It doesn’t matter if your company is big or small, there is still a lot of potential for reaching an overseas audience due to the power of the internet. By wisely maintaining your online presence, you can attract international customers to your website and not have to spend thousands of dollars on marketing. Instead of only catering to local or national customers you may be able to target a vast overseas audience by following some basic advice. Read below to learn how to give your company the visibility it deserves.
Major search engines have different urls in different countries (google.fr, google.co.uk, google.it, etc.) These search engines tend to prioritize local companies because they assume that is what the user is looking for. If your website is not the size of Microsoft or another big corporation, it may be beaten by a local company in their home country. This means it’s a good idea to buy some international domain names in the local language and add keywords. For many years, local extensions were controlled by local governments and were more difficult to acquire so they are still a sign of quality and a great idea for serious websites.
Examples include: www.monsiteweb.fr for France, www.mywebsite.co.uk for UK, www.miositoweb.it for Italy and www.mywebsite.com for US and international operations.
If you’re targeting a specific country, try hosting your website there or working with a company that allows your website to show a local IP address. This means it will be prioritized by the search engine in that country. Google directly addresses website hosting in this video and states that local hosting does have a significant influence on SEO ratings!
Try to make your website’s code as search engine friendly as possible. One quick tip is to edit the following two tags with the proper language extension: You will obviously have to include the proper extension. FR = France, DE = Germany, EN = US English, DK = Danish, IT = Italian and ES = Spanish. You can view a longer list here.
It might seem obvious, but it is recommended that you use correct language to communicate with the citizens of a country. So please translate your website manually instead of using an automatic translator. These often do not work correctly and will result in your website looking unprofessional, and at worst unreadable. With some careful research, it is possible to find manual translators to do the job properly. Remember to look up reviews before you hire anyone. For similar dialects such as US and UK English, remember that “similar” does not mean “identical.” Be careful with common terms such as color/colour, optimization /optimisation etc. Your website may be awkward to read or some of the content’s meaning may be misinterpreted if it uses the wrong spelling.
Link popularity is a very important parameter in the SEO process. Having links from local websites is going to help your website to be considered as locally relevant by search engines. You can use our recommended link building techniques to start this process. You may have to hire a team to market your company overseas and communicate internationally if there is a language barrier, so this can be quite an investment but it may be worth it in the long term.
Last but not least, look into your Google webmaster tools and modify the geographic target settings. It takes a few seconds! Remember, this is just an introduction to international SEO. You should also consider cultural differences, which market will work best for you and multilingual campaigns on social media platforms. If you would like some expert advice on internet marketing and to see what we can do for you, contact Guaranteed SEO here.