Top 10 Tips for International SEO Success
Thinking about entering overseas markets? Thinking about country-specific websites and international SEO? Some clients trade internationally without specific websites for the countries. However, when you want to get serious about international business, it makes sense to develop websites for specific target countries. In recent months a number of clients have done just that. Based on this and research I have completed, below are my top 10 tips for international SEO success.
- Use country extensions: Buy and use the version of your website domain names for the countries you are targeting. So for example, my website address is www.keyprinciples.co.uk. If I decided to target Germany, I would buy www.keyprinciples.de.
- Use local servers: If you can it is best to have your various country specific websites hosted locally; within the specific country.
- Get a local address with local contact details: If you can, at your earliest opportunity, set up a local physical address and include this on your website.
- Send visitors to the right website: Use IP detection, country or browser language detection so that visitors to your website are directed automatically to the right website for their location.
- Get the translation completed professionally: If you are going to spend the time and money building a country specific website, it makes sense to get your website translated by a reputable translation company and ideally by a native of the country. If your product or service is quite technical expect queries from your translation. Whatever you do, don’t simply translate you English language site to another language. Look at the text on every page; is it relevant, does it need changing for your German site for example. With all the international projects I have worked on, we have changed the text, products and services offered to suit the country we are targeting.
- Translate everything: Don’t forget to translate the title tag and description tag as well as the navigation buttons and any text on images. Don’t forget your URLs too. You want your country specific websites to be fully translated.
- Submit sitemaps for each country website: Create and submit country specific sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools.
- Selling online abroad: Don’t forget that you’ll need to set up payment in the local currency.
- Links in: Just like your English language website, links into your website are important. Use the personnel in the country you are targeting to help identify any local directories as well as local press.
- Pay per click: If you want to generate some leads quickly, Google Adwords enables you to target specific countries. Of course you’ll need to get adverts translated but that will be a minor investment compared to the cost of translating your website!
Oh and finally, don’t forget to track your progress. Make sure you set up goals in Analytics and monitor your ranking for your target phrases in that country.
If you’re really serious about international SEO also check out HubSpot’s “50 SEO & WEBSITE TIPS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETER”.
Happy International SEO’ing everyone.
Please feel free to share and like this post as well as get in touch with me if you have any comments.
By Jackie Key
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PS. Take a look at the Search Engine Optimisation Service and SEO Packs from Key Principles if you would like help with your SEO.