International SEO enables a website to reach its target markets globally. International SEO doesn’t just involve translating your site content into multiple languages; it’s about guiding search engines such as Google and Yahoo to include your website in their country by country search rankings. Here’s a checklist of the most important factors to consider when developing an international SEO strategy for your site and get the best ROI:
Search Engine Preferences
Know which search engine is more preferred by your target audience in a particular country. For example, in China Baidu is the most popular search engine, in Hong Kong it’s Google while in Japan, Yahoo is the leader. Different search engines have their own set of ranking factors and searching practices. Note that most search engines default to the user’s local version.
International SEO strategy should involve setting up separate sites or subdirectories to enable your users and search engines to find the most relevant content in your website. ccTLD (country code top level domain) is considered to be ideal for geo-targeting, but you can also choose to use a generic top-level domain (gTLD), or a subdirectory with a gTLD. Other than site URL, your business address, phone numbers, links, etc. available at the site also impact search engines’ assessment of your target market.
Localize web content
From home page to your blog page, make sure that everything at the website is in the primary language of the region you’re targeting. To incorporate more relevant keywords in your content, use keyword search tool such as Google Keyword planner, Bing keyword research tool, or the keyword tool of the search engine used by your target audience of a particular country. Also include more accurate data for the desired market.
XML sitemaps & Language Meta Tags
When optimizing your website for different target market, make sure that each site domain uses XML sitemaps and these must be registered with different search engines. If your website has multiple languages ensure that language meta tags for each language have been utilized during redesigning process.
International SEO strategy is the key to get more traffic to your website from different locations across the world. Hire one of the top search engine optimization companies to expand your website internationally, so that your business has the best chance of success.