The internet has enabled businesses to go international from garages or backyards. With a heavy reliance on internet search, there is a need for businesses banking on online presence to enhance their potential by understanding How to Rank for International SEO. The internet has put you in competition with businesses around the world. How can you be a master of international SEO in order to improve returns for your digital presence?
Tips For Maximizing Your International SEO Content
Localize Your Content for Each Target Market
This appears like a contradiction since the debate is about international SEO. However, business experts confirm that most people relate to products and businesses when they speak a language they can understand. This means that you must understand the dialect, vocabularies, and language of your target market in order to sell to them. It makes it easier for them to identify with your brand and product.
Research on the keywords of each country you are targeting in your marketing campaign. Use words that are popular for the market. They will catch the fever and increase the uptake of your brand. Take it a step further by using local currencies, phone numbers, and addresses. It makes you one of their own which endears your products to them.
Use A Local ccTLD Domain
Each country has a ccTLD reserved. This provides the basic identity and is incorporated into search engine algorithms. This will set a geographic location to a business. This will enhance your ranking whenever someone searches for goods or services in this country. In fact, this should be considered even before you localize your content.
For example, The search engine will always associate .uk with businesses in the UK regardless of whether the content is localized or not.
This will improve your performance in the local market. Geo-targeting settings are only available when the ccTLD is generic.
Use Geo Targeting Settings in Google Search Console
This is a feature that is more advanced for Google searches. International websites find it difficult to localize content for each market. Google Webmaster Tools allow you to place the content targeting each country under a different directory. You will set up a profile that is segmented in terms of directories.
These directories will direct the search engine when selecting content at the interface. This trick will only work when the searches are mostly emanating from Google. You need to learn how to take advantage of targets on other search engines.
Building Links With Local Websites
Links work like peer-to-peer recommendations. Establish links with local websites especially those using local languages. The original website that targets your host country always gets more inbound links. International websites have the links in form of a trickle.
To compete with local websites, you must establish more links. Search engines regard local linking as a trick for assigning authority to a site. If your website does not receive inbound links locally, it will always rank lower and in the process cause you to lose business. Ensure that the links are built using international best practices. These links should also be qualified to boost the standing of your website.
Local Hosting in Each Country or Region
In the age of international and cloud hosting, it might sound absurd to claim that local hosting will add any value to your ranking. With geo-targeting and ccTLD, the impact of local hosting on your ranking may be very minimal. However, it must not be ignored. It is the slight differences on your website that boost your ranking to make your website more competitive.
Websites that use geo-targeting and localized domains might not get a significant difference in hosting. However, the idea is to give your local users or traffic faster access to your website by bringing it near you. Choosing a host who is near you will reduce the time taken for access by minimizing interfaces.
Hreflang XML Sitemap Uploaded and Updated Often
The difference in pages ranked for a website targeting different countries is a challenge for international websites. The problem arises when a website cannot use geo settings and is using ccTLD that is not friendly to searches in your country. Even the absence of inbound links could also cause a problem with ranking.
The Hreflang XML sitemap was set up to circumvent this challenge. It synchronizes the pages that need to be ranked in different areas. This will also help you rank different domains as well. The pages are matched one on one based on language or country combinations.
When the pages are indexed by Google, you begin to see improvements on individual pages based on reinforcements provided. This enables you to take advantage of high ranking on all markets that you will be operating.
Meta Data Targeting for Your Target Market
This involves the placement of a meta tag indicating the language and country at the head of your web page. This is referred to as content language. The search engine will get a message that you are targeting speakers of that language and searches from the listed country.
There are professionals who understand how to place the tags on the codes of your website. Such placement ensures that the engine gives you preference compared to when the code is not specific. Google might not weight the action too heavily but it still has a huge role to play in determining your ranking.
Which Strategy is the Most Powerful?
The weight given to different strategies varies from time to time. It also depends on the competitiveness of other websites that you will be competing with. All these strategies should be viewed as opportunities to enhance your ranking. At different times in the cycle of your digital marketing strategy, one strategy will prove to be your savior.
These international SEO tips should be regarded as a checklist to set up your international SEO strategy. It is the small differences that make a difference between you ranking top or appearing at the bottom. It will be a tragedy when you realize that a website hosted in your country cannot rank high in the same country. However, with these tips, you have a chance to enhance your ranking and thus raise the value and returns from your digital presence.
Need Help Getting Your International SEO Under Control?
If your digital marketing team needs help starting or polishing your International SEO, we can help! Contact us at SEO Expert today for your Digital Marketing needs!