When your business or company has a well-developed, fast loading, and mobile-friendly website, you can use a variety of traditional SEO techniques to rank it higher in local search and drive more traffic. As a result, you will have a strong backlink profile and authority to build trust and credibility.
But when you want to expand your business to the international market, it gets a little bit complicated as you need to develop an international SEO strategy and implement it in the best possible way.
What is International SEO?
International SEO is a set of practices to optimize your website to drive more traffic from multiple regions or multiple languages. Techniques used to drive traffic to your site from multiple regions, is called multiregional SEO and when you are trying to get traffic from multiple languages, it is called multilingual SEO.
For instance, when you optimize your site for people or a particular territory with more than one language, you are doing multilingual SEO so people with different language cultures can find and visit your website. And if you are catering to people in multiple countries, you are doing multiregional SEO to make your website visible in different countries and states. When you combine these SEO methods to reach a wider global audience, you can effectively present your business or products in front of people from different countries and understanding different languages.
Best practices to Develop an Effective International SEO
In this piece of writing, we will help you decide upon a result-driven international SEO strategy that can take your business to a whole new level.
Identify What is Working Already
When it comes to develop an international SEO strategy, you should start with that are already working for you to rank higher in local searches. However, you should track where else are you getting organic search visibility and visitors, in which language and volume?
Dig a bit deeper to understand why you are appearing in search results in those countries. Which keywords and pages are driving more traffic, and what conversion rates are. For this purpose, you can use a variety of analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMrush, etc. to better understand your global audience.
Do International Keyword Research
Identifying top-performing global markets help you decide on which is the best place to target for better business growth. It is the place where international keyword research comes in handy to help you enumerate local market opportunities. It helps you determine things like, which keywords are being used to find your brand or products over the web, keyword search volume and difficulty, etc. so you can plan accordingly.
A lot of keyword research tools are out there that can be used to conduct thorough keyword research and expand your pool of international keywords. You should also be using search engines like Google, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex, etc. to discover more keywords. SimilarWeb is a superb tool that helps you find out the local sites with the highest traffic volume. It can help you find out the relevant local sites to check competition and gain insights into what keywords they are ranking for. SEMrush is another leading keyword tool that supports up to 25 languages and provides loads of online data.
Define how you will Manage your International SEO Efforts
When it comes to expanding your business to international markets, you should keep the future in mind and define how you will be managing your SEO efforts. Most of the organizations develop and define their international SEO strategies from head office and guide their local SEO teams for the successful execution of international search engine optimization efforts to achieve desired outcomes. You should also manage your international SEO effectively by assigning tasks to dedicated experts and professionals.
Avoid Automatic Translation Tools for Multilingual SEO
When it comes to optimize a website for people understanding different languages (Multilingual SEO), the use of automatic translation tools should be avoided as most of them are unable to translate 1-on-1 from one language to another. However, some of them come with amazing translation features to produce human-readable content. So, you should avoid automatic translation tools for international SEO or find out a reliable one to translate your copy into easily readable and consumable content.
Use of ‘Hreflang’ Attribute
Hreflang tags are used to tell Google what language is being used on the site to improve search results when it is being served to users. If there are multiple versions of a website for a variety of languages, use the ‘Hreflang’ attribute to tell Google about different variations of the site to help Google rank the appropriate version of your site by region or language. It will help reduce the bounce rate and increase conversion by showing the right version of your website to the users.
Defining geo- or Language Targeting
In addition to the ‘hreflang’, you should define your global preferences for the target audience by using geo or language targeting by using webmaster tools like Google search console and Bing webmaster tools. However, you should use such targeting features cautiously as you can limit the visibility of your site by configuring your targeting preferences badly.