14 Tips to Boost the International SEO of Your Website
Making your website accessible for people all across the globe is easy. The difficult part is to make it more easily findable and convincing enough for them to click. For competing with other websites, both local and international, your website needs International SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Why Is It Important?
If you have been implementing SEO on your website, it is most likely just the local SEO. That means, your tactics will make your website get well ranked only in your host country. Although your domain has made it possible for people to access your pages from anywhere in the world, they might not get ranked well in other countries.
With international SEO, you will develop your website to perform in other countries as well as it does in your host country. Hence, you can reach the market more effectively, which may also benefit your traffic statics and final revenue.
What Can We Do to Boost It?
Because the competition on the international level is tighter, your first attempts at SEO might not give you the results you hope for. As a solution, you can try one or a few tricks below to lift up your ranks:
The most common reason why your international SEO doesn't work well is that you have too many targets. Of course, it would be great to have a website that covers so many countries and languages.
But, working on them all at the same time will not do you any good. This approach will deter you from finding the unique trait of a country for you to use as a way to reach your audience. Instead, you may end up building a general tactic, which will not bring you any significant impact.
You need to do it one by one. Determine which countries or languages you target. And then, arrange them in a priority list based on each country's potential to boost your business revenue. Focus on one target at a time, so you can be effective on it.
A localized website is much more effective in attracting internet users who are not fluent in English. It is also more engaging and convincing to the audience from other countries. However, the result of this approach heavily relies on the quality of your translated content.
Unfortunately, many internet marketers who are still newbies in this practice would fail to realize it. Some even use nothing but automated tools and leave it that way.
You need to hire a local to review your content and its translation. Fix any awkward phrasing and language errors, so your content sounds natural and engaging.
Making your content relevant to the international audience is such a tricky job. Unlike doing it for locals, you need to factor in the varied culture and social dynamics to engage with all your visitors.
Your posts that are popular in your home country might not even be relatable to the audience in other countries. For example, if your website niche is HVAC technology, giving tips on how to treat your heater during winter may draw high traffic to your website. But, the same post will barely even get a visit from tropical countries.
To boost your international SEO, you can consider creating new extra content to engage with the audience from other countries.
When researching keywords, you need to focus more on long-tail keywords rather than short ones. Short-tail keywords are too general, which means you will have too many competitors online. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more specific and rare. It gives your website a better opportunity to lead on SERP.
With international SEO, you even have to research the keyword for each target country. You need to pick the right translated terms for the keywords. Also, see if there are other better keywords to use.
The typical articles of 500 words might be efficient to attract a larger audience. But if you want quality, longer content may do the trick. Longer articles allow you to explain a topic more detailedly. By being more informative and clear, people will find your website reliable. Thus, the engagement will be stronger.
If your website is only available in English, providing short articles will make it difficult for you to excel your competitors in local languages. People usually will prefer to read content in their language if they just want to read basic stuff.
Do your best to be efficient with the words you write on your content. The article should contain much valuable information instead of filler words. Nobody wants to spend their time that much without getting anything beneficial for them, especially because some people are not avid readers.
Too many paragraphs will bore the audience even before they start reading. Try breaking it down into several sections. Use headings, subheadings, and even bullets or numbering if possible. It makes the whole article look appealing to read
Typos and grammatical errors are acceptable for personal social media posts, but not for a company. Things like this will make your brand sound unprofessional. Even customers who don't speak English well will find it weird to find a grammatical error from an English website.
Long articles will either extend the dwell time or increase the bounce rate of your website. It depends on the quality of the content. Deliberately packing content with lots of keywords will not bring you this far. If you don't want to drive them away from your page before they finish reading, here are some tricks you can try:
In the era of multimedia, infographics can be a powerful tool to attract an audience. It is eye-catching, informative, and looking pretty to share on social media. Many websites gain visitors from people who seek more information about what they saw on the infographic.
The challenge here is the language. The same sentence may take up significantly more space when translated to another language. It can be problematic because the quality of infographics relies on the design aesthetic. An overly long sentence may reduce negative space and ruin the balance of the whole design.
The challenge as discussed above translated sentences is also present in your website design. Hence, you need to walk through the other versions of your website to see if there are pages that look too confined due to long sentences. The easy fix for this problem is by reducing the font size.
Another aspect you need to review is the style of the design and the choices of colors applied on the website. Interestingly, several countries may have different tastes. For example, Japanese people tend to love websites with minimalistic layouts, plenty of white space, and creamy colors. If your website is too colorful and merry, you can consider toning it down for this version.
Internet speeds are different from place to place. In general, the second-world countries have it slower than the more advanced countries. Thus, pages that seem fast to load in first-world countries may take more time in developing countries.
When a page takes too long of a time to load, people wiĺ get impatient and annoyed that they may leave during the wait. To reduce the bounce rate, you can evaluate your web pages and see what you can do to reduce the load.
Most of the time, resizing the images and videos featured on the pages can do the trick. You can also reduce the aesthetical elements of the design that have no significant purpose. Try consulting it with your web developer to see if they have better suggestions to make your website load faster.
Google may be the most popular search engine, but it is not always like that. Some countries have local search engines that most people favor more than Google. Some of them are Baidu from China, Naver from South Korea, and Yandex from Russia. Also, some people feel more comfortable using Google's competitors such as Bing or Duckduckgo.
The way your website performs on one SERP doesn't guarantee it will be as good on other platforms. You might miss the potential to gain an audience from there. To avoid such a thing, you can research the market shares of search engines on the target countries and arrange your SEO strategy for those platforms as well.
LSI refers to a computer program that learns the correlations between several other keywords that share the same context and similar meaning. So, instead of using one long-tail keyword, you can use it as the main keyword and then add several other keywords that are semantically similar or relatable.
Different countries may use different terms to say the same thing. Thus, varying your keywords will improve its SEO on an international level. However, do not use more than one LSI keyword on the content. Keyword overuse might get detected as spam.
Codes, links, metadata, hreflang tags, and other technical aspects are more complex for international SEO than if you develop your website locally. Any error on those may hugely affect the performance of your website. Not to mention that some countries may have specific rules for internet activities, which might unknowingly impact your website.
Your IT specialist should test your website regularly to find any error and fix it as soon as possible. The monitoring should apply to multiple browsers and search engines. There are so many tools you can use to evaluate and determine such errors. It is also important for them to know the local regulations and make sure your website doesn't break any.
Either you are country-targeting or language-targeting, each version of your website may deliver different results. Some will perform better than others, while some might not even give you enough revenue to pay off your investment.
Whichever the results, you need to identify the reasons. From the successful version, you can learn the effective strategy to apply to the others. Meanwhile, from the failed ones, you can try fixing the flaws and errors and see if the results are improving next time.
Sometimes, it wasn't your website quality that determines your success. Instead, it can also be the condition of the market itself. For example, a country that already has multiple well-established local brands will be very difficult for your business to enter.
It is highly advisable to not waste too much of your attention on the versions with low revenue potential. It will be much more efficient to focus more on the countries or languages that may generate a lot. Unless you sure know what to do to boost the leads significantly.
If you need more insights to boost your international SEO, you can browse your competitors' websites. Pay attention to every detail, so you can determine their strong points and flaws. From your findings, you can compile a new better strategy of SEO that may help your pages to rank higher.
Bear in mind that your most possible strongest competitors are not the other international brands. Instead, it is mostly the local well-established brands that are leading in the search engine result pages for local queries. Furthermore, local brands also tend to understand the market better. Not to mention that most of your audience might have been too familiar and comfortable with those brands.
Boosting international SEO is not always a suitable strategy for every website. If you are not ready to cater to customers from abroad, it is better to stay focused on local SEO until your time has come. Each business has a different potential for them to thrive in the worldwide market. But once you see a chance for it, you better not hesitate.