International SEO Strategy
To grow the online presence of your website in the international market you need to perform international SEO. It helps to increase your website’s organic traffic from different geographic regions and linguistic groups.
It helps to tell the search engine that your website caters to audiences in a particular country or a different language. It helps to reach specific countries thus increasing your reach and brand awareness. It helps you to get an advantage over your competitor, if your competitor is not optimising for a country or language then you can create content for that particular region and language.
International traffic is there for taking and you just have to match the user's intent. An international SEO strategy focuses on creating content for the local markets and serving the right pages to the right users. A SEO strategy is a combination of policies, procedures and practices used to optimsie a website for other countries.
Developing a strategy
You need to consider the following points before developing your international SEO strategy:
- You should first decide your target audience and target market. You should focus on ‘where’ and ‘who’ to get better results. You should focus on the countries that have the maximum potential. Decide if focusing on the international market will be better for you in the long run.
- Markers say that using strategic keywords is the number one SEO strategy. Therefore you should conduct international keyword research using tools like Keyword Planner, Google Analytics and more. Once you have found your keywords you should check their search volumes.
You can do Google searches for your keywords and see what comes up, this will help to understand the user intent.
- The domain structure of your website should allow search engines and users to find your content easily. There are different options available:
A domain with a different ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain) like www.website.us. for the United States, www.website.uk for the United Kingdom and more. The ccTLDs are two-letter domains assigned to specific countries.
A subdomain of your existing domain like www.us.website.com, www.uk.website,com and more.
A subdirectory of your existing domain like www.website.com/us, www.website.com/uk and more.
Using a gTLD tells the search engine not to restrict results based on region. A gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) is a domain extension with three or more characters. For example, .com, .org, .gov, .net and more. For example, www.website.com, www.website.org and more.
- Make sure that all your content is optimised for the target region and the local language used in the region. All the content and the translations should align with local expectations. Use the rel=”noopener”, target=”_blank” hreflang tag. This tag specifies the geographic area and the language of the web page.
- To get visitors to stay on the page you should create content that matches their intent. People search in different ways and just because a word works in the English language does not mean that you can translate it into a foreign language and use it. You should create content to fit the audience you are targeting. This includes keyword research and the topics you need to focus on.
- Find the countries which are most valuable to your business by using tools like Google Analytics. Check people from which countries are visiting your website and what language they speak. Do keyword research and find the keywords worth targeting in different countries.
The three main points in an international SEO are as follows:
- Serve the user with what they need in their language. Do not create content in one language and the rest of the website in another.
- Perform country-specific keyword research and provide content relevant to each region. Do not duplicate what you are doing in another country.
- Make your backlinks strategy for the country you are trying to rank in. Reach out to local publishers and get backlinks from authoritative websites in that country.
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