International growth is every business’ dream because outreach to international customers is but the fastest and most important medium for encouraging customer engagement and potentially boosting company sales. As promising as the thought of it sounds, the more frightening this idea can be for certain businesses. After all, the outside world is indeed foreign territory – the norms and demographics of which we are not as well aware of as we would aspire to be. This is where international SEO comes in, which, if used properly and adequately can make you feel right at home, even if a vast global audience is accessing your website.
In order to ascertain that your website is language friendly, here are some international SEO techniques you can employ for your website to attract higher international rankings and global traffic:
Keyword Translation – This is often the first and most obvious technique to come to mind when we think of global outreach. After all, the internet does span over numerous countries, all of which differ in their linguistics and dialects. In order to ascertain higher page rankings internationally, it is vital that the keywords used in them appear to be familiar to the international audience – in their native languages.
This is a 2-step process, the first of which involves characteristic and behavioral analysis of your global target audience by using Google GDN Research or Comscore Data Mine to interpret linguistic profiles and demographics of each country. After this, accurate keyword translation can be employed to facilitate your global audience in comprehending your products/services, let alone find them. Various keyword translation tools and APIs exist (the most popular one being Google Translation), but you can always hire translators and linguistic professionals for doing this task to maintain the traditional integrity of these words.
Translation of keywords embedded in code – An extension of the aforementioned keyword translation is the translation of keywords deeply embedded in the code, which, although are not visible to the readers play a significant role in site rankings. Translation of these words is directly proportional to the higher relevancy of your website which is directly proportional to higher site rankings and increased global traffic. Usually, a CMS (Content Management System) allows you to add metadata, URLs and Sitemap tags, so this will get your job done. However, not every CMS supports the aforesaid, and this is where localization engineers step in the picture who take care of integrating localized files as per your tagged markets as well as re-importing content into a CMS.
Geolocating and Geotargeting – Geolocating is the process of identifying various international search engines operating in different parts of the world which will potentially index your website and make it more accessible to the audience there. Since the key here is to make your website adaptive to global markets and make it easy to find, geotargeting should then be implemented to optimize your site’s keywords as per the local demographics of those search engines. Bonus tip: get in touch with the top-notch language service providers who will do this for you by making sure your site’s keywords are as easily searchable internationally as they are local.
Using cloud computing for translation software – Cloud computing is undoubtedly the biggest breakthrough in the field of technology, and yet again, it has established its name when it comes to translation software. A cloud-based Translation Management System (TMS) offers excellent multilingual content, so you can entrust it with the translation of the general content of your web pages which will be localized as per your target audience. In addition to its multilingual support for web content, a cloud-based TMS also fastens and streamlines the globalization of your website by automatically updating any language specific changes and continue publishing them with almost no downtime, so you have one or two fewer things to worry about!
Indexing the indexable – metadata, image names and headings – Website indexing depends on features other than mere keywords present in your site’s content or code. To be precise, the scope of indexing extends to meta tags as well as URLs that encompass hefty indexable content such as image names and heading tags, to name a few. The idea here is to index the maximum possible indexable content as it increases the chances of your web pages to appear higher in the rankings, whether here or globally. For this, the key elements that must be indexed are the metadata present on your page.
This is like a book blurb as it contains the description, abstract and keywords which are particularly used in indexing websites as they are important clues used by search engine crawlers for understanding what a particular webpage is essentially about. In a nutshell, the maximum indexable content should be translated after being indexed, and annotations and meta-tags like “hreflang” and “content-management” in the HTML <head>, HTTP header or Sitemap to specify the language and/or country being targeted. Speaking of content translation, careful attention should also be paid when the target language uses a double-byte character encoding – such as Japanese and Arabic.
Conclusively, a good website worthy of higher SEO rankings and global traffic is one which is adaptive to every kind of challenge, either linguistically or geographically. Since the international audience is one of the keys to successful business growth, it is important that any content is made not just accessible but also easily searchable to them, so they can conveniently understand what your business has to offer to them. In order to ensure that you feel right at home when extending your website beyond the horizons of your country, the aforementioned International SEO techniques will be your faithful companion that you can always count on.
Zac Wallace is the co-founder of Zac Wallace Inc, an ingenious agency offering result oriented digital marketing solutions. He can read a spray chart and a balance sheet and has helped organizations increase their website traffic and sales by up to 3,000%