At Robot-TXT, we focus on eight aspects of International SEO:
- Decide on a domain strategy
- Create your web pages in the targeted language
- Implement HrefLang tags
- Do keyword research and competitor research for your targeted countries
- Optimise content for your target user’s country and culture
- Optimise your site for local search engines
- Form an international link building strategy
- Create an SEO strategy for each country targeted
International search engine optimisation can improve your website visibility in some other countries apart from your host country. This means that your products and services are exposed to a broader target audience that can bring in more revenue.
By optimising your website for International organic search results, you will:
• Increase your online visibility to customers in other countries.
• Broaden the pool of potential customers you are targeting and reaching.
• Outrank more of your international competitors.
• Increase organic traffic to your website and earn more business leads.
• Be able to select relevant keywords for specific countries while optimising content accordingly.
• Provide a better user experience to each local audience, which will help establish your business as a global brand and have more customers returning to your website.
Depending on the size and structure of your business, your budget and business goals, we can help you select the most appropriate strategy between Local SEO and International SEO. If you need any assistance, speak to one of our SEO experts.
1. Decide on a domain strategy – if you want to create a truly international website that targets specific countries and languages, we need to implement a domain strategy that is best suited for your business. This means getting country-specific domains for each targeted country.
Depending on the size and structure of your business, your domain strategy could be any one of the following:
• A country code top-level domain or ccTLD (the “.us” in www.mydomain.us)
• A subdomain (the “us.” in us.mydomain.com)
• A subdirectory (the “/us” in www.mydomain/us)
• A sub folder – a gTLD with language parameters (the part following the dash in mydomain.com/?long=en-us)
• You may even use a different domain name entirely
2. Create your web pages in the targeted language – language is an important aspect of SEO and targeting your audience effectively. For this reason, we need to create your web pages in the targeted language.
While advances in machine learning (ML) have driven improvements to automated translation, search engine translations are not yet accurate and reliable enough. To ensure the context and sentiment of your content is carried across accurately, it’s best to get a human translator.
Everything on your website should be in the primary language of the region you’re targeting – from your site navigation and content, to your help desk. This will not only increase your organic search rankings in the countries you are targeting, but will also prove that you are customer-centric and build trust with your audience.
3. Implement HrefLang tags – having various versions of one website for different geographical areas can result in duplicate content. By implementing HrefLang tags (pieces of code added to the of a website), we can avoid search engines such as Google penalising your site for having duplicate content.
HrefLang tags work by specifying the language and optional geographic restrictions within your web content. For example, they could tell a search engine that one set of pages on your website is for an English-speaking audience in the USA, or another set could be served to Portuguese speakers in Brazil.
4. Do keyword research and competitor research for your targeted countries – searches and search volumes are not universal. If your main target keywords are getting good search volumes at home, it does not mean they will do so abroad.
To ensure you are targeting the right keywords for your targeted region, we do Keyword Research and Competitor Research in the relevant languages and locations. This will also help us with our Content Gap Analysis and content strategy down the line.
Want to find out how you are measuring up to your international competitors? Speak to us about a tailored International SEO costing.
5. Optimise content for your target user’s country and culture – International SEO is not only about creating your web pages in the targeted language. Other elements such as currency, time zone, addresses and phone numbers also need to be correct for the country you are targeting. This way, you’re sending users and search engines strong signals that they’re in the right spot.
When creating your design and content, we also think about cultural differences. For example, preferences with regards colour, layout, tone of voice and humour may differ from country to country, as well as local business practices and requirements.
6. Optimise your site for local search engines – finding ways to rank on local search engines in the countries you are targeting, like Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia, is an important part of International SEO.
When optimising your site for other countries’ search engines, we consider a number of factors:
• Making sure your content is in the right language.
• Optimising your content and web structure to reduce bounce rates.
• Making sure your site is mobile-friendly.
• Placing the most locally relevant content and keywords at the top of the page (Baidu, for example, has a limited time to index web pages and typically only takes the first 100KB of any page into account).
7. Form an international link building strategy – link building is an essential part of International SEO, in particular for websites structured with ccTLDs and sub-domains where there are multiple websites that we need to get links to.
By employing a sound international link building strategy, we can increase your website’s domain authority and drive relevant local traffic to your website. All of this will increase the visibility of your international site in search engines.
When creating your international link building strategy, we consider the following:
• Building local citations in relevant business directories.
• Creating interesting content that other businesses or bloggers will want to link to, or that we can use for outreach placements.
Competitor Research helps us find websites relevant to your market. This gives us insights to the type of content your target audience will find interesting and provides us with a list of useful directories that exist in your targeted country.
8. Create an SEO strategy for each country targeted – International SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We need to create a unique strategy for each country you are targeting. This is especially important if you have multiple ccTLDs.
We take the following into consideration:
• Content topics
• Local competitors
• Local link building
• Local preferences with regards to search engines
Our talented SEO team have many years’ expertise in international SEO, in several different industries. Over the years, we have fine-tuned and streamlined our SEO methodology to ensure a results-driven process and timely delivery, at competitive prices. Our international SEO process includes three steps:
1. Discover – this is the investigatory stage during which we do an SEO Site Audit. This reveals the areas we need to focus on to improve your International SEO. The information gathered is used to create an SEO strategy for each country you’d like to target.
2. Optimise – we put your strategy into action, focusing on all the factors that influence your visibility in organic search results in the targeted countries: From creating a domain strategy and localising language, to optimising your content and building links.
3. Analyse – we analyse your new International-friendly sites and measure their SEO performance on an on-going basis. We provide you with SEO reports that outline improvements and areas that still need attention. This takes us back to the Discovery phase.
If you want to expand your business by targeting audiences in other countries, International SEO can be a great investment.
Contact us today to enquire about our International SEO services. Our seasoned SEO specialists will help improve your business’s visibility in SERPs in the countries you are targeting, increase traffic and bring in more leads.