Are you planning to go global with your business? If you are, you can get a little help from international search engine optimization (SEO). A global SEO strategy manages and optimizes your website internationally, which earns you high traffic and leads. As a result, you increase your customer base, which increases profit.
What are the differences in approach between international and local SEO? It’s all determined by how your local and international visitors go about search.
Let’s dive in!
The Difference Between International and Local SEO
If you are familiar with local SEO, perhaps you are wondering how different it is from international SEO. Most local businesses owners face this conundrum as they attempt to expand their company. So, what makes a global SEO strategy different?
Also known as global SEO marketing, international SEO focuses on worldwide keywords and traffic. In an effort to bring traffic to your site, you should cater to potential customers across the world. There should be no location boundaries for your business. Using strategies like a citation campaign, you can carry out an international plan without forfeiting your local one.
If you offer products or services that aren’t limited by distance, this approach helps you increase global sales. However, when implementing this strategy, you face challenges like competition from websites around the world.
Local SEO optimizes your website’s content to improve your local reach. Your website is showcased and created for those within your region. If you have a physical store, you can utilize other search engine units and tools. For instance, Local Map Pack, Directory Listings, and a GMB profile direct users to your store.
Going Global: International SEO Best Practices
Now that you understand the difference between the two, you can utilize competitive SEO strategies to scale your business globally. So, how can you do this?
Localization refers to adapting content to meet the needs of a specific local market. When penetrating new areas, you will find different cultures and languages. It’s fundamental to resonate with them; otherwise, your business will be seen as an outsider to the local environment.
So, how can you achieve localization?
You can start by hiring experienced translators, especially those who are familiar with the local dialect. Then, collaborate with editors to ensure that your content is of high quality. You don’t want to spend too much of your budget on translation just to realize your content is subpar.
Culture influences consumer buying behavior as people from distinct geographic locations view elements of design and color differently. As a result, you should utilize creative styles that fit with the local culture and customs.
2. Keyword Research
Keywords differ from language to language. For instance, the term content marketing will give you more search volume in the “English-United States” compared to “French-Canada.”
As a result, when doing keyword research, you need to apply a filter of the particular area that you’re targeting. This will help you identify a lucrative opportunity that can drive tons of traffic to your site. If you’re wondering what tool to use for keyword research, Ahrefs can help you determine the best keywords for any region.
Here are a few keyword research tips you can implement to increase your online visibility globally:
- Use international search engines to track keywords and your sites’ pages.
- Benchmark competitors to identify what areas you can improve.
- Look for gaps in the competition’s posts to create high-quality, rankable content.
3. Utilize Technical SEO Techniques for Specific Languages
Once you have created content in a different language, you need to instruct the search engine to read your content in its updated form. You can either use hreflang or language meta tags to synchronize this process.
For instance, if you have a French hreflang tag, Google identifies a French version of the content. Any time a user from a French-speaking country conducts the exact search, it will present this version to them.
When implementing an international SEO strategy, you should customize your site navigation and customer service to the area’s primary language. This will help you connect with your target audience. However, don’t use machine translations as they are not the best and may cause you to lose potential customers.
You should also avoid redirecting users to a page in a different language. Why? If they cannot read the page you’re sending them to, then they will leave and find another site. This could cost you targeted leads.
4. More SEO Signals
Below are more practices to optimize other SEO signals if you want to go global with your business:
- Build links from local resources and authorities in your niche.
- Host your website on a local IP.
- Make SEO efforts to rank in populous search engines like Yandex, which hosts over 45% of Russian internet users, and Baidu in China.
It’s Time for You to Start the Process
International SEO helps companies expand their businesses. While it requires a different approach and poses unique challenges, you can leverage it to increase profitability.
So, how can you go international with global SEO?
Start by localizing your content to resonate with the specific region, do your keyword research, and customize your website. You can also optimize other SEO signals through link building and using popular search engines. Need help? Reach out to a team of SEO experts today!