4 Must Know Tips for International SEO

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If your website is doing so well that you feel it’s time to start thinking about SEO overseas – great for you! However, you should be aware that what works for SEO in the U.S. will need to undergo a bit of modification before it will meet the needs of an overseas audience.

This post will provide you with some food for thought in terms of international SEO. Begin thinking about how you can employee these tactics now and you’ll have a great idea of just how intense your international SEO efforts will need to be in the future.

Host Your Website from Your Target Country

If your SEO efforts are going to be aimed at one (or several) particular countries, you should create an alternative website for each target country and host it from that location. Search results from the same search engine can differ drastically depending on what country a query comes from and from which country a website is hosted. Most often, your search rankings will be better for a country if you also host your website in that same country, assuming most other SEO best practices are being carried out as well.

Use One Language per Page

If you plan to aim your international SEO efforts at a country like Brazil, for example, you may have a difficult time selecting a language for your website. While the national language of Brazil is Portuguese, many other languages, including Italian, Japanese and German are used as well. However, if you try to accommodate a multilingual population by including multiple translations of copy on a single Web page, your search engine ranks will likely suffer.

Search engine spiders may be fluent in every major language (they are robots after all), but they do not appreciate bouncing back and forth from one language to the next on a single Web page. Therefore, the best way to accommodate multiple language needs on one website is to include individual pages of content for exactly one language. This will keep both your human and spider site visitors happy and ensure you’re practicing great international SEO.

Custom Write Your Ads

Regardless of the country to which you are marketing your products or services, you should always, always ALWAYS have your ads custom written by someone who is familiar with the country’s local dialects (we’ll discuss in the next point how to find such a person). Let’s use Spain as a case study for this point.

If you were to write a few PPC ads for a Spanish audience and launch a national PPC campaign in Spain, you would likely find that many people would be put off by your ad copy. This is because differing dialects of Spanish use different colloquial expressions and may pronounce and spell words in different ways. For example, Catalán is spoken in the Spanish regions of Catalonia and Valencia and, although it may sound similar to Spanish, many Spanish word pronunciations in Catalán are different. For example, rather than saying “Barcelona” you would say “Barthelona.”

Regardless of the country or the main language spoken, make sure you hire someone with extensive knowledge of the region to write your ad copy.

Hire a Local SEO Company

Probably the best way to go about creating the most accurate and SEO-conscious copy for both you Web pages and ad text is to hire an overseas SEO company. Hiring an SEO company that is based in the region where you plan to target your international marketing has many advantages. For one, you can safely assume that the content has been written by someone who has a great understanding of the country’s language. And, because you’ll be dealing with an SEO company, your keyword needs will be understood and implemented in the correct language and in an effective way.

While facing the challenges of international SEO can seem a bit daunting, you can make sure that your overseas marketing tactics stand the best chance of success by thinking about these key points before beginning your international campaign.


Do you have other suggestions or questions about international SEO? Submit them in the comments section!


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