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Local SEO, national SEO and international SEO all have a lot in common, but at the same time each one has its own unique considerations. So when should you start targeting international SEO?
If you have a website that targets multiple languages or multiple countries, or you would like for it to, or if you already have customers around the world, or if you are just ready to take your business to a whole nother level, a global level, then it is time for you to begin considering and implementing an international SEO plan.
International sites are multilingual, meaning that they have content displayed in multiple languages so they can appeal to visitors who speak different languages, some international sites are also multi regional so they are targeting different countries, and in some sites to make it even trickier are both multilingual, and multi regional.
And as you can imagine having multiple versions of a site also helps you to multiply any issues that are going on. So it's important to have a solid foundation to get you started and really know how to properly structure, the website. On top of that, you have to be able to tell search engines, which pages, they should be displaying to which visitors. And if you have content that is displayed in multiple languages, you're likely going to want to rank that content in different languages as well. So that multiplies some of the work that needs to be done as well. Now when you have different languages you have different countries that you are targeting. You're also duplicating a lot of content so that's something to take into consideration as well. So as you can see there's a lot to consider with international sites when it comes to SEO and really being able to get the most out of an international site and rank it in the search engines that you'd like to using the keywords and multiple languages that you'd like to.
And while it can be a challenge to do this, you'll see success from knowing the options that you have for properly structuring your site, and what the best practices are for structuring and ranking pages in specific countries.
I always find it helpful to have a checklist handy with the essential steps I need to go through. Below you will find an international SEO checklist you can use as a guide for your work.
|Set-up tracking||Select final countries & languages|
|Check existing traffic, traffic sources & pages from countries and languages||Research countries|
|Verify current rankings||Find native support|
|Select top countries to target||Analyze international competition|
|Perform keyword research||Decide on site structure|
|Identify low competition, relevant keywords||Create site structure & content|
|Determine if it's worth your effort / investment||Link between versions|
|Use country / language tags||Promote content|
|Specify targeted country in Google Search Console||Set-up tracking for each version|
|Track rankings, monitor progress and make improvements||Continue promoting|
You want to know what is working well for your website, what traffic sources it has, and how it is performing internationally. Because this is really going to help you figure out where you can get started, you can improve what is already working for you. And one of the best ways to do this is to run a quick audit of your site to see how it's performing. there's a lot of information that you can gather from an audit such as.
It can tell you which countries are already providing traffic to your site.
It can let you know what languages people are finding your site using.
You'll be able to see how much of that traffic is coming from each source
You'll be able to narrow that down to which keywords in those countries or which keywords by language are bringing in the most traffic
You'll be able to see which pages on the site are the most popular for the countries that are bringing in traffic, and which pages are the most popular for the languages
Set up goals in your analytics programme you are tracking what it is that is most important on the site, what you want visitors to actually do, and you'll also be able to see what the conversion rate is
You really need to do some keyword research into which keywords are actually going to be worth your time. So there are some things to think about when it comes to keyword research. And the first is, is there enough volume? Are there enough people interested in what keyword you are going to target?
The first step of keyword research is to generate a good keyword list. You want to come up with all the ideas that you can, about what people will search for to find your website. Then from there, you're going to want to use tools to help you expand that keyword list. That way you end up with a nice long list of potential productive keywords.
You can now continue the process by finding out what the search volume is for these keywords. Upon which you're going to be able to check the competition score of the keywords, so the idea here is to find keywords that have a low enough competitive score, so that you're able to relatively easily and within a reasonable amount of time beat the competition and rank high in search results.
No SEO work whether local, national, or international should ever be done without tracking. It doesn't matter what analytics program you use, as there are several really good ones to choose from. And you can choose one that really matches your budget matches your goals for the website. But the important thing here is that you need to be able to see the keywords that your visitors are using, what pages they go to, what languages they are looking at the site, with what countries they are coming from, and finally, you need to set up specific goals that you are tracking within your analytics. That way your analytics can tell you how well the site is converting, and then you can also segment your analytics further, which means that you will be able to see which traffic sources are converting the best based on languages, countries, etc.
This really tells you what is working well for your website and what's not working well and can also help you to find what work needs to be done and what work really isn't making enough of a difference. So, in addition to analytics you also want to set up your profile in your Google Search Console account or of course, the search engine that you're targeting. But if you have different versions for different countries, different languages, make sure that you are setting up a unique profile for each one of those. Now, in your analytics You're also going to want to do the same thing, you need to track any subdomains or sub directories separately, so that you can see the activity for each one. So that way you'll be able to analyse each version independently and that helps the data not be skewed so they can make wrong decisions based on too much data for the whole entire study so it's very helpful to be able to see them individually.
Now, in addition to attracting Analytics tracking for the domain and tracking the version that you have on your site. You should also be tracking your rankings you want to know how are you ranking in different searches for different search engines that you have been targeting. So there are several different tools that you can use, and you just want to make sure that you are regularly checking on how you're improving the search engine rankings.
It is best that you are continually monitoring where you are ranking in search engines and seeing where you can continue to put more effort so that you will rise even higher for some specific keywords that will really help you bring in new targeted traffic. You can use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, SerproBot, SEOPowerSuite with your international sites as it supports multiple countries and you can even get reports in different languages. But no matter what tool you decide to use whichever one you feel works best for you just make sure that you are tracking all website performance data.
International SEO is a complex and essential business development strategy. You need a professional and experienced SEO expert to get the job done in the right way, in order to ensure you achieve the target.
Talk to us for a free international SEO consultation today!