In this lesson, we'll explain howsearch engine optimization, SEO strategy, can help your business reachinternational prospects and customers.
If your potential customersare in different countries, or speak multiple languges, there are many aspects to consider.
We'll go over the most important ones: language, localization, and country targeting.
First things first, you'll need to speakyour customers' language, literally.
There are some SEO guidelines for websitesthat offer content in multiple languages.
The first is to make sure thateach page in a different language has its own unique web page.
So, why is that so important? Let's say you grow avocados in the UK and you want to sellyour prime product to other countries.
Web design technology makes it possible to have English language contenton a web page, say, “www.
html” but allow visitors to click a button to view the same page written in French.
Sounds good, right? The problem is that humans can clickthat button but search engines can't.
A better approach is to separate eachtranslated version onto its own webpage.
In this example, it would be muchbetter to place the French version in its own page with a separate URL, “www.
The second thing to keep in mind–mixing languages on the same page.
This is a big no-no.
For example, when halfof your content is in French, and the other half is in English, search engines can't decidewhat language your content is in.
It's better to use differentpages for different languages.
Next, avoid using automatedservices to translate your content.
Have a piece of content about organicproduce that needs to be in French? Get a real live personto translate it for you.
Why is this necessary? Well, search engines don't value content generatedfrom automated translation tools.
Even worse, the page mightbe considered spam.
Translation servicesmay cost a little bit more upfront, but you're likely to havea higher quality content that can drivebetter results for your business.
If you've taken the timeto translate content, some search engines allow youto add language annotations to your web pages.
These annotations help searchengines serve the right content to the right person, based onhis or her country or language.
Let's imagine you are a farmer who ships delicious fruitsand vegetables across borders.
You have created somegreat content for your UK clientele, but you've also had the same content carefully translated into German, for your market in Germany.
One such page is all about avocados.
As a farmer, you'd expectyour German avocado page to show up on a search results page for your prospects in Germany, and your UK pagefor your customers in the UK.
To help search engines discoverthis alternate content, in this case you'd be ableto add an annotation to each English and German page.
These tags will mark your pages so search engines can serve upthe right version of your content to viewers in their respective countries.
When you exploreannotations a bit further, you'll see that they can be a great tool for more advanced multilingualand multinational set-ups.
This covers some of the structuralconsiderations for adding differentlanguages to your website.
But even if you don'tadd multiple languages there are other considerations for customers in differentcountries and markets.
Start by thinking about whatinformation would be useful to them.
Do you need to provide productprices in different currencies? Do they use a different systemof measurement– metric versus imperial? For example, would customers weighyour avacados in kilos or pounds? Did you include local addresses andphone numbers so they can contact you? Do you need to list your businesshours in different time zones? These are all small things you can do to make sure your website remains useful to potential customersin different countries.
There are also signals to helpsearch engines understand your content is relevant to international markets.
Beyond language and localization, you can help search engines understandthe country or countries you are targeting.
For instance, if your website has a country code top-leveldomain name, “ccTLD” for short, it's a strong indication thatyour site targets a specific country.
An example of a UK site with ccTLD would be “www.
For Germany, that site might be”www.
And if it doesn't, what if you have ageneric domain such as “www.
com”? Search enginesmay use a number of factors, including where your website is hosted, the IP address, and the information on the web pages.
You can still help yoursite and its content be more visible to international prospects by using country-targeting tools, such as thosefound in Google Search Console.
And, there you have it.
As you start promotingyour website in other countries, keep three things in mind: language, localization, and country-targeting.
If you do, you can adjustyour website and SEO strategy to make your websitean international success.
Want to learn more? Be sure to check out our lessonabout international marketing and export.