The ultimate goal of every organization is to increase its return on investments and achieve sustainable business growth. This has become challenging as the competition is no more restricted to the local industry. To gain business success, organizations have to focus on strategies on achieving global market share by penetrating into new markets across the world and reaching out to potential customers. The best way to reach out to millions of potential customers worldwide is through the internet. To ensure you have a strong online presence and your customers find you on the internet, it’s important to devise winning international SEO strategies. First thing that every international marketer must realize is that for a successful globalized business your website must rank high on the search engine. This means your website should rank high in the regions and countries you are catering to. So, for this you will have to adopt certain international SEO strategies to achieve break-through results.
To make your task of reaching out to your target audience across the globe simple, here are some effective international SEO tips:
Associate Your Website with Country Coded TLD (Top Level Domain)
The best way to gain international market dominance is to increase website visibility through high Google ranking. For this you need to create a country coded top level domain ending with the domain of the country your audience is located. For example, if you are targeting audience in Australia, then associate your website with .au domain. Many SEO experts argue on this point saying that Google will consider it as duplicate content. This issue has been resolved with the advent of canonical link element. Google now supports and allows re=”canonical” link element across domains. This means that businesses can now have similar website content on different domains using the canonical link element. The canonical link element indicated the actual URL of the domain that is preferred and used for indexing.
Web Hosting Company’s IP Address
Another tip that businesses must keep in mind while doing international SEO for their business website is to host website in the region or country they are targeting as it helps bring ranking in the country-specific domain.
Generate and Build Relevant Inbound Links
This is important when it comes to multilingual SEO. Inbound links from external websites help improve and increase your website ranking. It increases visibility of your website on search engines. However, while building inbound links, you need to make sure that home page is not the only page that you have linked. Also, for good link building you need to target high Alexa sites that are hosted in the country of your target audience. You can place your website links there and direct the potential audience to land on your desired page.
Research for Country Specific Keyword List
If you are thinking that one particular keyword list is functional for all countries then that’s a mistake. For international SEO you need to search and find out keywords that are often used by people located in your targeted country to search for companies that offer products and services like yours. Once you find out the list of keywords, optimize your website pages on that country’s section of your site to improve your Google SEO ranking. The best way to identify keywords used internationally to advance your global SEO is to get Google’s free keyword tool. This tool enables you to choose and search keywords used in different countries.
Use Google Webmaster Tools To Create and Map Sub-domains and Sub-folders
Creating sub-folders and sub-domains on your actual website to host targeted country specific content and language is a good idea to boost multilingual SEO. It is considered as a homepage by some directories for listing purposes. With Google Webmaster tools, you can map both sub-folders and sub-domains on your exact website to specific locations. For example: You can structure your website like www. mywebsite.com (The US version) uk.mywebsite.com (UK version) france.mywebsite.com (French version)
Use Your Website’s Top Navigation to Link Sections of Targeted Country
For SEO multilingual purposes, many SEO experts add multiple languages to their single website page. This is a wrong strategy which should be avoided. By adding multiple languages on the same web page, you are only making the page confusing and eventually reducing your website’s overall user experience. The best way to improve international SEO is by using your website’s top navigation and footer to link target country/language specific sections on your website.
Don’t Make Cultural Assumptions
Don’t make cultural assumptions when targeting international audience; it will hinder your SEO strategies. For example, if you’re creating a white website layout for your Asian audience, then think again. White is considered the color of purity in USA and UK while in Japan and Asia white is the color of sorrow. The white background may not get a positive response from Asian audience. Therefore, before you make any cultural assumptions to promote your website in different countries, it’s important to understand their culture inside out.
Make Locale Sites Easy To Find
Even if you take all possible measures to redirect your website visitors to the right domain, specific to their country, some people of different country will still end up visiting your main.com page. Now how to optimize when this situation occurs? The best way is to make sure your locale sites are easy to find. You can do this by adding visual cues of different country specific/language links of your website near your top navigation. You can use flag icons to create links or site wide footer.
Create Relevant Content Where Needed
To advance international SEO, you need to create relevant content for your target country specific language web pages. Using the Google translator to translate your English version text into different languages like Spanish, French and German is of no good. It does not convey the actual meaning of the context and failing to deliver actual and appropriate message of your website, will never be able to convert your website visitors into sales.