What Is International SEO?
Think of international SEO as giving your website a passport to become a globetrotter in the digital space. International SEO involves optimizing your site to capture traffic from different countries and languages. It’s a strategic approach to expanding your brand’s global footprint, ensuring that your content resonates with diverse audiences and aligns with how different cultures search for information online. Who knew your brand could go abroad? If you’re ready to transform your website into a global powerhouse, we’ll show you how to seize traffic from every corner of the world and unlock the full potential of your online presence!
The Significance of International SEO
As businesses grow, reaching a global audience becomes crucial. International SEO can significantly increase brand visibility and consumer base globally, leading to higher conversions. It’s also essential for staying competitive, especially if your competitors are not optimizing for different regions. Let’s take a look at strategies to increase visibility and engagement across borders.
- Localization: Tailor content to specific markets, consider cultural nuances, and align with local search habits.
- Technical SEO: Fine-tune website structure, language tagging, and metadata to target different countries or languages effectively.
- Keyword Strategy: Conduct thorough keyword research relevant to each targeted country, considering local language variations and search behaviors.
Implementing International SEO
- Research and Planning: Before diving into international SEO, you’ll want to spend time conducting comprehensive research. This includes understanding your target markets, competitor analysis, and the search behavior of the international audience. Tools like Google Analytics or Ubersuggest can provide insights into potential search volumes in different regions.
- URL Structure Decisions: Next, you’ll want to think about URL structure. Choosing the right URL structure for your international audience is crucial. Options include using country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), subdomains, or subdirectories. Each has its pros and cons, so the decision should align with your overall strategy and resources.
- Language and Content Localization: Ensuring your website content is available in the primary languages of your target audience is vital. No one wants to sift through a bunch of gibberish. Avoid machine translations and opt for professional services to maintain quality and cultural relevance. Also, remember to use language tags like “hreflang” to guide search engines.
- Mobile Optimization and CDN: Don’t forget about the mobile users! A mobile-friendly website is essential, as many users globally access the internet via mobile devices. Additionally, implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can improve site speed for international users, positively impacting your SEO.
- Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation: Finally, monitor your SEO performance regularly and be ready to adapt your strategy based on the ever-changing market trends or search patterns. This includes updating keywords, content, and technical aspects of your site.
- Utilize Alternate Tags to show search engines the various versions of each page by language/region. (rel=alternate tags)
Challenges and Considerations
- Competition: International SEO involves competing not just locally but potentially against global giants.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Misinterpretations in translations can lead to unintended meanings or cultural insensitivity.
- Technical Complexity: Managing different domains or subdomains, and ensuring proper link structures, can be technically challenging.
- Translation: Often one of the biggest challenges with an international strategy is ensuring that you have accurately translated content for each region you are targeting.
Example Case Study: Rebelstork
Baby gear retailer Rebelstork specializes in selling new overstock and open-box items from some of the top baby brands in the world. Their online store first launched in Canada and quickly began to see success with their ability to heavily discount premier baby gear products for new and expecting parents. Soon, they realized the potential of expanding across their own borders, so they launched their U.S. site on a subdomain. But growth wasn’t as immediate as they would’ve hoped in this new, highly competitive market.
That’s where Arvo entered the picture.
We began work on Rebelstork’s US site in April of 2023. When we began, their site was receiving roughly 2,000 visitors per month from organic search traffic. After a series of audits and fresh keyword research specific to the US, we identified key opportunities to draw in relevant organic traffic by strategically optimizing their collection pages, in addition to a refreshed blog strategy. The results were small at first, but we did see immediate positive traction. By the summer and through the rest of 2023, there was no stopping them.
With this increase in traffic from the US side, we essentially doubled the brand’s overall traffic when combined with their Canada site!
And we saw a substantial increase (195%!) in ranking keywords in less than one year!
International SEO is a dynamic and complex field that requires a strategic approach tailored to each market. It’s not just about translating content but understanding and addressing different audiences’ specific needs and behaviors. By effectively implementing international SEO services, brands can significantly enhance their global reach and competitiveness.
Are you an international brand in need of support with your SEO strategy? Or are you potentially looking to expand your website reach into new markets? We would love to help!