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How to Scale your business on search engines internationally

How-to-Scale-your-business-internationally-on-search-engines

At some stages, mostly many online sites have a desired to expand. The only way to do it is by creating and offering more products to an international market.  This is not an easy or simple task by any means. Therefore, as a SEO services, web developer or online entrepreneur, you need to learn more about its risks, research and steps involved in expanding your business into an international market.

Considerations and Research
The first thing that you need to know is whether it is the right time to go international. This relates closely to the future and the current needs of the business. The only sign that you are ready to start implementing an international SEO strategy is when you see visitors increment from international locations. Besides looking for international visitors’ increment, you can take some questions below as part of your consideration:

  • Are you able to implement ALL technical fixes?
  • If targeting a different language, do you have somebody to translate?
  • Is the business ready to carry out international orders and process transactions?
  • Do you have the resources to carry out the work and manage each variation in the future?

After asking yourself some basic questions above, now you can move on to further research. As with any new website idea or build, it’s all about making sure it’s a worthwhile venture.

Moreover, conduct a keyword research will be one of the biggest researches to know if there is demand in the locations.

Website Structure
There are many types of different implementations of international, each having different pros and cons. One of them is by leaning towards using subdirectories, but it will depend on the type of targeting you will be using.

These are the main structure types:

  • ccTLD – Domain variations such as example. Fr, example.au
  • subdomain – fr.example.com, au.example.com
  • subcategory – example.com/au/, example.com/fr/

Below is an example of the set up for a website with the subcategory URL structure for the UK and France.  Place your main website on a .com as this tends to be the norm now, but this work the same with .co.uk.

You’ll see variations that include both language and location, but this can be done with just language or just location.


This would mean that we add the following code to our website:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com” hreflang=”en-gb” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/fr-en/” hreflang=”fr-gb” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/fr-fr/” hreflang=”fr-fr” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-fr/” hreflang=”en-fr” />

We can also add an X-default tag to this piece of code to be safe. This will tell search engines that if there is a URL that is not using this structure that it should default to the URL specified. This would change our code snippet to:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com” hreflang=”en-gb” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/fr-en/” hreflang=”fr-gb” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/fr-fr/” hreflang=”fr-fr” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com/en-fr/” hreflang=”en-fr” />

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com” hreflang=”x-default” />

The above links are for our example website. Internal links reference the specific URL rather than the homepage, they use this code with the URLs changed. In fact, example.com should pass through a redirect if you were to change example.com to example.com/en-gb/.

Sitemap Implementation
They tend to be referring to implementing localization through the use of sitemaps, when people talk about using sitemaps and international SEO. In fact, this is another possible solution for different language and countries despite of hreflang. It works the same with hreflang, but sits within a sitemap rather than in the website’s source code.

Metadata & Content
Based on different languages, you can figure out where the demand is by conducting keyword research. This causes metadata needs to be used for each language variation. Moreover, targeting the right variation of the word is used is also important. For example, if the hreflang is aimed to say the page in Japanese, it should be written in Japanese. This is a basic thing that everyone must know, but still many people get it wrong. In-house resource or outside help are also other important factors to help you complete this all before launch.

Above all, do not translate directly from English; this will sound awkward and probably not understandable in another language. In fact, you need to take considerations on some cultural differences when writing new content or trying to sell a product in a different market.

International Google Local
This section will be very important if you have a physical location in the new countries. Moreover, you can create a listing giving full details of their company along with the location through Google My Business. This will be important in building up an organic search presence in a new location. Below are the main steps of local SEO that you can follow:

  • create the location here https://www.google.co.uk/business/
  • add as many details as possible
  • add the address to the most relevant page on your website
  • mark the address up with local schema
  • obtain links from relevant websites in the area or region

Summary
In the end, good preparation is the key to success before scaling a business to target an international market. Without good preparation, it will be impossible to achieve what you initially set out to do.