If you're looking to expand your business and conquer international markets, then this pill may be useful for you. Here we tell you the basic keys to position your business in other countries through an international SEO strategy.
In order to have web presence in different countries and expand your business, it is necessary to have a good knowledge of these target markets (to know their needs, preferences and even their legislation). But it is also very important to have knowledge of international SEO, since what works in your country may not necessarily work in any other country. This is why we want to tell you what it is and how to apply it.
What is international SEO?
It is a set of techniques and strategies that serve to improve the visibility of our website in search engine results. The aim is attracting traffic from other countries and languages to our website. In other words, it consists of positioning a web project in other countries.
When is international SEO necessary?
Although international SEO is based on the same foundations as traditional SEO for any website, it involves certain particularities that are important to take into account. However, before getting into the subject in depth, we must ask ourselves a very important question:
Is it really necessary to position our company in other countries? For this, we have to consider whether our business is aimed at customers in other countries and whether we really need to increase the visibility of our website in these new markets.
Not everyone needs to do international SEO to guarantee the success of their business.
So, a good question to know if we should invest in international SEO or not is: how can we find out if our products or services are interesting in international markets?
A good way to find out would be to open your Google Analytics dashboard and review the traffic acquisition report, paying special attention to organic searches, conversions, countries of origin and languages.
If you consider that it is necessary to cross the national border, then let's go for it!
International SEO basics
Study of target audience, market and competition
This step, as with any marketing strategy, is very important. It is essential that we understand how the target audience is in the different countries we are interested in. To do this we must know things such as: the language they speak, devices they use to surf the internet, type of search engine, among other things.
As popular as Google is, not everyone in the world uses it. For example, Baidu is the most used search engine in China and Bing has 5.09% of the global market.
Another important point is to analyse well the competition and the market in those countries you want to reach, as well as their laws, legislations and the type of marketing that works there.
Keyword research and analysis
After analysing the market, target audience and competition, carry out a preliminary study of keywords in the countries in which you want to position yourself and in the different languages that correspond.
This is really important because each country has different realities, which means that the people there have different needs and interests. All this is reflected in the way they behave on the internet and how they search. This is why there will be keywords that are popular in one country, but not in another.
Adaptation of quality content
Taking all the above into account, adapting the content on our website to the language, context and way of expressing ourselves in the country we want to reach is a key point when it comes to positioning ourselves.
A very common mistake when translating content is to use automatic translation programmes or applications. This could result in the content losing quality and users not finding value in it.
This is one of the most technical and fundamental factors of international SEO, as it is what tells the search engine which part of the website should be displayed in which country or in which language.
In case you want to expand your business to countries with different languages, we recommend that you consider any of the following options for the domain of your website:
A different domain for each language: an example would be accelerapyme.es for Spanish, accelerapyme.com for English, etc.
Having different subdomains: this consists of having a main domain and a subdomain for each country. For example: es.accelerapyme.com, en.accelerapyme.com or pt.accelerapyme.com.
Use subdirectories: where the main domain is kept as shown in this example: accelerapyme.es/ca, accelerapyme.es/en or accelerapyme.es/val.
When we have a web project in different languages, each URL should incorporate a small tag called hreflang. Its function is to indicate to the search engine that we have different URLs with the same content but translated or adapted for each market in each country.
In other words, this tag is used to help Google identify which URL should be shown to the visitor based on their language and geographic location.
These are just some of the basic aspects of international SEO. If you have any doubts, we recommend that you consult a professional or expert, for example, any of our Digital Agents who are members of the Digital Kit Programme.