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How to target a global audience through search engine optimization?

Expanding internationally is an excellent way to give continuity to a company’s growth and reach new markets. Using digital marketing to develop your strategy abroad appears to be a low-cost solution. And in this sense, an international digital strategy must be put in place. This must include the adaptation of your initial website to make it accessible to the targets present in the countries concerned. It will therefore be necessary to optimize your SEO so that your site is well indexed in the various foreign search engines. Hence the implementation of a specific international search engine optimization strategy! So let get started!

1. Identify the potential visibility and traffic

Before establishing your action plan, you must conduct market research. The first step in this study is to identify the visibility, traffic, conversions and conversion rate of the targeted country. To do so, you must be able to answer these few questions:

  • What are the keywords and pages that generated search traffic for each of the main international markets identified?
  • What is the average CTR and conversion rate of visitors from each of the target countries?
  • What is the evolution of the trends of your keywords internationally?

Answering these questions will allow you to identify your current main international countries and language markets as well as the behavior and trends of your future visitors.

2. Identify specific countries and target them the proper way

Expanding internationally does not mean that the site will be available in every country in the world. You must select them wisely to prioritize your actions: which countries have enough relevant organic research to justify major SEO efforts?

Once the countries have been defined, you can think about the new version of your site. From an architectural point of view, an international site can be configured in different ways.

3. The strategic points to act on

1. Hosting and domain name

In order to be well referenced on foreign search engines, it is important that your domain name and your hosting are located in the targeted country. Choosing to be hosted locally has a positive impact. Concerning the domain name, it is advisable to choose a local extension such as “.uk” for the United Kingdom or “.de” for Germany, this allows to define the geographical location of the site and increase the click rate. Another important point, if you wish to acquire several domain names, you can opt for the creation of versions in sub-domains, provided that you choose them well and compartmentalize them so that Google sees a coherent whole.

2. Multilingual site

International SEO requires the development of several versions of the site in different languages. The translation must be done manually and as faithfully as possible, in order to correspond as well as possible to the requests of the internet users. This also includes the translation of URLs into the local language.

3. Adaptation of contents

The content is the added value of the site! It represents nearly 80% of its SEO. This is why it must be rich, unique and perfectly adapted to the targeted countries. It is strongly advised to produce local content, i.e. articles about current events in the country concerned. This is the best way to be well referenced on foreign search engines.

4. Local backlinks

Backlinks set up on sites abroad must have a local origin, i.e. the links must come from local sites. The quality of the backlinks is always important and you should always ensure that the anchor texts are well formulated and relevant.

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