One of the most important aspects of running a successful online business is ensuring that you have a steady stream of relevant traffic – and there is no better way to do that than with organic search engine optimization. This is particularly vital when you are running a global business – organic search is quite possibly the easiest and most effective way for new customers to discover everything your business has to offer.
Build On The Basics
But there are certain essentials for SEO that apply regardless of your location. Proper meta data and HTML markup, creating keyword rich file names, and more, create the foundation of a site that performs well across borders and spans various languages. Beginning with a basic checklist and building on the details, is the ideal way to get started with international SEO.
Location, Location, Location
Geotargeting and similar advertising activities can be more valuable than any marketer initially realizes. Users expect to see ads and other content in their own language, after all, and locally translated sites rank more highly in the search engine results pages.
Also, keep in mind that the search engine results pages may be displayed differently depending on where your audience is located and what language they are using, since Google and other search engines test and roll out various changes based on language and locale.
Relevant Translation Is Key
Not only does a website in the regional language rank more highly in localized search, it will generate more conversions. According to the infographic below, 85% of internet users won’t make significant purchase decisions unless they can do so in their own language.
There are plenty of idiosyncrasies and other specific slang that needs to be considered when you are translating website content and advertisements. Ensuring that you follow the standard grammatical requirements along with customizing your content with specific slang and buzzwords can go a long way towards building a strong reputation and rapport with your global customers.
Going Beyond The Basics
Creating social media profiles in the relevant languages and on the sites and platforms that are popular in each country or region is helpful as well. For instance, Facebook and Twitter are popular around the world (and Google Plus is generally helpful), but it is equally useful to post on platforms that are more country or language-specific, such as Orkut for Brazil or Weibo in China.
Paying close attention to holidays and other seasonal events when you create content is also worthwhile. Not only does this sort of activity prove an understanding of the regional market(s) you are targeting, timely social media posts can be a valuable ranking factor as well.
Once you have your content translated, you need to decide where it will be located. Are you going to create subdomains, or add new directories to your site? Or are you going to purchase multiple domains? Determining what option is the best choice for your business from the beginning will save you and your team money and effort in the long term.
Utilizing the appropriate markup (see www.schema.org for examples and more information on HTML markup structures) is also important – not only for SEO, but for the overall user experience. An organized site structure, site search, and relevant meta data makes it simple for your audience to find exactly what they are looking for via organic search. A good user experience is very similar to a good set-up for search engines, making correct markup a critical matter for digital marketers on several different levels.
International SEO Is A Long Term Investment
Last but not least, one of the most compelling reasons to ensure your site is appropriately optimized for international search is that SEO is one of the more cost effective forms of marketing. Granted, search engine optimization will never be a quick or easy marketing technique, but it can prove to be worth the effort and cost in the long run, since users tend to trust the sites that rank highly in the organic results.