International SEO Requires Planning and Discipline

Some time ago at my prior company I wrote about the challenge with Global SEO. Namely, how best to translate the key terms that your users search on to find your web site.  Things really haven’t advanced significantly since then.

However this article from shows its more valuable than ever.  In it there are some good updated statistics on the value of global search and search engine diversity.

But to truly take advantage of the local opportunity, first make sure your site is visible to the local Google/Search Engines in the countries you operate in.  The easiest way to do this is to be sure that the XML site map that you submit to the Search Engines contains links to your local sites, otherwise you are likely dark. At my prior company we fought with this issue for months, and were stunned at the simplicity of the answer once we stumbled on it.

Once you are showing up, you need to think about what the right terms are in local language. There are numerous examples of how a straight translation of your key English terms misses the market completely in local language.  Unfortunately a key word research tool isn’t necessarily going to tell you that answer. Ideally, you would use the glossary you built in the translation process as the starting point. Then work with your in-country team to validate the “adjacent terms.” These are the local idioms that would be the more popular, and more likely, terms for your buyer to search on. Its hard work, but skip this step at your own peril.

And if you are launching a PPC program in local language, make sure you have completely rebuilt your ad copy in-language. Translating English is going to be practically useless, particularly when considering the character limits of each row.

The good news is if you put the time in up-front, you will immediately see measureable results both in terms of increases in traffic to your site, as well as conversions and revenue.





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