How to optimize your website for a global audience using international SEO
How to optimize your website for a global audience using international SEO
Unless your products or services are uniquely local, your company must pursue new markets: international tourists.
Assume you own a supermarket e-commerce site and want to boost your market share in key countries such as the United States, Russia, India, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and so on.
You’ll need a website to show your products to consumers from various cultural backgrounds who speak different languages and are looking for the products you sell.
There will be two key challenges for you to overcome:
- Obtaining traffic from various countries.
- Providing content to native speakers from these many regions.
International SEO can assist you in overcoming both of these obstacles. It allows you to target people from other nations in their local language, which helps your business grow globally. Global SEO techniques strive to give an exceptional user experience to all visitors to your website.
In this article, I’ll go over the significance of international SEO efforts as well as the precise measures you need to take to optimize your site for a global audience.
Let’s start with the fundamentals.
What Exactly Is International SEO? What Exactly Is Global SEO?
International SEO is also known as multilingual SEO and global SEO.
International SEO refers to optimization tactics that enable you to rank in regional search engines and attract organic traffic from other nations in their native language.
Some of the worldwide search engine optimization tactics used to increase a website’s international visibility are:
- International keyword research is conducted.
- Analyze your competitors.
- Content marketing in multiple languages.
- Optimization of the user experience.
- Optimization of multilingual content
- Creating global connections.
- Optimization of site speed.
- Implementation of the hreflang tag.
- Optimization of the site’s architecture.
- Implementation of technical SEO.
Examples of Companies That Have Expanded Internationally Through SEO:
Amazon is the best example of a company that has developed greatly with the help of worldwide SEO.
Amazon is currently present in four distinct regions:
- America consists of Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America.
- Asia encompasses China, India, Japan, Singapore, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
- Europe consists of the following countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
- Oceania encompasses Australia.
All of Amazon’s overseas locations have country-specific domains. As an example:
- Amazon.com is the website for the United States.
- Amazon.sa (Saudi Arabia)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japan)
- Amazon.ca (Canada)
- Amazon.in (India)
- Amazon.cn (China)
- Amazon.de (Germany)
Amazon’s top three markets in 2020 were:
- net sales of 263.5 billion in the United States
- Germany had a net sales of 29.6 billion euros.
- the United Kingdom, with 26.5 billion in net revenues
Aside from Amazon, companies like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Nike, and Uber have a good international SEO strategy in place to reach out to worldwide buyers.
Toyota has taken its marketing plan a step further by creating a ‘Toyota Bharat’ website to target Indian audiences rather than the standard.in domain suffix. ‘Bharat’ is the Hindi term for ‘India,’ and it comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Bharata.’
This is significant because it makes it simpler for businesses to connect with the people of other places when they consider their original culture and traditions.
The Advantages of International SEO
Here are some of the reasons why international SEO is critical for your company’s growth.
1) Reach a global audience.
International SEO allows your company to reach a global audience by increasing its reach to several nations at once. If your company is ready to be known as a global brand, international SEO should be part of your marketing plan.
2) Increase your organic traffic significantly.
Most websites frequently target consumers just in their home country, resulting in maximum traffic acquisition from a single country. Depending on the extent of your company, you can target as many countries as feasible to get significant organic traffic to your website.
Although the market in the United States is highly competitive, gaining traffic from other countries is rather simple. As a result, a well-planned worldwide SEO strategy is one of the finest ways to increase the amount of organic visitors to your website.
3) Boost Conversions.
Increased traffic leads to increased conversions. You can boost the quantity of conversions on your website after it starts ranking globally for your target keywords with strong purchase intent.
Every company wants to increase its bottom line. If there are chances in international markets to generate more leads and money for your company, you should seize them.
Choosing international SEO allows your company to increase conversions from low-hanging fruit phrases in other countries where competition is lower but conversions are higher.
4) Establish yourself as an international brand.
It is difficult to establish a credible multinational brand. However, with strong international SEO methods, your business may evolve to dominate the global market.
Because an international brand sells in more than one country, it must cater to many cultures. International SEO improves the usability of your website, employs native language targeting for content marketing, and employs CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) tactics to recruit, nurture, and convert the proper customers. Furthermore, when combined with reputation management, SEO aids in the management of your company’s international reputation.
How to Prepare Your Website for International Visitors
If adequate procedures are not taken to optimize the site for each target location, international SEO can be perplexing. But don’t worry, we’ve made it simple! Simply follow this step-by-step procedure to keep the foundation of your worldwide SEO strategy robust.
If your SEO procedure is done correctly, you will achieve the best results in the quickest amount of time. However, if you organize your strategy incorrectly, you will find it difficult to defeat your competition.
Keep in mind that international SEO initiatives necessitate a greater commitment than local or country-specific campaigns. As a result, if you make the wrong start, you will waste time and money doing activities that have little to no value.
The following are the steps to an effective international SEO campaign that produces results:
Step 1: Make a list of your target countries.
The first step is to create a list of all the target nations where you want your products or services to appear in organic search results. Keep in mind that many countries are absent from this table because I am simply demonstrating how to conduct research. Depending on your business goals and budget, your list of target nations may be longer or narrower.
Just make sure your research is correct and that you don’t leave out any target countries in this phase.
Step 2: Select the Search Engines to Target.
Although Google dominates the search engine market share in most nations, there are a few regions where other search engines (gasp!) are more popular. And it’s not just Bing.
Step 3: Make a list of the target search engines’ native languages and country-specific domains.
The next step is to include your target country’s native language in the table. The next step is to include the language of your target country in the table, such as Spanish for Spain or Hindi for India. You should also include the country-specific domain of the relevant search engines.
We now have a good list of target nations, native languages, and search engines.
Step 4: Create a list of your top three competitors.
Before you can develop a successful SEO strategy, you must first identify the websites that are already ranking higher in your target nations.
Choose a primary keyword for which you want to rank and do a search across all of your target search engines to identify your top three competitors.
In my situation, I’ll select the major term “purchase groceries online” and research my top three competitors across all country-specific search engines.
Remember to perform competitor research across all country-specific search engines, not simply Google.com, because various websites rank higher depending on your target location and language. Also, search in the target country’s native language because that is what most people will do.
Step 5: Conduct a competitor analysis.
Competitor analysis is an essential component of any SEO strategy, whether global or local.
In this step, you will need to conduct research using some of the best competitor analysis tools. I prefer SEMrush since it provides a wealth of useful information such as the keywords for which the competitors rank, the domain’s authority score, the number of branded vs. non-branded keywords for which the domain ranks, the amount of backlinks the domain has, and so on.
Enter your competition domain in the Domain Overview area to do effective international SEO competitor analysis. There will be a lot of data. Now is the moment to save the most crucial ones for your SEO strategy.
Step 6: Conduct Global Keyword Research.
Choosing the correct keywords for non-English searchers is critical for international SEO. It is simple to conduct SEO keyword research in English. However, while doing global SEO, you must locate keywords in the searcher’s local language, depending on the nations you are targeting.
As a result, keyword research for foreign SEO is both fun and important.
The best strategy to identify relevant keywords is to reverse engineer your current organic competition in your target countries. To conduct foreign keyword research, you can utilize a keyword-finding service such as SEMrush. For example, if I want to find all of Amazon’s keywords for acquiring consumers in Germany, I will enter the country-specific URL Amazon.de into the SEMrush search box.
Step 7: Choose a Site/URL Structure.
It will be easier to decide on your site structure after you have an understanding of your competition and the domain or site structure they are utilizing.
For example, I’ve already determined that the majority of my competitors use country-specific domains to target different countries. So, for my international SEO strategy, I’ll use the same structure and relevant country-specific domains.
Step 8: Implement On-Page Optimization.
By step eight, you should have your web pages or country-specific URL structures ready. It’s now time to optimize them.
Here are some pointers to help you optimize your worldwide website(s):
- Meta tags should be optimized. Every page should include appropriate meta tags.
- Include the keyword in the URL structure. In the URL, provide your desired keyword.
- Add some content. Google deduces the objective of your page by examining the material on your website. As a result, on each target landing page, you should have a lot of high-quality, interesting, accurate, and new material.
- Create a Mobile-Friendly Website. 60% of smartphone users contact a business straight from the search results. As a result, optimizing your website for mobile consumers is critical to international SEO performance. Make sure to test your website on various mobile devices so that users may simply place orders or contact requests.
- Add Your Website to Google Search Console and Analytics. Make sure to add all your websites to Google Search Console and Analytics as independent properties.
Step 9: Plan Your Multilingual Content Marketing Strategy.
You are now ready to launch your content marketing campaign. To reach potential buyers at every level of the purchasing funnel, content marketing is vital.
You should produce material for the four stages listed below:
- Create material that educates users about your product or service to raise awareness. In the awareness stage, you should create content such as blog articles, videos, and e-books.
- Create content that piques the attention of your target audiences in your products or services. Webinars, white papers, emails, and other forms of material come into this category.
- Consideration (or Want): People are already aware of your product or brand at this point, and they are demonstrating an interest in purchasing it. At this level, infographics, comparison blog posts, review blog posts, comparison videos, and so on do well.
- People have made up their minds to buy your product or service at this point. You should produce content with clear calls to action to encourage buyers to make a purchase. Offers, giveaways, contests, emails, and other forms of content work well at this stage.
Step 10: Choose a Local SEO Strategy.
When it comes to international SEO, don’t forget about local SEO.
Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website for local audiences in a certain city. People use a variety of queries to locate businesses in their city. If you can rank your website for these keywords, your international SEO strategy will be a great success.
To target consumers in each city of your target country, you need to establish location-specific pages on your website. Creating city-specific pages allows me to reach audiences who use keywords like “online grocery store in NYC,” “purchase vegetables online in Houston,” “online grocery Los Angeles,” and so on.
As a result, international SEO is incomplete unless every relevant city in your target country is targeted.
Step 12: Focus on improving the customer and user experience.
Customer loyalty is the result of providing an exceptional customer experience. CX management enables organizations to meet consumer expectations, allowing them to outperform their competitors.
It is critical to understand how your consumers connect with your company, which channels they utilize, and where they exit the buyer funnel. Consumer experience can be improved by evaluating these customer touchpoints and optimizing the micro-moments.
Furthermore, in your worldwide SEO initiatives, user experience should be a top concern. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that provide an extraordinary user experience.
Step 13: Keep an eye on your international rankings.
Once you’ve executed all of your SEO strategies, you should begin tracking the results of your overall SEO efforts.
Track the rankings of your domains in different countries using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. To keep track of my rankings, I utilize SEMrush. SEMrush currently provides domain positioning tracking in Google and Baidu.
In the position tracking tool, you can select the search engine of your choice and enter the place where the rankings should be tracked. Following that, you can enter your desired keywords. SEMrush will begin automatically monitoring the rankings and delivering you reports on a regular basis.
Step 14: Maintain Your Website’s Optimization.
You should also verify all of the properties in the Search Console on a regular basis (if you use several country-specific domains) and resolve any site issues that may arise.
Check Baidu Webmasters Tools and Yandex Webmasters Tools to identify and resolve any site issues in order to optimize your site’s exposure on Baidu and Yandex.
International SEO is a long-term approach that necessitates regular monitoring and optimization.
You should continue to optimize all of your target domains because your competitors will be working hard to outperform you.
If you are utilizing a single domain, use Google Search Console’s International Targeting Report to monitor Hreflang issues and create a site-wide country target for your entire site.
Last Words on International SEO
International SEO is essential for worldwide firms that want to reach individuals in multiple nations and languages. International promotion of your website means more traffic, and more visitors equals more conversions.
As a result, international SEO should be employed as a strategy to gain visitors and conversions from many nations. Use this worldwide SEO guide to reach your target audiences in the languages they choose.
April 12, 2022
November 15, 2022