Top 5 Reasons Why International SEO Strategies Fail
- Kunal Shah -
( Kunal Shah , Director , Rank My Business )
International SEO strategies have long been favored by businesses wanting to tap into foreign markets in search of global business opportunities. However, not many seem to pull off an international SEO strategy that effectively. This can either be due to the complexities involved in managing a wider search presence or simply ignoring the technicalities involved.
Having been a part of a global SEO marketing firm that has adapted some of the best practices in international SEO, I believe there are certain measures anyone can put into place and make their campaigns successful.
Here are some reasons why your global SEO strategy might have failed and what to do instead.
Simply Relying on Redirects
For starters, redirects might seem as the ultimate way out to send your audience to relevant versions of your site (For instance, Amazon.com>Amazon.in). While that may seem true, there are limitations to this and is certainly not recommended from an SEO point of view.
Redirects are seen as an intrusive experience for users who might otherwise visit the website with an intent of viewing them in a foreign language. Also, the Google bots are redirected in the process.
The best way to avoid such pitfalls is to let the bots crawl the version they want to and users visit the global version of your website and then allow them an option to redirect.
Not Having Localized Content
If you want to truly succeed at your international SEO strategy you cannot ignore content localization for your audience based on their language or location.
This could be as simple as getting aware of the differences in dialects (For e.g. US English vs. Australian English) or offering information relevant to your audience. When you do this you’re essentially making it easier for search engines to rank you on top.
When creating content try to see if it suits your audience’s culture, timezone, location and other such factors. You can use relevant keywords or phrases used by your international audience. Search for topics that are relevant in local communities and don’t forget the cultural variations when forming the design of your content.
Having localized content will also prevent content duplications issues from arising too.
Ignoring On-page Language-targeting Best Practices
There are certain on-page SEO tactics that can positively impact your optimization efforts so you might want to consider them as well. Things like language meta tags tell search engines the language you intend to target. These tags are basically a piece of code that defines what language the content on the page belongs to.
Make sure you use the hreflang attribute to tell Google or any search engine that a different version of your content in another language exists. While doing so, see to it that the language set is the primary language spoken in the region.
Paying No Attention to International Link Building
Many often restrict their link building efforts locally without tapping into other markets, which hinders their international SEO efforts. Cranking up your link building efforts globally in this regard can guarantee rankings and high-quality traffic to your site.
You can start with a well-planned link building strategy catering to every individual market.
Check the sources of your backlinks. For instance, if you find your website is getting plenty of links from domains ending in ‘.jp’, it tells Google your site is a lot relevant for those residing in Japan. Meaning, Google would definitely rank your website higher on those local search results.
Forgetting to Adapt for Multiple Search Engines Globally
While Google may be the holy grail of all search engines, it’s worth noting that local or region-specific search engines come with their own set of advantages. Many often overlook this and optimize only for Google, losing on a lot of potential search traffic.
To avoid such a mistake, it’s worth doing some research on the search engines popular in international markets as every search engine will weigh different importance on ranking signals.
If you’re targeting Russia, optimizing for Yandex will be a much better idea since it accounts for a higher market share in that region. Similarly, optimizing for Baidu will be a wiser decision if you plan to gain a foothold in China.
Adapting to global markets in such a way will definitely yield promising results for your international SEO campaigns.
To round off, international SEO doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. At Rank My Business, we are always adapting to tried and tested SEO strategies for international markets and reap great results every single time.
Likewise, by averting certain blunders, understanding search engines globally, and aligning SEO on-page and off page best practices any one can leverage success in their endeavours.
Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely her / his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.