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If your business sells internationally, then you need to have a robust global SEO strategy in place. Global SEO is the process of organizing and optimizing your websites pages and marketing strategy to allow the search engines easily identify the countries and the regions you are targeting.
Demographic expansion is crucial for the growth of a business. To target the global audience, you need to strategize your global SEO effectively. A good global SEO strategy is possible, you just need to have the right planning and approach appropriate to your unique situation.
Do not confuse the search engines with different versions of content
Countries have different languages and often there are many languages within a country. You may have duplicate content in different languages for your website, however, you need to ensure that the search engine is not confused with different versions of your content; else your site’s indexing may be negatively affected.
Here are some useful tips to target a specific country
- Use a country-specific domain
- Specify your target location in the Google Search Console
- Host the website locally
- Register with Google My Business
- Include the street address of your business on your website
- Get links from the country specific websites
Make alternative website versions for different languages
There are about six billion people worldwide who do not speak English as the first language, and you may be missing on this massive market if you have an English-only mindset. So, make alternative version of your website in a country-specific language. You need not translate your whole website; you can have a default English website with alternatives in other languages, such as Spanish, French, Canadian or Mandarin. However, before doing this, you need to be sure that your products and services are wanted in that region. A good place to know about this is looking at the Location and Language tabs under Geo in Google Analytics. Also look at the competitors at SEMrush for the languages and regions they are targeting.
Decide on the domain and other technical aspects
Also, before going international, make sure that your website is structured for international content. You need to decide about the right country code top level domains (ccTLD}, subdirectories and subdomains for the language or country you are targeting, for example, Spanish version of your website could be like es.websitename.com. You can also choose to create a single landing page that can replicate easily across your target languages. This will provide you a good landing page for PPC while you will be able to target valuable SEO keywords in multiple languages without much investment.
Make sure that you have the correct domain for your global SEO needs. ccTLDs will default to a specific location while other top-level domains can be geo-targeted for specific countries.
Do not machine-translate localized keywords
Do localized keyword research because that is what global SEO services providers do. However, do not machine-translate keyword research. You can use Gengo online translation service or consider hiring a native to do keyword research for you. You can either start your keyword research in the desired language from scratch or use the keywords of your original site. Also, assess the search volume of your new keywords; you may be surprised of what you’ll need to rank for your new international market. Also, do not assume that high-volume keywords will remain the same across the geographies even if language is the same as your original market. This is especially true for the bigger markets such as the USA. You may find that keyword search volume is different for New York, California and Pennsylvania.
Optimize for search engines beyond Google
Do not look only at Google, it would be a big mistake as other search engines such as Yandex (Russia), Baidu (China) and Yahoo also enjoy a large share of search marketing, and each one of them runs on a different algorithm. As such, they have different ranking factors, some focus on keyword percentage in the content, while others may emphasize on social signals or meta keywords for ranking. Bing does not support determining the version of the webpage to serve while Google and Yandex do. Popular search engines such as Google keep evolving their algorithms to match the psychographics of their target audience to help them find the content they want. You can use hreflang tag generator tool such as Aleyda Solis to generate hreflang easily and quickly.
Keeping the above points central to your global SEO strategy, you can achieve success in the international markets that you have targeted.
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