International SEO is an important component to any international marketing approach. In a recent webinar experts from around the world explained how to optimize for the development of new markets.International SEO has been a topic of discussion for global brands and enterprise corporations. However, the accessibility to connect with people across the globe means these strategies are becoming essential for increasing numbers of companies. How to Avoid International SEO Mistakes.
Experts in international search Clayton Warwick and Gary Reilly of Wordbank and Jeramie Heflin from Safeguard Global recently presented a webinar that covered some of the most frequently encountered pitfalls and the solutions they offer, in the case of optimizing search results for people who live in various countries or speak different languages.
Three important strategies from the panel on how marketers can avoid international SEO errors.
Develop a Persona-Based, International Strategy
“As marketers one of the first things we should do is be aware of what our clients are like and what they are looking for in the time and place they shop,” said Heflin. “Going into new markets internationally it is likely that you will create targeted personas.”
“It’s okay if the characters aren’t the same as they are in your primary markets, in fact it’s likely that they will be,” she added.
Many of these customers aren’t yet in a position to buy at the beginning, which is why marketers must provide them with relevant content and experiences prior to trying to convert them. To aid in that process Heflin advises using personas of customers when reaching out international markets. This will help marketers know the needs of their new customers.
But, in order to ensure the personas of these people accurately reflect the audiences marketing, they must be aware of global search data in order to assess the potential market to their products.
“We discovered that an excellent instrument to quantify the amount of interest is Google’s Keyword Planner,” said Reilly. “It’s amazing for measuring the interest of markets. We suggest employing the Planner to study keywords at the national and regional level in these emerging markets.”
Enhance the Experience of International Users
“As as much as we think about the user experience in our country however, it’s often not considered in other countries,” said Warwick. “We’ve created our UX according to what Americans prefer and that degree of understanding of what customers in different markets would like their experience to be crucial.”
Warwick advises that marketers look at use of mobile devices for your product or service. Mobile devices, specifically is responsible for a significant part of the market for organic search (61 percent as of two-thirds of the year 2021). There are certain industries where users use desktops marketing, it is advisable for marketers to design their sites for mobile.
“There’s been several updates from Google that emphasize what’s important to mobile experience and the effect it has on companies who do not consider it as a priority,” said Reilly.
One method to improve UX is to adhere with Google’s Page Experience guidelines. It is the Page Experience update, which started rolling out in June of this year, recognizes websites that have top-quality user experience indicators including secure and reliable security, optimized page speed mobile-friendlyness, and much more. Marketers can look over this Page Experience report in Google Search Console to make sure their website’s content is a good fit for international users.
Beyond this, Reilly says marketers need be focused on optimizing for the desired actions for their audience from across the globe: “For low-funnel content or conversion content, it’s always a great idea to try various different cultural UX factors on important landing pages, especially if it’s a new area and you’re not certain of the most effective kind of design elements you should choose in accordance with the audience you’re targeting.”
Attention to the styles of your text, colors palettes, the types of images and language used for your pages will help ensure that your content resonates with the various new groups of audience.
Check that the Technical Elements are in Alignment
Marketers must collaborate closely with developers when enhancing the content they create for global audiences, as unaddressed technical issues can hinder campaigns.
“Start by scouring your website to find areas you can improve your technical setup” stated Warwick. “Fill the list with your developers so that they can begin knocking these items out.”
For more details on this, he emphasized the importance of page load speeds: “We all know how important page speed is for the SEO as well as paid advertising. We’re not likely to wish to spend money on by sending people to a website that will eventually bounce.”
Tools like Pages Speed Analytics (shown in the below) can assist marketers in assessing the performance of their website based on the Core Web Vitals and recommended loading times.
Page Speed isn’t all marketers must take into consideration. In the case of international markets, CMS or multilingual extensions can be used to make or break campaigns. These frameworks of technology should be able of adapting to the location of the user and also the user’s language, to ensure that they don’t have bad experience.
“CMS as well as localization plug-ins may be a major influence on how effective your search campaigns are,” Reilly said, “They can affect the variety options you have to test and optimize.”
“Depending on the way in which the CMS and the tools for translation are designed, you may not be able enhance the technical aspect, which could affect search results,” he added.
At the very least, marketers must utilize at a minimum, they should use a CMS which allows them to specify the language and the region information within the tag called hreflang. This allows search engines to understand the context of geography and language and, in the end, deliver more relevant search results for your global audience.
The world is more interconnected than ever before, and a growing number of companies must ensure that their content meets the requirements of people who are not in their own local market. Inattention to international SEO guidelines can result in wasted search effort as well as missed chances.