Sometimes, companies do not notice the importance of having SEO for other countries. But they should keep in mind that your site can be viewed in other parts of the world. For this reason, it is necessary to plan a good strategy to reach all kinds of international audience.
When you talk about international SEO, you immediately relate to the Internet. But in this particular case, it is also about the technical aspects of internationalizing a website. This allows you to enter the world of global competitiveness, where you can plan your digital strategy and analyze your competition.
Research by University of Cambridge indicates the following: ” companies that internationalize, regardless of their size, are not only more competitive, but also more productive and more resistant to micro and macroeconomic changes.” This, in comparison to those companies that for different reasons do not.
SEO benefits for other countries
Surely, you are wondering what benefits it has to apply SEO for other countries. And it’s a pretty logical question if you want to experiment in this area. Therefore, below you will find all those positive aspects that this strategy can generate for your company:
- High return on investment.
- It helps improve the visibility of your website and increase the volume of visitors.
- Sales of your products or services increase.
- It allows you to optimize the international profile of your website.
- You will be able to connect with your audience around the world.
Key objectives of International SEO
There are three objectives that will be the key to success in your SEO strategy for other countries. These will be your best allies to develop your internationalization plan. So pay attention and take note of the following determining factors for your company:
- Language: When you want to offer a product in another country where they speak another language, you should take the time to translate the content. Be very careful with semantic variations at the time of translation. Keep in mind that if the product or service is the same, international SEO will not care about the country you want to reach. What really interests her is the language your company speaks.
- Country: when a company wants to reach another country with another type of product. In this case, your goal is not the language, but to target a specific nation.
- Hybrid: This unites the country and the language in a quite particular way, for example, a company that speaks for Spain, in English. Therefore, you have to define for your expansion process if you want to speak a language, a country or both.
How to optimize your website for International SEO
Now that you know the basics of international SEO, the time has come for you to learn how to optimize your website to reach other countries. To achieve this you have to follow a series of steps. If you don’t know what they are, you don’t have to worry! Just pay attention so you can write them down:
1.- Study the target audience
The first thing you should do is study the public of the other countries you want to reach. You have to analyze what search engines use, although it is true that the most popular worldwide is Google. However, there are nations that have other heavy search engines and are used by a large percentage of the population.
What other search engines are used? Baidu (China), Yahoo (Japan), Yandex (Russia), among others. Keep in mind that each one has its own algorithm and positioning rules, and you must know all this. Once you know it, you can optimize your website in a more practical way and you will gain new leads.
You should also study if there is any type of network access limitation, as well as the percentage of Internet access from different devices. In addition, it is essential that you know other aggregators, social networks and 2.0 sites that are prominent in the destination country where you want to publicize your company.
2.- Quality content between countries
One factor that you should take into account is the quality of the content, not just that it is interesting. In this case, what is even more relevant is the translation of the texts. Many opt for the least recommended option, automatic translators, which are simpler, but the quality of the content decreases.
This is where the first step is reflected, you must study your audience, have knowledge of how they speak, the terms they use and the way they use search engines. This goes beyond language because both in Spain and in Latin America Spanish / Castilian is spoken.
However, there are words or expressions that have different meanings. This also happens in other countries such as Brazil and Portugal. Therefore, you must take it into account in your strategy.
In addition, you have to analyze the keywords, since this will determine the success you will have in the search engines that the audience uses. In this situation, what is advised is to locate the contents. This will give you the possibility to adapt them to the characteristics of the public in each country.
3.- Website architecture
Among the fundamental factors, you will find everything related to the technical aspects, architecture of your website, domains, among others. You have to be very sure that your site will be suitable for each country you want to reach, the amount of traffic will tell you how effective it is.
You need to know that to develop different versions of a website it can be carried out in subdirectories or subdomains. The first option will serve to prioritize the transmission of the link juice. While the second, prioritize the number of pages to index.
But did you know that there are different types of architectures? Yes, there are several that can help you depending on what you want to obtain. Below you will see what they are and how they will help you:
- Domain by language strategy: allows you to have several independent domains or subdomains. Each domain is autonomously indexed, thus allowing semantic URLs to be available in each language.
- Single domain language subdirectories and 301 redirects from territorial domains – works with the main website, allowing link juice to flow. You just have to focus on one domain to gain more authority.
- Low language subfolders: This is a bit more complicated because you have to develop microsites for each territorial domain. This makes it not as effective as the other alternatives.
- A different domain name for each language or country: in this case, you have to create independent sites and this allows you to work with greater autonomy, agility and flexibility at the local level.
4.- hreflang attribute
In an SEO strategy for other countries it is essential to implement the hreflang tag: rel = ”alternate” hreflang = ”x”. This helps Google understand that your website has several URLs with the same content, but translated or segmented for users from different places. In this way, you can identify the language and optionally the region of an alternative URL.
When should this attribute be applied? Excellent question, because it is not something that should be used without being sure of its functionality. You can use it when:
- The main content is in a single language and what is translated is the template, navigation menu and footer.
- In case the content has regional variations even if it is the same language.
- When the text is fully translated and there are different versions of each page: in Italian, English, Portuguese.
5.- Geolocation of the contents
Keep in mind that search engines tend to favour local content in their results. For this reason, you must add geolocation to your SEO action plan for other countries. Below you will be able to know the different options:
- Content distribution network: they are a set of servers at different points of a network. These have local copies of certain content that are stored on other servers, generally geographically distant.
- Physical geolocation of hosting: some providers allow you to choose the place where you want to locate each hosting plan for your site. This is thanks to the fact that the data centers are distributed in several countries.
- Set geographic orientation in Google Search Console: here you can indicate the country to which you are directing the domain, subdomain or subdirectory.
- Local indicators: it is only the telephone numbers of the destination country and other forms of contacts specific to that nation.
For your web optimization strategy for other countries to be complete, you must bear in mind the importance of quality link building in the countries/languages in which you want to position yourself. You have to adapt your plan to the medium in which you move since the audience of each country has different interests.
You already know the steps you must follow to have an optimized website applying SEO for other countries. It is time to get down to work.