Do you have an international audience?
Have you ever tried to get your business to go global?
While there are multiple reasons you may want to venture abroad, it’s important to do so in the right way.
Optimizing your website for international audiences isn’t as simple as translating your website into other languages and posting it on the internet — although that is part of it!
There are multiple things to consider, including currency differences, cultural habits, and more.
What is international SEO?
International SEO is the process of optimizing a site for users in multiple countries. When done correctly, international SEO can help you reach a global audience and improve your visibility in search engines.
For this, you can submit your site to search engines that cover specific regions such as Google Australia or Baidu China.
For example, if you’re based in North America but want to target German speakers living in Europe, submit your site to Yahoo! Deutschland or Google France respectively.
Optimize your website for international SEO:
If you’re ready to start marketing your business outside of your local area, here are some tips on how to optimize your website for an international audience.
1. Keyword research:
When you’re expanding your business internationally, keyword research is essential. You need to find the right keywords that will reach your target market.
The best way to do this is to use a keyword research tool. There are many different options available, but we recommend using Google Keyword Planner.
This tool is free and easy to use. Simply enter your desired keywords and location, and you’ll get results tailored to your needs.
You can see which words have the most searches in your region or language, as well as how much competition there is in those spaces.
2. Header tags:
When it comes to international SEO, one of the most important things you can do is use header tags on your website.
Header tags help search engines understand the structure of your website and make it easier for them to index your content.
Here are a few tips for using header tags to optimize your website for a global audience:
- Start with H1 tags (which are larger and bolder) at the top of your page to emphasize key points.
- Break up long pages into several shorter pages by adding H2 headers in between sections of text or headings.
- Create H3 headers for subheadings when appropriate so that readers can skim through articles without getting overwhelmed by too much information at once.
- Use semantic markup to create lists, tables, and paragraph breaks which will help with readability as well as structural formatting.
- Use breadcrumbs within the page to lead visitors back to the original landing page if they click away from the site. Breadcrumbs show where the visitor is on the site and what content he/she has already seen.
- Optimize images by making sure their file names contain keywords and any other relevant metadata like date taken, location, photographer name, etc.
- Include alt tags with textual descriptions of all images to provide context for people who can’t see them because of technical limitations or disabilities.
- If your blog allows comments, take steps to manage spam with anti-spam tools like Akismet. Spam filters should be set up before blogging begins.
- Add social media icons near the bottom of every post so readers can share links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest.
- Provide RSS feeds for your posts so that others can subscribe to receive updates whenever new content is posted.
- Schedule blog posts ahead of time to avoid the feeling of bursting at the seams which might discourage writers from posting new content frequently enough.
- Blog at least twice per week to maintain a consistent flow of new content. A post schedule keeps momentum going and prevents gaps in coverage while also giving readers something to look forward to each day.
- Keep an eye out for plagiarism with Copyscape; some bloggers even have the software automatically check their blogs each morning after they publish a post, just in case someone copied and pasted without crediting them.
3. Meta descriptions:
When you’re optimizing your website for a global audience, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you need to make sure your website is accessible from anywhere in the world. Second, you need to use the right keywords and key phrases that people from different countries will be searching for.
Third, you need to create content that appeals to a global audience. Fourth, you need to make sure your website loads quickly and correctly on all devices.
Another last thing you want is for someone in Australia to click on your link only to find out it doesn’t work or takes too long to load.
Fifth, you need to make sure your images are sized appropriately for screens of any size or orientation (portrait vs landscape).
The sixth tip I have for optimizing your website for a global audience is not to forget about localization — translating text into other languages so international visitors can easily read what you have written.
Seventh, test with local audiences!
A lot of people overlook this step when they are looking at their site from an international perspective but the truth is that if you don’t know what people in another country will think of your website, how do you know it meets their needs?
Finally, optimize Google Ads!
Many businesses believe they don’t need to bother with ads because they don’t ship outside their country but if they aren’t ranking in foreign markets then how do these potential customers even know about them?
A good rule of thumb is to speak to a professional before launching an ad campaign.
They’ll help you determine which marketplaces might be worth investing in based on where your target audience lives.
4. Page titles:
- Every page on your website should have a unique title that accurately reflects the content on that page.
- Your title should be short, but descriptive, and include your target keyword.
- Remember to use proper grammar and punctuation in your titles.
- Avoid keyword stuffing, or using too many keywords in your title. This will not only turn off potential customers, but could also result in search engine penalties.
One way you can avoid this is by including keywords throughout your entire website as opposed to just in the titles.
Another option is to create separate landing pages for each of your products or services with an accurate title reflecting their individual content.
If there are any words or phrases that might be confusing to non-native English speakers, you may want to consider translating them into the appropriate language.
If your site does not get much traffic from foreign countries, it may be wise to omit translations altogether in order to reduce complexity and make things easier for yourself when updating your site’s content.
5. URL structure:
When it comes to international SEO, your website’s URL structure is important.
You want to use country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) whenever possible. This tells Google and other search engines what country your website is targeting.
You can also use subdirectories or subdomains to target specific countries.
Just make sure that you don’t have any content on these pages that are intended for a different audience.
If you have English content in the U.S., don’t create separate URLs for English speakers in Australia because then you’ll end up with duplicate content on your site which will get penalized by Google!
The exception to this rule is if you’re running a multilingual site where each language has its own URL. In this case, using ccTLDs would be impractical as there would be too many variations of the same domain name.
If you do choose to use ccTLDs, make sure they are localized versions of your brand name.
6. On-Page SEO:
When it comes to on-page SEO, the first step is to ensure that your website is accessible to search engines. This can be done by adding relevant tags and metadata to your website’s code.
The next step is to optimize your website’s content for international audiences.
This means using keywords and phrases that are popular in your target countries, as well as localizing your content to appeal to each market.
Lastly, when it comes to optimizing your site for international audiences, you need to ensure that you have a localized domain extension and currency.
By following these tips, you will be able to reach global customers with ease!
International SEO isn’t as difficult as it seems once you know what to do.
If you’re looking for help with your international marketing campaign, there are many professionals who specialize in this field who can give you some expert advice.
7. Off-Page SEO (social media marketing):
Off-page SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages to rank higher in search engine results.
The most important part of off-page SEO is social media marketing.
By promoting your website on social media, you can increase your website’s visibility and reach a global audience.
Here are some tips for optimizing your website for a global audience:
- Use international keywords — When choosing keywords, be sure to include terms that are popular in other countries.
- Translate your content — Search engines will not index non-English websites unless they are translated into English or another supported language. You may also want to translate your metadata tags so that Google can properly index your site in different languages.
- Consider hosting with an international provider — If you’re running an ecommerce site, it might make sense to host with an international provider like Amazon Web Services or Azure so that customers from all over the world have better access to purchase items from your store.
- Add analytics code — To track how well your site is performing internationally, you’ll need to add analytics code. Be sure to use Universal Analytics and include the following parameters: geolocation which indicates where visitors are located; language which identifies what language visitors prefer; geoip which provides more information about visitors’ IP addresses; and browserLanguage which tells browsers their preferred language.
- Monitor comments on blogs and forums — Comments on blogs and forums could help identify what your potential clients are looking for, and whether or not they have been able to find it at your site. It’s worth monitoring these comments as best you can because if there is something missing, this could provide valuable feedback.
- Keep up with trends in international SEO — As new strategies emerge, stay informed and know what changes you should be making to optimize your site for a global audience. For example, responsive design is becoming increasingly important as mobile devices become more common.
- Provide translations of your content in every language possible — Even if your site only has English text now, keep adding translations of your posts as they come out so that readers who visit your site can read them in their native language without having to rely on a translation service or machine translation service (Google Translate).
- Know when to contact local authorities — If you intend to sell products internationally, it would be wise to consult with local authorities before launching your website or establishing any business operations abroad.
- Put together a list of questions for international vendors — Before doing business abroad, put together a list of questions for any vendors you work with in other countries so that you can verify their legitimacy and get answers on topics such as currency exchange rates, tax codes, import laws, shipping costs and restrictions etcetera.
These are just a few international SEO tips. Remember to stay up to date on the latest trends in international SEO and never hesitate to contact a professional for help. Finally, it is very important to always do your research and carefully plan the steps you take so that you can build a successful website for a global audience.
8. Avoid duplicate content:
When you have the same content in multiple languages on your website, it’s important to use rel=canonical tags to avoid being penalized by Google for duplicate content.
Also, be sure to use hreflang tags to tell Google which version of your content is meant for which audience.
Finally, don’t forget to submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools so that all of your pages can be found and indexed.
Remember, the more languages you have represented on your site, the more likely someone from another country will find what they’re looking for and convert into a lead or sale.
Make your global customers happy by offering them information in their native language!
One way to do this is by adding machine translation features to your website so that visitors can view the page in their preferred language.
You could also translate your webpage with an online translator tool like Google Translate and manually review each page afterwards to make sure it doesn’t sound too robotic or out-of-context.
If you want to reach a global audience with your website, you need to optimize it for international SEO. Here are some tips for optimizing your site for international SEO:
- Add content in the local language of the country where your site is most popular.
- Create localized versions of the site with translated pages and text.
- Incorporate as many regional keywords as possible on each page.
- Test different meta tags to see which work best for the region or regions you’re targeting.
- Include images that represent your company in the countries where they’re available or relevant.
- Make sure that any contact information is accessible from every page on the site (for example, if you have an email address, make sure that it’s clearly visible).
- Avoid using complicated phrases or words (especially those written in non-Latin alphabets) because this can make it difficult for readers to understand what you’re trying to say.
- Don’t forget to check back periodically so that you can update your site based on feedback and insights into what other markets find valuable.
- Focus on building a reputation abroad by being responsive to comments, posts, emails, and social media messages.
- Remember that not all foreign languages use Latin letters. To include characters like Japanese kanji characters or Chinese Mandarin pinyin syllables in your blog post titles or headlines, click Insert > Symbol > Special Characters. Then type the appropriate character and press Enter.
- The process is a little more complicated when adding symbols to longer phrases or sentences because the symbols will sometimes appear in incorrect places due to word wrapping. You’ll probably have better luck copying and pasting your phrase into Google Translate, then exporting it back out to get rid of any formatting errors before continuing to type/paste it here.