The Global SEO Strategy: Putting Your Business on the Map

- Sep 2021

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What Is Global SEO and Why Is It Important?

Global SEO strategy involves optimizing your website and its content for a multitude of regions worldwide. In addition to creating content suitable for different regions and languages, global SEO also involves optimizing content for different region’s search engine results.

You might have created your business site with only one audience or region in mind. Starting out, perhaps you targeted local customers or only those within your region or country. Initially, you more than likely created your site’s content using only one language.

So why does global SEO matter?

Even if you work with many domestic client businesses, there are always more customers beyond your borders. If people and businesses in other countries can use your goods and services, failing to cater to them means missing a potentially huge portion of the global market.

B2B global SEO matters because it helps international businesses connect and helps others find your business, no matter the borders between you and distance apart.

Do You Need to Go International?

Perhaps your business is receiving more and more traffic and visitors from other countries. Perhaps people in those countries do not primarily speak the language in which your site’s content is written. If you sell goods, you may be noticing more and more international orders and questions about international shipping and services.

If you know that a good portion of your site’s visitors come from a different country or primarily speak a different language, the time may be ripe to make changes to your site so that it caters to international visitors.

Still, companies must make this decision carefully, as it takes time to implement global SEO strategy. If international traffic and inquiries from businesses in other countries are on the rise, those are good indicators to start taking global SEO seriously.

You might be wondering how to do global SEO and how to get started with your global SEO strategy. Below, we’ll provide some starting points.

Building Your Global SEO Strategy

URL Structures for International Sites

There are a few different URL structures to consider so that your site targets viewers in a particular country. URL structure options include using a country code top-level domain (ccTLD), a subdomain, or a subdirectory. Each of these relatively common options has pros and cons in terms of searchability, cost, and other factors.

ccTLD – example.us

Pros Cons
Provides a clear signal to search engines
Easy to rank locally
Expensive maintenance costs
Each site has separate domain authority

Subdirectories – example.com/us

Pros Cons
Easier to maintain compared to ccTLDs
Domain authority is consolidated
Weaker signal to search engines
Users may prefer to browse locally

Subdomains – us.example.com

Pros Cons
Easier to maintain than ccTLDs
Puts country marker upfront
Weaker signal to search engines
Domain authority can be diluted

Language-Target Your Website Pages

Your webmaster or site programmer can adjust your site’s coding so that it specifically tells search engines which languages to look for. So, if someone enters a search query in Spanish, for example, your site could be marked as a Spanish-language website. Doing so can help foreign-language search queries and keyword terms lead to your site.

Your site can tell search engines which languages it can handle using language meta tags (bits of code that indicate your site’s available languages) or by using hreflang (a specific piece of code that tells a search engine which language you’re using on a specific page).

Here’s an example of an hreflang tag that uses “es” to indicate Spanish:

<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/es" hreflang="es-es"/>

Tailor Your Content to Your Target User’s Language and Culture

Beyond translating content, listing information and content that considers your audience’s local language and culture is key. Using local language and terminology, native currency, and the correct timezone is important.

Listing dates, addresses, and phone numbers (even if they’re international to your audience) using the correct regional style and norms signals to your audience that you cater well to international businesses. Further, cultural differences in terms of site design, color, and layout should be kept in mind. The parameters that you’re used to may not be the norm in other regions.

Used correctly, the distinctive features of international websites and global SEO should go unnoticed. That is, users will receive great content and easily find relevant material on your international page without feeling that the site was contrived.

Build Local Content and Links

International versions of websites can pose challenges for worldwide SEO in terms of linking to and building local content. Your business may well have only one headquarters and will not be local to another country. But content can still cater to an international audience that is, of course, local to its own region.

  • Create multi-regional landing pages specifically for international visitors
  • Create an FAQ that includes inquires about your willingness and capacity to connect internationally
  • Link to local resources, business directories, event listings, and other relevant sites that are native to your target country or market
  • Local resources and sites can link back to your site. Partner businesses or positive reviews can link back to your site.

Hire SEO-Schooled Content Translators and Customer Support

Automatic or machine-based translations for website content can be clunky, inaccurate, or even comical to native speakers of a language. Further, certain keywords and search queries may not translate directly to another language. Therefore, it’s best to use human translators who are knowledgeable of SEO when creating international versions of your site.

Skilled human translators are important to global SEO strategy. After all, you probably wouldn’t let a computer write your site’s content. So, don’t let one translate your international pages, either.

Finally, as businesses review your international pages, they’ll have questions. Providing native-language customer support helps other businesses to trust your services and prevents errors or miscommunication due to poor translation.

Global SEO Strategy Tailored to Your Business

SEO optimization is an always-changing field that poses unique challenges for international audiences. If you’re still wondering how to do global SEO and how to cater your site to international businesses, our experts at My Creative Mark can help.

We’re well-versed in B2B SEO strategy and in global SEO, and we can help with the (seemingly) daunting task of organizing your site for international visitors.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today.

Ready to grow your business with SEO? Get in touch with an expert

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