Making Your International SEO Stand Out: Checklist 101
All businesses aspire to embrace improvement in growth as measured by visitors, revenue, and conversions. For businesses, expanding focus to include customers in a foreign market symbolizes growth. For the right business, geographically expanding is a relatively easy way to grow. For example, if your target audience is in the United States, it could be a lucrative opportunity to expand to similar English-speaking markets like the United Kingdom or Australia.
If you are interested in expanding your reach to an international audience and increase the digital presence of your business, international SEO is an effective and scalable way to reduce cost and expand reach in an international market.
There may come a time when your local operations are plateauing and no longer significantly benefitting your business. In such situations, consider international SEO to help you reach newer milestones of success. By making your site international, you attract and appeal a global audience. International SEO relies on improving conversions by increasing the influx of traffic from all around the world on your site.
WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL SEO?
International Search Engine Optimization, or International SEO, is the process through which you can conveniently promote your business or brand to a broader global audience, wherever in the world your headquarters is located. Using various international SEO techniques, you can optimize your website for global locations, consequently, allowing the search engine to identifying countries and markets you want to tap in.
International SEO also helps you rank your website for a specific location with the use of preferred keywords in different languages. Also consider purchasing different domains for each country in which you would like your business to have an online presence.
WHO NEEDS INTERNATIONAL SEO?
If you are a business owner or manager who is looking to expand, and wants to tap a varied global audience, you should make use of international SEO. It is an ideal option if your business:
- Has a worldwide customer base
- Is trying to reach international markets
- Is operational in different countries
- Has a customer base whose first language is not English (and therefore would make using your English-based site exceptionally difficult)
Once you have decided to include International SEO to improve your overall digital presence, we have compiled a checklist that will give you the desired competitive edge:
If you have not implemented International SEO before, your preliminary step should be to conduct research. As a business, research will not only help you identify, but also evaluate, the potential of each region you are targeting around the globe. It is a valuable step that also allows companies to prioritize their long-term goals and objectives.
After conducting thorough research, you should have enough information about your target regions. If not, consult a professional SEO firm to assist you. Select the countries where your research shows you have sufficient organic search volume for preferred keywords. It is imperative that you compile a list of keywords that are relevant as well as competitive for your business and industry. If your preferred keywords do not have enough organic search volume in the targeted region, consider implementing language-based targeting process. This will help you gain maximum traction in the target market. An SEO company can help you with this, as well.
By now, you have locked the targeted regions in which you want to expand. This is the perfect time to optimize your website accordingly. The easiest method to help you gain a maximum global presence in such regions is by ensuring that the content you have on your site is not only relevant but crawl-able and index-able.
It is important that your website feature all the targeting signals required to tap into the international market. In addition, ensure that you do not have duplicate content, URLs, or other such issues that may halt the overall process of International SEO.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME
Apart from the techniques mentioned above, it is important to choose the right URL structure if you are looking to implement a successful international SEO strategy. Your website URL should be based on the audience and region you are looking to target. As a business, you have three domain options to choose from:
- Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): It is the ideal structure as with ccTLD you are operating a website with a specific country extension. Despite being a good option for geolocation, businesses have to work hard to lure traffic to their new and independent domain (e.g. in the UK and Australia example, register for new domains that end in .uk and .au, respectively, to maximize your international SEO benefits in those countries).
- Sub-Domain: If you are looking for a Generic Top Level Domain, or gTLD, sub-domain is a perfect option. Subdomain makes your overall website structure simple. However, it is recommended only to use this option if you are adding a unique product or entity to your website.
- Sub-Directory: If you are looking to maintain the same reputation that you current domain has, which also happens to be a gTLD, subdirectory is the way to go! Businesses with limited content or resources on their website usually prefer sub-directory structure.
In a nutshell, international SEO helps you look at the bigger picture. Even if your business is performing quite well domestically, neglecting to expand it for a varied global audience means you are potentially missing a larger opportunity. Most businesses, sooner or later, will opt for international SEO to tap new markets resulting in increased revenues and higher profitability.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.