How tied is your business to a physical location? While everyone, including us, is preaching the benefits of local optimization, the truth is that today’s market is a global affair and there are tons of profits to be had from businesses that are able to reach an international customer base. At the same time, global SEO is not exactly the same as its local counterpart and if you’re doing it wrong, then all your efforts could be a colossal waste of time. If you want to do it right and get noticed by the right people, make sure you’re sticking to the following rules.
Getting Past the Language Barrier
Let’s say you’re trying to reach clients south of the border in Mexico. Of course, you need to translate your website, offers, and everything else into Spanish so it can be understood. Seems simple, right? But how are you translating all of those well-crafted missives that are meant to attract new customers? If you said Google Translate or any other translation software, chances are that all you’re doing is making your business look stupid. The technology is just not there yet and the only way to get a real translation is with an actual human that is fluent in both languages. Look to freelance services to find competent translators at reasonable prices.
Duplicate Content on Separate Domains
The language used during expansion is not always different and having the same language can present a different set of problems. If you really want your website’s ranking to take a serious hit, keep all the pages the same when you add a new domain to your online presence. As a regular part of expanding, many businesses buy extra domains, such as .co.uk for the United Kingdom, when they add a new country to their service range. The problem is that having the same website on both domains will be seen as duplicate content and both domains will be duly punished. However, your IT expert (or us) can add what’s known as a “canonical link element” to make sure that your domains work together instead of looking like duplicate content.
Part of the completely awesome keyword tool from Google is an ability to search for terms and phrases in a specific country location. As part of your marketing campaign in a new nation, make sure to check and see if your current keyword list works in the new place as well. In many cases, the new country could use different terms and not refining your keywords could mean you’re talking to an invisible audience.