Once an online business is doing well, many business owners think about expanding their reach. The internet has made this easier than ever because it is now possible to reach customers anywhere in the world. But taking this step is never easy because you have to have a firm understanding of what people from different regions in the world need and how to produce content that draws them to you. As you start focusing on a global marketplace, here are some tips that will help you scale your SEO for this new market.
See If There Is Potential
Before you take any concrete steps towards scaling your SEO, you have to see if there is potential in the new market. If there is none, no one will see all the effort you are putting in. A good question to ask is whether you have a sizable audience in the regions you want to expand into.
Understand How People from Different Regions Use Search Engines
When you use a VPN or other tool to find out how people in other countries see search engine result pages and different content types, you will find that what people see varies greatly depending on where they are. For example, a certain keyword or phrase might cause Google to bring up an answer box in one region, but bring up links in another. This happens because search engines tailor their search results to cater to specific regions while taking into account local trends and interests.
If you want to be found in those regions, you have to come up with a strategy that takes all of this into account. Your content, keywords, and other strategies you use to get found on your primary location will have to change too. Keywords do not usually translate perfectly from one language to another, and neither will your content. You might have to come up with new keywords and content that serves the specific regions you are focusing on.
Choose an Appropriate Website Structure
Before you produce local copies of the content you will use on your global website(s), it is important to choose the correct website structure. The first step of doing so is selecting a domain extension that matches individual countries. For example, a ‘.co.uk’ domain fits better with a UK audience while a ‘.be’ domain fits better if you are targeting Belgium. In some cases, you might have to get new domain names if the one you have does not translate well into the local language.
Build Local Relationships
Link building is a very important strategy to have in place as you build your global network. You need to bring in relevant traffic and ensure you can rank well in the new region(s). Building good local relationships makes it infinitely easier to get the backlinks you need. It also makes it easy to have link exchange programs in place in case that is something you are interested in.
The best way to go about this is to, first of all, find out who holds sway in the new region you are targeting. Next, find out what their websites are and which other websites would be interested in sharing your link to a relevant audience. Once you do both of those things, it is time to start reaching out.
Use an Hreflang Tag
Once you translate your content into different languages, you should add an Hreflang with the language the website hosting this content is written in. You have to do this for every pair of country and language you are targeting on the different pages or website sections this content resides on. If you have a local website written in only one language, you just have to add this tag once. Once you do this, search engines will crawl your content and show it when someone searches for the keywords you are targeting using the language the website is written in.
Build a Community
Engagement is a very important metric because search engines reward websites that have a lot of engagement. They translate this to mean your website has quality content that starts conversations. To improve engagement, hire people in all the countries you are targeting. These are the people who will reply to messages, comments, and replies to the content you post in their native languages.
Building a community of locals ensures the people handling your local content and engagement understand the language, culture, nuances, and aspects of that locality and are thus in a better position to engage your visitors than you are.
Use Targeted Advertising
Many SEO agencies forget that PPC and social media ads can be created in languages other than English. It has been proven that people are much more likely to engage with content and click on ads that are in their native language. Once you complete your keyword research, you should create ads that use the languages used in the regions you are expanding to. Once people search for keywords you are targeting in their native language, they will see your ads, which are in their language, and will be inclined to click on those ads.
It is also very important that you hire people who speak the language to handle your targeted social media ads. This produces better results than someone asking a question in Spanish and you answering in English or, worse, broken Spanish.
Optimize for Mobile
If you live in developed nations, it is easy to forget that people in many other countries have slow internet speeds, especially on mobile. If you are targeting these regions, it will pay off massively if you optimize your local website(s) for slow internet speeds. This will help you rank better in those regions and those specific languages with the added advantage of increasing traffic, retaining visitors, and boosting conversion.
Measure Your Results
SEO rarely keeps providing the results you wish for and improving if you do not measure your results and make the necessary tweaks. Scaling up to a global market also means measuring your results in that market. Also, setting up analytics for different versions of your websites has become relatively easy.
It is also important that you keep checking your international search engine ranking to see if you are moving in the right direction. You can then make the necessary interventions if this is not the case.
Scaling your SEO to a global market can seem daunting at first, but once you understand how it should be done, you will have an easier time doing it for your next business or website. For better results, ensure you are satisfying the needs of the people in the regions you are targeting and that you customize your strategy for specific regions and languages.