Why is International SEO important?

International SEO strategy builds on a series of techniques to ensure that your overseas exposure is well-developed and targeted to win local customers. There are no limits on an organisation’s reach and presence today. As most organisations have a global and ever-expanding footprint, embracing the international market might be a step for your business in the right direction. While not every organisation has a vision to expand globally, most do consider the opportunities that might arise if they were to expand and market their products internationally. This consideration must always align with the organisation’s plan and strategy and should not be considered lightly by management or the board of the organisation. There are many operational considerations (i.e. supply chain and logistics) that need to be assessed before the organisation expands internationally. Once your organisation has decided to venture overseas, a well-developed international marketing strategy is required.

International SEO strategy requires varying strategies to ensure we seem relevant to the local market despite not potentially being based in that country. Crafting the right strategy for each country requires careful consideration and thought process to ensure we are relevant, credible and culturally appropriate (especially if there is a different language involved). Once this insight and messaging has been created, utilising SEO to drive traffic to your site will be a large determinant in your success. Partnering with experts in SEO like Sharp Instincts, can you help overcome these barriers and succeed in the new market.

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What are the key questions to consider when crafting an International SEO Strategy?

MULTILINGUAL

Does your site convert into various languages?

How will you avoid duplicating content?

Can you take payments in various countries & currencies?

AUDIENCE

How does your audience differ globally versus locally?

Are there common and uncommon characteristics?

Is the approach the same or different for international customers?

SHIPPING

How are we fulfilling orders? Locally or internationally?

What about returns for unhappy customers?

How does shipping affect our on-site content around delivery?

LOCAL STRATEGY

Have we developed a localised strategy for our clients?

Is there a strategy that has worked well in one country that we could apply elsewhere?

SEO KEYWORDS

Which keywords are we going after in the local country?

Do we need new content to support these efforts?

METRICS

How are we measuring success in the new global market?

What are our key goals in the local market that we are analysing?

What does International SEO require?

Define the SEO goal

Your organisation must remember to attract and retain the right visitors to your online presence. If your organisation is targeting the wrong people, then your upgraded website, marketing, inventory costs and time associated with entering this market will not bear fruit. In particular, this misaligned targeting means that you will not obtain the expected Return On Investment (ROI). An international approach to market still needs to be targeted and choosing the countries that you want your organisation to be seen in is crucial. This will help you to create culturally appropriate content, multilingual website accessibility and a point of differentiation that shows you understand the intended international markets. 

Achieving this goal takes time and needs to be maintained over time. SEO strategy requires continuous application and improvement because user preferences and interaction with the web change over time. A digital marketing strategist will provide ongoing support and dedicate SEO engineers, technicians, advisors and specialists to help grow your business. Working together with your marketing team, it is the job of the consultant to drive the SEO implementation while you stay in control over the direction which should be based on your business plan and strategy. 

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Develop an international SEO strategy

If your business has a global reach, it is important to consider international SEO strategies. Encouraging your customers to access your local Australian website may not be ideal given international search engines work differently and will not prioritise Australian hosted sites and content. Sites that have been built to cater to the demand from international jurisdictions will have a higher success rate. For example, the most common consideration is to create content that is in the same language. Not every country speaks English despite this being the dominant language of the internet. Here are a few solutions that we can implement to target international visitors:

  • Multilingual websites (using Google functionality).
  • Culturally appropriate and jurisdiction specific content.
  • Websites that comply with local requirements.
  • Keyword optimisation based on local factors.
  • Target international people.
  • Understand international trends.
  • Focus on each international market – do not blend approaches.

An important tip in relation to translated sites is to ensure that it makes sense. Do not assume that an online translator works effectively. Make sure your content is checked by a linguistically sound and culturally aware individuals who can provide an honest and reliable opinion. If not managed correctly, the outcomes can vary from insensitive content, reputational harm or culturally inappropriate material for the region. 

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Think global, not local!

Understanding the potential of the global market will open up opportunities that you had not forecasted in your bottom line. Creating a strategy and portfolio that exists outside your local country can help you offset seasonality issues, create partnership opportunities and increase profitability.

Do not let your organisation struggle to engage with international visitors. Instead engage a digital marketing strategist that can help you develop a targeted international SEO strategy that will increase your exposure in the right countries and help your international presence succeed.

By optimising your digital presence with marketing strategies that have been proven to work, you will grow your business in the manner that you desire. For a confidential and no obligation discussion, contact us today on 1800 189 787.

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International SEO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are key factors when determining International SEO?

Key factors in determining international SEO include understanding the target countries audience, optimising your website to work for that country, understanding the challenges around duplicate content and crafting particular strategies to align with the local market.

Is international SEO important?

If you are trying to win customers from your another country and add a new revenue stream to your business then international SEO is a must.

Should my international SEO strategy be different to my local or national SEO strategy?

The key driver of your international SEO strategy should be aligned to the business objectives. We would suggest chatting with one of our experts about your needs before deciding which strategy you should be focusing on.

How do you target international customers?

Targeting (and winning) international customers involves specific SEO techniques and skills. We would recommend starting with countries who (i) speak your language, (ii) most closely resemble the behaviour of your home country and (iii) proximity to your location. In Australia for example, the first obvious opportunity is New Zealand due its similarity in language, culture and proximity.

How can I get traffic from another country?

Winning traffic in multiple countries can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t have a location based there. There are however numerous SEO techniques to winning in that country starting with understanding the search terms for that country.

What is Hreflang tag mean? How does this impact SEO?

Hreflang tags refers to an SEO and technical website technique that instructs search engines not to penalise your website for having the same content in different languages. For example, a sports shoe manufacturer has a website in English that is also available in both Chinese & French. The product information and content is the same for all three languages. If Hreflang tags aren’t setup correctly, there is a possibility all three versions of your site will get mistakenly punished for duplicate content, This could detrimentally impact rankings for organic search terms for all three languages.

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