- 18 September 2020
Taking your business global is an important step in expansion and growth. If you want to engage customers in more than one country or if you want to market your products to people who speak different languages, then you need to familiarize yourself with the concept of international SEO. The scope of business expansion depends on the availability of resources and expertise. This blog will highlight some of the best practices and the best SEO services you can use for international expansion.
What is International SEO?
The internet is a global network where people from all over the world access websites and search for information online. Since people from different parts of the world speak different languages, it is important to design your website so as to match that geographic location. The process of optimizing your website for users in different countries or users who speak different languages is called International SEO. Companies that provide the best SEO services almost always include international SEO in their packages because it has a lot of scope, particularly when you need to increase traffic. The most significant benefit of International SEO is to help search engines identify which countries you want to target and which language you wish to focus on.
Steps to Implementing International SEO On Your Site
Since relevance is a key factor in search engine algorithms, Google will try and match the search results to the language or the location of the user so that relevant content appears at the top. Here are some helpful international SEO strategies and guidelines you can implement to help search engines, like Google, know when you have content that would be relevant for someone in a particular place, or for someone who is searching for content in a specific language:
URL Structures for International Sites
When you are looking to optimize your business website for international markets and for international audiences, there are three main URL structure options you need to focus on. The country-coded top-level domains (ccTLDs), reserved for a specific target country, subdomains, which uses a generic Top-Level Domain Name, and subdirectories, which uses gTLD with one particular country or language subdirectory.
Since the search engine algorithm will read each URL structure differently, you should keep in mind that each structure has some positive as well as negative aspects. If you are not sure about which structure to use, you can contact a web development agency that provides the best SEO services to get a clearer idea about how you need to proceed.
Tailor Content to User’s Language and Culture
One of the biggest challenges for international SEO is the language barrier. Just to give you an example of the problem of translation; the English word ‘computer’ when translated to Mandarin literally means ‘Electric brain.’ In the same way, the elegant ‘neck tie’ when translated into Hindi becomes ‘larynx loincloth.’ See the problem? The most important guideline you need to follow for language is to NEVER machine translate. Automatic translation tools are highly inaccurate and can never really capture the message behind the content.
As for as possible, you should collaborate with native speakers and manually translate the content on your website. You should make sure you get a translator who is fluent in the native or local language and the original style of the content. Yes, you may have to shell out a little extra money to get experienced translators but rest assured you will get the best user experience and the most organic traffic for your website when it is finished.
Use Href-lang Tags for Language Targeting
If you want to target international audiences using Google, then you need to be familiar with the hreflang tag. Using hreflang tags will tell Google which language you are using on a specific page and helps identify which language your content is available. The hreflang attribute was introduced in 2011 and are basically small snippets of code that is added on websites with multilingual content.
Keep in mind that the Hreflang tag is only a signal. This means that other SEO factors may take precedence over the hreflang attribute, and as a result, you will find that a different version of your page will rank higher in the search results. If you are not sure about how to use the Hreflang tags properly, you should contact an expert to learn about the top SEO services and practices available.
Effective international SEO begins with understanding how to best serve the needs of the customer and then customizing your website to match those needs. Apart from the strategies and steps mentioned above, there are a number of different things you can do to support your international SEO plan. You can get in touch with a best SEO company like Unibiztec to learn more about how you can develop your website to reach your intended audience, wherever they may be.