When it comes to marketing your business, there are a few options as effective as SEO. With its ability to drive targeted traffic from search engines, the right implementation of SEO can help drive customers directly to your website, increasing brand visibility and boosting conversion rates. Fortunately, with an international audience in mind, we live in an age where businesses can have their website optimized for different audiences at the same time.
This means that instead of having to create separate websites for your business tailored towards a specific audience or country, you can instead use one central website and tailor its content accordingly. Thus, by following these simple but effective steps, you can ensure that your business’s website is well-optimized for a global audience while also making it easier to update and manage going forward.
What is International SEO?
Put simply; international SEO is the process of optimizing a website for a global audience. Essentially, this means that instead of creating a separate website for each individual country, you can instead create one website and tailor its content accordingly. The best part is that many of the same SEO practices apply to both local and global SEO, so you can use what you’ve learned locally and apply it on a global scale.
This is great news since it makes it easier to build a single website that serves all of your business’s global needs. In many ways, international SEO is the natural progression of SEO. As more and more users go online, businesses have taken notice and begun to expand their SEO efforts beyond their local area. In the process, they realized that most websites were not optimized for a worldwide audience, so they began to make changes. That’s how we got international SEO.
Keywords and Audience Research
Because an international audience is different from a local one, you’ll want to make sure you understand your audience’s language and search habits. The best way to do this is to perform audience research. To begin, you’ll want to analyze the keywords that are currently driving traffic to your website. Then, you’ll want to figure out what terms people are searching in other countries (e.g., what do they search in other languages? What search terms are used in other countries?).
Next, you’ll want to research the language habits of your audience. Are they reading left-to-right, like many people in the West? Or are they reading right-to-left, like most people in the Middle East? This will help you tailor your content for maximum comprehension.
Translate Key Content into Other Languages
Once you’ve laid out your audience research, it’s time to put it into action. First, you’ll want to translate your key content into other languages. You can do this manually, or you can use a tool like Google Translate or Bing Translate to make the process easier.
Whichever option you choose, it’s important to ensure that you’re not simply translating your content word-for-word; instead, you want to keep your audience in mind. That means avoiding overly literal translations that may end up sounding unnatural or robotic.
Decide on a Global Language
Now, while you may have easily translated your website into other languages, you may have noticed something. Instead of one website with the same central theme, you may have multiple websites that are completely different, each with its own central theme. That’s because each website is now being written in the native language of its intended audience. This can be incredibly confusing for your global audience as well as for search engines.
Luckily, you can avoid this problem by deciding on a global language. This can be any language you want, but you should keep in mind to always consider your audience. What languages do they speak? Are any of those languages more common than the rest? If so, you might want to use one of those as your global language.
Add Universal Content
Once you’ve decided on a global language, you can then focus on adding universal content. This will be the content that appears on every version of your website. Like your translated content, it’s important to keep your audience in mind while creating your universal content. This means that while you want to keep your content consistent across all versions of your website, you also want to avoid being overly literal.
You don’t want your French website to be about “cats” and your Japanese website to be about “dogs.” Instead, you want them to be about the same thing, just in different languages.
Ensure Top Notch Security
When it comes to international SEO, nothing can kill your traffic numbers like poor security. You see, search engines are looking for the most reliable websites to feature at the top of their search results. However, they also want to protect their users from malicious websites. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your website safe while also increasing your SEO.
First, you’ll want to make sure that you have SSL (HTTPS) installed. Not only will this show potential customers that you’re serious about security, but it will also boost your SEO. Next, you’ll want to make sure that you have a clean URL. Many people don’t realize this, but SEO extends past your content. It also applies to the URL of your website.
Decide on your TLD (Top Level Domain)
The next step in optimizing for an international audience is to decide on your TLD or top-level domain. Essentially, this is the part of your URL that comes after your domain name. For example, if you host your website on example.com, your TLD would be .com. You might be wondering why this is important, and the truth is that it’s not critical for an international audience.
However, depending on your audience, it can give you a leg up on the competition. Depending on your audience, certain TLDs could be more appealing than others. For example, if you’re targeting users in the United States, using a .com domain is standard.
Add Global Targeted Ads
Finally, you’ll want to add global targeted ads to your website. This means that you’ll want to add AdWords ads for other countries. That said, you may notice that your ads are showing up in your intended country, but clicking on them isn’t taking visitors to your website. This is likely because your website is not hosted in that country. In order to show your ads to people in other countries, you’ll need to host your website in their country.
Luckily, there are many services, such as BlueHost, that will allow you to host your website in multiple countries at once, making it easy to optimize for an international audience.
The Internet is a worldwide phenomenon, and companies that aren’t set up for a global clientele are losing out on a ton of potential clients. Fortunately, building an international SEO-friendly website has never been simpler. To expand your business beyond your local market, all you need to do is make sure your website is search engine optimized, translate important information into other languages, and add universal content. When it comes to international SEO, the most important thing to remember is that you’re not trying to create a single website that’s best suited for one specific audience. No, instead, you’re trying to create one website that’s best suited for every audience. Visit AdMedia.com to level up your SEO game and leverage from it to advance your career or your business.