How to Fix your International SEO
All forms of search engine optimisation (SEO) pose a range of unique challenges that must be overcome to drive the best possible outcomes. If you want your website to reach a global audience, you are going to need to invest in a robust international SEO strategy to connect with the right people in the right places.
Interestingly, the best practices associated with most approaches to website optimisation aren’t always applicable when it comes to tackling SEO for other countries. An approach that will drive significant results for one website may not be quite enough to ensure the success of another site.
Although international SEO is undoubtedly one of the most complex strategies to perfect, it certainly doesn’t need to feel like an impossible task. So, I wanted to take this opportunity to run through a couple of the most common problems that arise and how to implement refinements that have the potential to drive better outcomes.
1. Local Websites Haven’t Been Tailored to a Local Audience
Despite being one of the most fundamental components of mastering SEO for other countries, you would be surprised at how many local sites launch without taking the needs and interests of the local audience into consideration.
Every audience typically expects something different and if you can’t demonstrate that you understand the needs of the people you want to appeal to, you aren’t going to convince them that you are a trustworthy business that is worthy of their attention.
Plus, failing to understand these needs may mean that you invest in the creation of content on topics that simply aren’t of interest. So, you might not even have the opportunity to connect with your ideal audience and you will seriously struggle to drive any meaningful growth.
The good news is that there is a very simple way to avoid falling into this trap, which is to:
Ensure that you conduct an appropriate level of audience research.
If it isn’t feasible to research every single local market at the same time, make sure you prioritise key markets and conduct your audience research in phases. Take time to understand the words and phrases your ideal audience are entering into search and incorporate them into your content. This alone will have a positive impact on your brand visibility.
2. Local Sites Haven’t Been Optimised or Localised
Yes, all websites should be fully optimised and localised. But the reality is that many live sites just haven’t been afforded the attention they really need in this area.
Let’s look at a specific example here.
Imagine that a site owner didn’t have quite enough time to translate the content meant to be placed on a local site ahead of its scheduled launch date. As a workaround, they opted to copy content over from the original website with the intention that it will be translated later down the line. This translation occurs but no additional optimisation or localisation is completed because the original content had already been optimised.
There are clearly a few issues here, including:
– Copied content is duplicate content, which will impact rankings
– Translated content is unlikely to be fully optimised for the correct keywords
– No attention has been given to the grammatical structure of the translated content
– Translators will make edits to enhance readability for a local audience, which needs optimisation
– Translated content is likely to be longer or shorter, which means layout optimisation may be required
There is a simple solution here, which is to:
Ensure that all content is translated, optimised and ready to go ahead of the site launch date. This will provide enough time to conduct local keyword research, which will drive better outcomes over the long term.
International optimisation strategies can fail for a number of reasons, but with the right approach and innovative solutions, it should be possible to improve your global visibility and drive conversions internationally.