss with them what sorts of results are attainable.
What search engine is most prevalent in your target market? Google is highly featured across the globe, but will redirect to regional domains (i.e.: Google.com.de in Germany). Note that in Russia, Yandex is most popular, while Baidu is most popular in China.
An important part to communicating with your international customers is to create an website that they value and understand. People like being sold to in a language that they understand, by a person or company they trust. Search engine algorithms look at more than just keywords and domain names, they also look at quality of a site to ensure the user finds the best information they are looking for. Different cultures place different values on pictures, colors, location of information, videos and social media. Understanding each of these aspects, and adapting your site accordingly will pay dividends down the line.
This is no different than domestic optimization. Focus on inbound links from other companies in a specific locale and develop headlines, subheadlines and URL’s for keywords specific to your target locale.
This stems from site structure. Users aren’t going to give their credit card information to a poorly translated website that they don’t understand. Internationalize your website to efficiently adapt dates, address information, and other user-related inputs that vary from locale to locale. Finally, being conscious of customer nuances in your target market is key.
- Check out this tool to analyze your international SEO efforts. It allows you to view a link list broken down not only by TLD/subdomain but also by the language the page is written in.
- More information: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/international-seo-backlinks-tool
- International SEO Backlink Analysis Tool: http://www.tomanthony.co.uk/tools/international-seo-backlinks-tool/