Updated January 2018
As a company grows and expands on a global scale, many international needs must be addressed. How does your website evolve globally? Do you keep one website or do you create localized variations? How do you store your managed translations with your product information? How do you improve your global web presence? In this series, we will help you address these issues.
Your website’s SEO will determine where it will fall in a list of search results, regardless of whether it is a domestic, international, or localized site. The higher it appears on the list, the better the conversion rate. When it comes to international SEO, the challenge lies in choosing the right SEO strategies for the particular regions, cultural norms, and languages. Here are a few tips to improve your international SEO strategy.
Know Your Audience
The majority of web users live outside of North America, and many of them speak languages other than English. The quality of your translation, localization, and your international SEO strategy will determine whether you grab their business. Know your audience’s language, slang, concerns, and preferred platforms.
Improving your international SEO leans heavily on the quality of your website’s translated content. Despite any time you have allotted to reviewing and planning your translations, machines are more likely to make localized errors. Effective, quality translation requires more than plugging words into a program that spits out the literal interpretations. The connotation becomes especially important as the communication space gets more compact. Investing in a translation service that uses human experts is crucial to achieving correct syntax, connotation, and consistency throughout translated content.
Some people who visit your website will land there from searching in regional search engines, Facebook pages, Twitter hashtags, etc. Different audiences will search on your business in different ways, so you want to anticipate the keywords and phrases that are most likely to be used. After you’ve compiled your list of keywords and phrases, you’ll want to integrate them throughout your web content and also use them in your metadata.
Use Country-Code Top Level Domains
As you plan to expand your business internationally, you’ll want to purchase country-specific domains for each region in which you plan to operate. This is probably the most effective way of optimizing a website for an international audience – making sure it gets found by the right people. Audiences understand country-specific suffixes and will recognize that the domain structure indicates the website (and content) is meant for them. Search engines also rank these sites better for audiences in those countries.
Interested in learning more about globalizing your website? Download our free ebook, Expanding your Web Presence on an International Level, by filling out the form below.
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Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.