SEO Tips to Help You Advance Your Business Internationally

If you realize that a fine portion of the consumers and visitors that click on your website are from a different country than where you are situated, then it may be time to make some modifications.

Advancing into the global sphere is a massive moment during any business’s progress. It’s the beginning of a whole new journey, a new marketplace, new customers, and a bundle of complications.

The foreign market for content is huge and since the majority of the world doesn’t speak English, you would be really missing out on a huge audience by only targeting English-speaking countries.

International Search Engine Optimization (SEO) basically means shaping your website in ways that would make it a better experience for global viewers. However, a standard approach to SEO isn’t sufficient for directing your content at international markets.

You would need to develop a specified strategy for whatever region you choose to target. Having said that, this article will present to you a basic plan of action for your international expansion. 

#1. Prepare a Strategy 

The first phase should be starting by building a foundation. You need to have a plan and a handful of ideas planned out. Without them, it’s very easy to get lost in the complications and get side-tracked.

To kick-off, your main priority should be tracking which foreign country you get the most traffic from, and begin with that country first. You can do this by checking the Google Analytics of your website.

For larger businesses that make use of multiple websites, it can be a difficult undertaking to optimize and maintain every website in various languages.  

#2. Commercial and Market Research 

After you’ve planned out what needs to be done, the next step is to figure out if there is a market economy for your products and services. Attempting to sell a product that no one has an interest in can result in a very costly blunder. 

Developing a market in locations where you are so far doing well is much less of an investment and the chance of success is much higher.

For countries where you are struggling to research or just don’t have the time and money to implement international SEO techniques for your website, you can employ helpful SEO service providers.

For instance, if you are seeking to expand your business in Hong Kong, you can enforce experienced and skilled SEO services in Hong Kong. 

#3. Localize Your Content 

 If your website mainly focuses on a single product worldwide, then it would be much better to focus on the various languages of your targeted countries rather than the content. 

An example of this would be social media platforms or e-commerce sites that offer the same service globally. Providing several languages for users can prove to be more beneficial for them. 

But if you cater different services to different countries, then it’s not just language that you would need to localize. Ensure that you are providing the correct information to your target audience. 

By using the country’s local language, dates, currency, timeline along with information like your phone number, email address, and messaging platforms to communicate with you, the seller, can send users and search engines the message that they are in the right place. 

#4. Adapt Your Website for Different Search Engines 

The next step for your global domination is choosing the most popular search engine. Although Google fosters about 84% of search engine users worldwide, various other search engines have a higher presence in other countries.

Here’s a small list of the most popular search engines in different countries: 

  • Baidu (China) 
  • Yandex (Russia) 
  • Yahoo (Japan and Hong Kong) 
  • Seznam (Czech Republic) 

So, in this case, let’s say you are trying to target the Chinese market, it would be essential to adapt to its popular search engine Baidu.

Baidu puts homepages higher in the ranking rather than internal pages, and it looks for precise keywords in the titles of webpages. To rank higher, it would be optimal to prioritize homepages. 

#5. Research Local Keywords 

Now, you may have a basic understanding of the popular search and keyword patterns your current audience may use, but they might not be all-encompassing keywords that are used in other countries.

Conducting local keyword research for every market you want to target is necessary. For this, several online tools can widen your keyword vocabulary.

Ideally, using professional translation services to help you locally and culturally translate popular keywords would be the desired option.

Since it is difficult for online translation services like Google Translate to comprehend slang and regional variations.

These keywords can then be naturally lined with your in-language content. 

#6. Target Specific Countries with a Domain Strategy 

The website domain you use in your current location is not assured to work or be sufficient in other countries. The domain structure of your website should display that it is aimed at the targeted audience.

Though a “.com” is usually considered the best choice globally, it can seem fairly generic for international viewers.

Having a domain that clearly targets a particular country shows the users of that territory that your website is made specifically made for them.

There are a few popular types, 

  • country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): 

  • Subdomain: 

  • Subdirectory: 

All domain strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to you to see which type is best suited for your website with your business in mind. 

#7. Integrating Hreflang Tags in Your Website 

Hreflang tags are fragments of HTML codes that guidepost which locations and languages your pages are aimed at. This informs Google to show the localized version of a page to an audience.

For instance, if someone in Russia were to search for something relevant to your webpage, the hreflang tag prompts Google to display the Russian version of your webpage in the search results. 

To target audiences even more precisely, you can implement a hreflang tag for both language and region. Such as “en-us” for English viewers in the United States and “en-ca” for English viewers in Canada.