Search Engine Optimization to Rank Internationally
Multi Country SEO
This article aims to describe the most common dangers of international Search Engine Optimization to help marketers avoid them by taking the necessary positive steps.
1. Rather than the cultural risks or the hosting issues that are technical, this is the most dangerous pitfall in international SEO – not realizing that ‘keywords’ can’t be directly translated is the first rule. This can be kind of difficult to appreciate if one is not a linguist however ‘keywords’ are not in fact normal words but convenience words that are created by people when searching and responding to search marketers.
For example, ‘car insurance’ would be translated to ‘assurance voiture’ in French where ‘assurance’ is ‘insurance’ and ‘voiture’ is ‘car’ and this does get a small amount of searches. On the other hand, most search engine volume is for ‘assurance auto’ with ‘auto’ being the short form for ‘automobile’. This phrase has been adopted by French speakers and searchers simply out of convenience. Translation therefore doesn’t go well and this happens in every language including English.
There is a very simple solution to this. Simply recreate your keywords into the required language in the exact same way it is done in English. This means using a trained search marketer who is also a native and natural speaker of the required language to research for the keywords from scratch.
2. Not considering how you will manage your content in multiple languages is a specific blind spot that causes some serious budget surprises for many. Many organizations will even invest a lot of money in creating great English content only to give it to the localization department without thinking about its SEO value and with a small budget.
Creating your English content while keeping in mind the translation or localization is the best strategy. Simply put, the copywriter’s brief ought to be to produce content without content that a translator cannot translate such as cultural references or in-jokes. Although the best option is to mix freshly created copywriting on specific local subjects that warrant it and utilizing localization on the rest, note that freshly created copywriting for each language will be more expensive as compared to translation. The best thing is to use an international marketing firm that can optimize and localize at once.
3. Thinking that someone you know or your co-worker’s niece who has studied French can make a good attempt at it isn’t going to give you the results you need. So as to achieve the level of intuitive interpreting that is required, you will need somebody who learned the specific language as their mother tongue and ideally grew up inside the country.
4. Another understandable mistake that many make is taking a company’s international claims at nominal value. If you come across a company that offers more than forty languages then they are probably sub-contracting to freelance translators and this is not something you want as discussed before. Be sure to carry out a comprehensive credit check.
5. Selecting new countries to target based on current analytics is alright when supporting your export initiative; however it is not a good way of deciding the languages in which to create your new websites. For example people of a non-English speaking country may already be searching for your product using the actual English keywords because that is how they expect to locate them easily. Localizing your site into the local language might not increase their inclination to buy.
At the same time, a little keyword research may show that the people of another non-English speaking country who actually buy the same product are not doing so via your site at all – thus creating a website in this country’s language would increase your sales unlike in the other country where it would not. You can never tell this from your analytics.
6. Not making use of local domains and insisting on running with a .com is very common. Having looked at the problem more seriously, a number of those who propose the use of dot com have reviewed their stand. Local domains are more beneficial for SEO since they provide the best information on your geographical location to search engines. Users also prefer them plus people you may wish to link your site to also wish to link to sites that are local.
If the decision to go for a dot com is a decision based on policy and out of your control – you may have to find some workarounds. However, workarounds are not what you ideally want.
7. Not obtaining local hosting or links is a major problem for several international sites. Although they are not so crucial if you are using local domains, they actually make a difference.
8. Setting up new countries for example Portugal, without considering the impact on older sites has hampered some companies’ success seriously. Duplication on international websites is still a big issue especially for global languages such as French, Spanish or English. It is not uncommon to find a site that has had its performance fall in the UK because of providing a duplicate version of the site to Australia or Ireland. This issue can be solved in many different ways including small sites so as to protect the bigger ones.
9. Responding to differences in culture is important – however this is actually only good marketing. The truth about a country’s culture is that it reveals itself in the things the people search for. Proper keyword research may be used not only for the improvement of your site’s performance in general but also for understanding the way your potential customers think and which products may be the best to try selling or targeting to them through your website.
10. Lack of proper and adequate research is the root of the problem. To power up your global marketing or export programs most effectively one needs to undertake research that is really thorough and few people have this time. Finding a search engine marketing firm that operates internationally and that is effective is the best thing to do as they will possess all the resources that you need.