If you have a website that caters to a worldwide audience or if you’re planning to sell your products and services globally, then it’s time to learn international SEO. It’s a completely different beast that comes with unique issues, but don’t worry—it’s possible.
The first step to succeeding in international SEO is to understand the technical challenges that come with it so you can plan ahead and prevent costly disasters that could compromise your campaign. We listed some of the most common ones:
What’s your current domain? You probably need to change it if it’s too localized. For instance, if it is .co.uk, it may not do well in an international search engine because it is focused for UK audiences. So, if you’re planning to expand to international markets, you may want to consider changing your domain to something more international, or perhaps build another website just for customers outside the UK.
Translating and localizing web content is absolutely critical when doing international SEO. This sounds easy especially with tools like Google Translate, right? Wrong.
Experts advise against using online translators because the results will never sound quite right. Grammatical errors from robotic translations can make your website look unprofessional and cause you to lose the trust of your international readers. Moreover, online translation tools are not intuitive, so they miss out on cultural and wording differences, which can become more costly to fix down the line.
Another mistake in localizing websites is using keywords with the highest search volumes, even if the translation is inconsistent for certain terms. Case in point: Translating a website in European language to Asian languages. You have to think about the cultural differences and the fact that some words may mean different things. Aiming for search volume isn’t exactly the best way to pick the right keywords for your content.
If you have the budget, hire a professional translator who can help you pick keywords that make sense while ensuring that your content is properly translated. Prioritize countries or languages that you are targeting and start with Tier 1 languages or markets.
Failing to optimize your local site
Don’t forget to optimize your original website after doing international SEO. It’s always good practice to update and optimize your global and home sites to ensure their optimal performance.
Automatically redirecting to the international version of a website according to the IP address of the viewer may seem convenient from a developer’s point of view, but this can be problematic down the line. That’s because you can’t always assume that all users in a certain location are from that particular country.
If it’s impossible to overwrite IP serving, anyone in that country will be forced to view the site in that currency or language. This will affect your SEO as it prevents search engines from crawling your website from all countries that you cover. The result? Your international sites will not do well in search engines.
Multilingual single URL websites
These sites have two or more translations for a given page, but use only one URL for everything. Don’t copy them. Multilingual single URL websites can confuse searchers and search engines. Moreover, they are prone to diluted inbound links and are unable to use geotargeting methods.
The bottom line
Now you know some of the technical challenges for international SEO, what can you do to avoid them?
- Pay more attention to detail
- Focus on your searcher
- Collaborate with your team, including the stakeholders.
Better yet, hire an SEO agency with a global team of experts who can take your website to the international spotlight. Contact SEOValley today.