International SEO Consultant Tips for a Global Strategy
If you are an ambitious Internet marketer and are interested in global SEO, then this post from WebCeo is for you. In order to give you a helping hand, we show you a number of dos and don’ts International SEO Consultants recommend for a successful global strategy.
International SEO Consultant Tips for a Global Strategy.
1. Choose the right URL structure for you
It shouldn’t be a secret to you that country-specific top-level domains (like .uk, .de, .ru) are a thing. This should be enough of a clue that a site’s URL can be a significant part of an international SEO strategy. And indeed it is. There are several different URL structures to choose from, and not all of them may be helpful to you, so choose wisely.
– A country code top-level domain, or ccTLD (e.g. example.de). It’s the easiest way to rank locally, and you won’t have to worry about a strain on your crawl budget, but it’s a separate domain that will have to compete for rankings with your primary site. It can also be costly. Recommended for brands which already have a strong online presence and will easily attract a new audience.
– A different domain (e.g. examplede.com). It may be cheaper than a ccTLD, but it won’t rank locally as well and it will compete with your primary site. On the other hand, your crawl budget won’t complain.
A subdomain (e.g. de.example.com). It’s easier to maintain than a ccTLD, but the flow of link equity to and from the root domain might not go smoothly.
– A subdirectory (e.g. example.com/de). All internationalized content is placed in a subfolder on your domain. This is the most balanced option with no major strengths or weaknesses.
– A generic top-level domain (gTLD) with language parameters (e.g. example.com/?lang=de). A parameter at the end of the URL will direct visitors to a translated version of your content. Good for users, not as good for SEO since pages with parameters aren’t always indexed.
2. Use the hreflang attribute in your code
Once you have translated pages on your site, you can easily let search engines know what languages you are using by implementing the hreflang attribute in your HTML code. Here’s an example:
“<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/de” hreflang=”de” />”
This tag is recommended for use regardless of how much content on your site is translated.
3. Find keywords through local search
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. When you translate your content, the keywords will inevitably be translated, too. Otherwise you might find yourself trying to rank in China for English keywords.
4. Build links from and to local resources
Link building is another major aspect International SEO Consultants consider. If you manage to earn links to your internationalized content from local resources, you’ll become more visible to your new audience and more trustworthy (especially if you link back to local resources, too).
5. Research ways to rank in local search engines
Not all search engines have the same ranking algorithms as Google. When targeting a country, do your research on its own search engines and what kind of SEO strategy they approve of the most.
6. Take culture, customs and currency into consideration
Good international SEO consultants spend some time in researching their target countries’ customs and culture. If you sell products or services, consider using the target countries’ currency in your translated content. It will make doing purchases for visitors from other countries so much easier.
7. Don’t auto-redirect to a translated version of your site
Some websites detect their visitors’ IP address, use it to determine their location and automatically redirect them to a page translated into the language spoken there. But your visitors may prefer another language. Don’t decide for users. If your site needs to have the country detection function, give them an option to switch languages instead.
8. Don’t use flags as a substitute for languages
The best way to avoid confusion between languages spoken in a single country (like Canada with English and French), is to simply use languages on your website menu. Write English, Deutsch, Français in the language selection menu – and every person speaking those languages will understand what to do.
9. Don’t use machine translations
Automatic translations have been improving, but they are still too far from “good enough”. They can neither satisfy visitors, nor are they safe enough to use on your site. Google easily spots automatically translated content and promptly marks it as spammy. Leave translating to humans. A real, competent translator is an invaluable asset in any international SEO consultant agency.
10. Optimize for Mobile
A good point to keep in mind in your global SEO strategy is to make your site mobile friendly. In the guide: International Mobile Marketing: How to Do it Well you will find more tips on how to optimize your site for International Mobile Marketing.