How to work with International SEO?

By Mohamed Yasir International SEO, SEO No Comments on How to work with International SEO?

With all markets, completely open in today’s digital era, scalability in businesses is a matter allocating the correct investments into the new markets. But for Analysts who are so comfortable with Google and running a one-dimensional website – entering new markets can be a daunting task. It is so complicated that the finding the right visitors alone can be different.

From setting the right website, and adapting to new webmaster guidelines of other top search engines like Yandex, Baidu, Naver etc., to getting a native speaker to set proper content – everything can be difficult, if you do not follow the right strategies on implementing International SEO.

What’s right about International SEO? International SEO helps you provide the right content, from the right search engines, across countries, languages, and localizations, which will allow you reach the right visitors with the right messages. That’s all, if you get everything right ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ

 

Here are some best practices for international SEO:

I) Finding the right site architecture:

  1. ccTLDs (Country Code Top Level Domains)

For companies looking to have a strong local presence can opt for ccTLDs, there is always an assumption that visitors tend to value their local sites rather than global sites – which is true to an extent as search engines tend to favor local sites.

Example: www.qrsolutions.com.au/  & www.qrsolutions.in/

Used for: Country Targeting

Advantage:

  • Strong local presence

Disadvantages:

  • As this is a completely different domain, you must maintain the SEO efforts of every version of your sites separately.
  • The link juice is not separated between all domains.
  • Takes time to grow the popularity.
  • Independent link building for all sites

 

  1. sub-directories (Generic Top Level Domains)

For companies having a strong root domain authority, it is easy to transmit that popularity gained to sub folders with an indication to tell visitors that it is locally targeted website. With sub-directories domain, make sure you have separate web properties in your analytics account for each geography.

Example: https://www.americanexpress.com/in/https://www.americanexpress.com.sa/

Used for: Country and Language Targeting

Advantage:

  • Inherit root top level domain authority, and attributing it to your current geography.
  • Easy to implement and maintain.

Disadvantages:

  • If any of search engine penalizes, then all the website is penalized as well.
  • Complicated setting up of webmasters and analytics of each geography.

 

  1. sub-domains (Generic Top Level Domains)

sub-domains architecture is like the ccTLDs where the sub domains is viewed and operated as a separate domain, here the local geography flavor is added to the sub domains of the website – which can look like a local site to visitors.

Example: https://in.godaddy.com/ & https://ar.godaddy.com/

Used for: Country and Language Targeting

Advantage:

  • Strong local presence

Disadvantages:

  • As this is a completely different domain, you must maintain the SEO efforts of every version of your sites separately.
  • The link juice is not separated between all domains.
  • Takes time to grow the popularity.
  • Independent link building for all sites

Do research before opting a site architecture between ccTLDs, sub-directories or sub-domains for your international markets. Make sure you content is on par with the standards of the webmaster of that geography’s search engine.

 

II) Using <hreflang>:

Search engines ability to see language based codes is based on – “hreflang” in international SEO it tells search engines to correct indexing and that the website is not of duplicate content and that it is opted for international SEO to suit different geography. With hreflang, you need to understand the difference between “ISO 3166” and “ISO 639” standards to differentiate the country code and language code.

tips-for-international-SEO

Finding the right language and country code for international SEO is vital to get listed in native search engines

  1. ISO 3166 (Country Code): Used for Country level targeting (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_3166 )
  1. ISO 639 (Language Code): Used for language level targeting (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_639)

 

Hreflang example: URL: https://www.americanexpress.com/in/

If the hreflang attribute in the webpages should include all the pages mapping URLs. In every page of your website the hreflang tags must be present.

Top-ways-to-work-with-international-seo

It is vital to use all of your hreflang codes in all pages

 

III) Local help:

The generative semantics can always go wrong, translation plugins and applications cannot give the right meanings, so it’s of the utmost importance that you hire a native speaker who can help you translate your content to serve the local audience.

You can ask of in-page translation in Google, but there is more to it with the importance of understanding that geography’s culture to drive and understand them even better. “Naver – Search Engine of South Korea” and “Baidu – Search Engine of China” can be completely different to how we view Google. They blend to their local cultures, and your SEO strategies and website to be in like how they want to see.

listing-in-local-search-engines

Looking for a native speaker is vital for International SEO

While doing keyword research, use Google first and then correlate with the keywords of your local geography’s search engines. Ask your native speaker to get a better clarity on the webmaster guideline of the local search engines.

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