Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a huge increase in the amount of website translation projects our expert marketing translators are completing for both clients and marketing agencies. Most of our contacts within companies are marketers and every single one has the same question – how do we develop sales in a new region?
The answer is for consumers in new geographies to find you and then, when they do, to be compelled by your products and services enough to buy or engage them respectively.
2015 was seemingly a huge year for both local relevance and mobile search in digital marketing in the UK and the same trends are apparent worldwide. But are you familiar with international SEO? And do you know how to optimise your pages so they’re searchable on a global scale?
How do you dominate international SEO and break into new and profitable markets?
Here’s a 6 month plan to get you started in 2016.
January 2016 – Research
Which new territories should you attack and why?
Although this isn’t a specific SEO tip, looking into the traffic coming to your current site from different countries in Google Analytics is a perfect start.
Check both the browser and device used alongside the language settings of these users too. This is to determine the best course of action for not only translating your current content but also assessing whether your current design works for consumers from your target country.
Keyword research is vital at this point too. So get your current UK-based keyword research professionally translated.
Once this is done, it’s also time to research the competitive landscape in the region.
We’d recommend SEMRush for this. They can provide a deep analysis of the organic rankings per keyword for a huge array of countries. In addition, their Google advertising research is second to none and can give you a huge insight to the adverts your competitors are running for those keywords. You could get this translated too – to see how your competition is phrasing their advertising for the local market. This may give you the ability to differentiate clearly.
February 2016 – Laying the Foundations
Once you’ve amassed all of your research, it’s time to put in place the platform for your international success.
This may sound biased – but it’s time to engage our translation services. If you needed a less biased view, independent research firm Common Sense Advisory studied 3000 consumers and 30 percent of respondents never purchase from English language sites. Another 29 percent very rarely do. That means 59 percent of global consumers will likely never make a purchase from your website if it’s English only.
Common Sense Advisory Chief Strategy Officer and founder Don DePalma concludes “Considering the data from our survey, there should be no question about localising your website and product information if you want to sell more goods or services to global customers. Localisation improves customer experience and increases engagement in the brand dialogue. It should be a rigorously planned and executed business strategy for any company looking to grow internationally.”
But just translating your website often isn’t enough.
March 2016 – Structure Your Approach
The best solution is to specify a country-specific domain. Are you more comfortable buying from a .co.uk or .com rather than a .de or .fr site? So are we!
If this isn’t possible, make every effort to use subdomains or at the very least some kind of structured approach in your URL slug such as www.website.com/de.
You may also need to re-structure the international sites based on your keyword research and don’t forget your meta-titling and meta-descriptions. They’re your international SEO shop window!
It may also be worth looking into an international Adwords campaign here too to assess the success of various pages and phrases on the new market.
Don’t be afraid to look beyond Google. Although they do dominate the search landscape for many European countries this is not always the case further afield.
Here’s a diagram to show this:
April 2016 – Build Links
As you’ve been smart enough to translate all of your website content for the local market, it’s time to build links from that local market too. Links for your German site should come from other German domains. It’s unlikely that the English language sites will have the correct anchor text, nor hold as much weight as country-specific domains will.
May 2016 – Build More Links
Hold on, didn’t we do this last month?
Although we’ve already talked about link building, May 2016 should be focussed on developing links to influential people in your marketplace, using your optimised website as a platform to drive them to.
This human-to-human link building can be done via:
- International blogger outreach
- Developing new sales channels with agents in your target countries
- Social media
Some questions you may ask yourself before setting this up immediately are:
Do you need a specific page for your brand in that country? Is there an opportunity to add to the conversation via social media?
June 2016 – Develop Trust
As you’ve now got a great platform, new brand advocates, engaged sales agents and a stronger social media presence (and hopefully sold something!) It’s time to harness the power of reviews. Customers like to see that “people like them” enjoyed the product or service. For proof, just look at TripAdvisor’s segmentation by traveller type (business, families etc.)
Identify and sign up for review platforms or encourage social reviews (on that local social media page you set up last month) within your sales process for good user generated content and for useful insight.
In summary, international SEO isn’t an easy or quick process that is finished in 6 months. You then have to monitor, listen and constantly improve to rise up the rankings and get yourself found in new geographical territories. But the rewards can be massive.
Contact us today to start developing your business internationally and to get that all-important keyword and advertising research translated!
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2016!