Tag Archives: search engine optimisation

How to Scale your business on search engines internationally


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

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.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Examples of Link Building

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Examples of Link Building

For people who work in SEO service world, it is important to make smart link building decisions. One of the ways is by knowing the difference between the good, the bad, and the ugly examples of link building. Only by identifying what is good and what is bad, you can prevent yourself from making such a mistake. In fact, by knowing the difference, we can create a strategy rather than just building links. Here are the three types of links that you need to know.

The Good Links
What is assumed as good links are organic link building which takes time and effort before it can get be more valuable. This kind of links is difficult to replicate. Hence, it will give you a more dominant position in your market. There are several types of links which are considered as good links, such as follow:

  • Editorial Links

One of the good examples of link is when somebody with good reputation in your field is inspired by you, your company, your products or your service. Thus, they take initiative to write an article about you and link to your website.

Many companies are struggling to get this review, but few can obtain these links. In fact, this type of links is pretty rare to get, but Google will value it extremely high.

  • Guest Blogging

Guest blogging may rank a little below the above examples; they are not be there just for a link but also provide value to their audience. However, you need to be more cautious as Google counts guest posting as a link building tactic. Especially, if you are going away beyond the expectations of value and be extremely conservative in terms of outbound links to your own website. Therefore, to achieve good rank, you need to write something with the intent of building you brand and reaching a larger audience.

  • Niche Directories

You may assume that directories will give you nothing, but highly focused niche directories still offer you a valuable source of links. Find many sources of directories focused on your niche, and their SEO value will vary dramatically, but it’s definitely worth looking into. A good directory should be such follow:
– Instead of accepting anyone who is willing to pay the fee, you need to have a vetting process
– Publish valuable content regularly which can be accessed and indexed by search engines
– Prune broken links regularly from members who no longer have an active website.


The Ugly Links
Ugly links are links that don’t produce any contribution to your rank. In the other words, they don’t have much impact on your ranking. All you have is just a waste of time, money, and energy. Therefore, you need to know several kinds of ugly links. Below are kind of ugly links that you should avoid:

  • Guest Posting at Scale

Experienced SEO engineers know that article directories is the hot new thing in SEO world. This program is able to submit your article to thousands of these websites at once. Besides, most of these programs are also able to “spin” or modify the content, causing a “unique” article for each submission.

  • Links From Non-Relevant Websites

Now, Google are smart enough at identifying the topic of a website. They only need to assign significant weight to links which are relevant. So, don’t waste your time to build link building if it isn’t relevant.\

  • Header, Footer, and Sidebar Links

There are certain areas that Google doesn’t give much weight. They include headers, footers, and sidebars. This makes sitewide links become a bad idea unless they are:
– Linking to a relevant sister publication that you own
– Identifying software that runs a website, as you see with most content management, blogging, and e-commerce systems
– Identifying who designed a website

The Bad Links
Bad links are links that will make your site’s rank bad.  If you have these kinds of links, you should disavow it as they absolutely cause penalty when you’re inevitably caught. Unfortunately, Google will remember your action as an attempt to unethically manipulate ranking. Below are examples of bad links that you need to avoid.

  • Paid Links

Buying links from website owner is a big No, as Google will catch buyer or seller of paid links. This is because it will be easier for Google to follow the breadcrumbs to identify the other buyers and sellers.

  • Comment or Forum Spam

Even though, it will be easier to spread links to forum and comment sections of blogs. But, in the other hand, it can destroy your brand by doing this for this is the same with spreading spammy links all over someone else’ website. Besides, you open the risk of a link-based penalty as many website owners are able to report you to Google.

  • General Directories

General directories are also one of the potential epitomes that Google will hate. This is because customers can pay them fee. This is because there are bigger risks that they will accept any website except those promoting porn, gambling, or violence. Therefore, it will provide you with lacks of any useful content as it isn’t relevant to your website.

Guidelines to Avoiding Google’s Penalty Caused by Intrusive Interstitials

Intrusive interstitials guidelines to avoiding google's penalty

This year, Google has made one recent change known as the intrusive interstitial update. This update aims to penalize intrusive popup ads which affect the mobile user experience. No wonder that some websites have experienced lowered mobile rankings. If you are working in SEO service field, this thing may become one of your concerns. But, don’t worry as you can avoid Google’s penalty caused by intrusive interstitials. Figure out the solutions in the passages below.

Decrypting the Intrusive Interstitial Update
First of all, it’s a mobile popup penalty.  Secondly, it’s an intrusive popup penalty. In light of this, Google wants to make sure that ads and popups do not interfere with the user experience. By devaluing pages with popups and overlays on the screen, Google can help users access the content they’ve requested in the first place.

What is the Impact of this Latest Update?
Pages with intrusive interstitials will no longer consider as being mobile-friendly. This is because obstructing content on mobile with ads or other popups is against Google’s guidelines. Ads or popups on screen causes the content inaccessible for a few seconds. In fact, Ads displayed over content are no longer acceptable on mobile. This includes popups that appear when you load the page from Google or when you scroll down.

What Constitutes an Intrusive Interstitial?
Intrusive interstitials will lead to a frustrating experience for desktop and mobile users alike. In fact, it tends to block most or all of a page. This will hinder visitors from experiencing your site as they block the content that visitors seek unexpectedly. In light of this, intrusive interstitials has become the biggest enemy as on desktop they are annoying at best and can ruin the entire experience on mobile.

What is still Permitted and not?
Even though, you have to deal with pop ups ads, but this doesn’t mean that all pop ups are forbidden. In fact, some popups are still permitted, such as:

  • Intrusive popups are still ok on desktop
  • Interstitials triggered by exit intent are still allowed
  • Page to page interstitials will not be penalized

Types of intrusive interstitials that will be forbidden are:

  • a popup or modal window that blocks most or all of the content on a page (this is basically a full-screen interstitial above the header);
  • a standalone interstitial that’s not responsive and that blocks the content;
  • a layout in which the content above the fold has the look and feel of an interstitial and requires dismissal or scrolling in order for the user to reach the main content beneath the fold.

Popups is frustrating indeed, but companies use them as at some points they are effective. So, if interstitials still become the best options to convert users for your websites. You can consider keeping them on the website by a no-index tag in your code. However, this will cut off organic traffic from Google to that page.

Therefore, designers, developers and marketers must create another ways to generate revenue. A sound strategy would be to leverage content marketing to educate audiences and guide them through the buying process. In the other words, you should move away from interruption marketing towards permission marketing.

So, the solutions that you can do related to this situation are; audit your popups, cookie notifications, overlays and big banners. This is to make sure that they comply with Google’s new guidelines. Furthermore, make sure that don’t take up space more than 15% from the screen to avoid penalty.