Utilize These International SEO Tips
How do I optimize my site for different search engines?
Optimizing for all of the various search engines comes down to producing high quality content, prioritizing site architecture, and ensuring that your site metadata has been properly prepared.
Remember that although Microsoft sites control a significant portion of search traffic, Google does still strongly dominate the field. Therefore, when it comes to optimizing, Google should be a top consideration of websites created for United States audiences, as well as targeted audiences in most other countries as well.
There are a few subtle differences when optimizing for Bing versus Google however, that brands should be aware of. This includes Bing’s tendency to place more of an emphasis on exact match keywords instead of semantics, as we tend to see with Google. Brands that want to make sure they rank well on both search engines will want to have a combination of some exact keywords as well as semantic matches to meet the needs of both search engines.
How do I target my country for SEO?
On an international scale, brands will want to investigate precisely how to optimize for the search engines prominent in that particular country. For many countries, the most common search engine will still be Google. There are, however, a few notable exceptions, including Russia (Yandex), China (Baidu), and South Korea (Naver).
From a broader perspective, however, you will want to place a big emphasis on working with local, native language speakers regardless of the country you target. Do not try to optimize content by simply translating existing content from your US-based site. Different cultures will have unique ways and vocabulary for describing a particular pain point. These words might not be direct translation of the terms and vocabulary used in the United States. Additionally, search engines tend to be sensitive to well-written content, which means content should be written by someone who speaks the language completely fluently - ideally a native speaker. Someone who has learned the language or who does not live in the country itself could easily miss optimization opportunities and fail to produce the high-end content that all search engines want to see.
How to optimize for content in other countries?
To create content that has been developed and fully optimized for people in other countries, you will want to make sure that you fully understand the needs and vocabulary of the local population, which requires working with local native speakers of your target language.
Like any optimization strategy, optimizing content for people in other countries requires a firm understanding of pain points and proposed solutions.
To create optimized content for other countries, you must begin by conducting market research of the target population within this precise country. You want to know their pain points, their obstacles, the channels they use to find solutions, and what vocabulary they use throughout this entire process. Due to this necessary intimacy with the language and the journey of these prospective customers, working with native speakers who live in the region tends to be best. People who speak the language but live elsewhere might be helpful with translating, but they can easily miss subtleties in the language and the overall buyer’s journey that can only be seen within the country. This can result in missed optimization and engagement opportunities.
The content should also be properly structured for international audiences. Make sure that your hreflang tags have been set appropriately for the correct language and country. This will help ensure that Google knows exactly who should view this particular piece of content. If you're optimizing content for other countries, here are some tips to get your started on specific search engines:
- Baidu: For Baidu, you'll need to be very familiar with them to optimize for the right audience. They consider local contact information, title tags, meta descriptions, meta-keywords, alt-tags, and H tags to rank in their SERPs.
- Yandex: To optimize for Yandex, you'll need to know that it takes a little longer. Spiders crawl websites more slowly than Google does. Yandex considers user behavior, domain age, and fresh contnet all as a ranking factor.
- Naver: For Naver, you must sign up with the search engine and create accounts to appear in their SERPs. You'll need to write copy in Korean, submit relevant categories, and use basic on-page SEO best practices including keywords to rank in their SERPs.
As you begin to build your international marketing strategy, you will also find that your competitors may change. As you begin to build your site and optimize content for people in different countries, make sure you take into account the local competitors. This will likely require considerable market research for your precise area, but it will empower you to determine exactly who your content must compete against. This will, in turn, help you create an improved optimization strategy targeted at this precise region.
Optimizing content for people in other countries can help you build a strong content strategy as you work to engage customers overseas.