Key Factors for Targeting International Markets
The ongoing process of globalisation is prompting an ever-increasing number of businesses to reach out to international markets. Organisations which were previously content with their local client base are now looking to make their name known on a global scale, and as such, are facing a greater volume of competition. In order to generate business in any given international market, you first need to ensure that your company is visible to that market. Here are our top 5 tips for effective SEO to an international market.
1. Find out where they’re searching
Although Google dominates the search engine market in the UK and much of the world, this isn’t the case for every country. Before you start any international SEO campaign, it is imperative that you first find out which search engine(s) your target market is using. You could spend significant time and money winning the #1 rank for your preferred keyword in Google, but if you’re audience aren’t looking at Google, then this will achieve little in the way of conversions and generating business.
2. Speak their language…
Sure, the rest of the world are a lot better at speaking English than we are at speaking foreign languages, but it’s still best practice to speak the language of those you are selling to. The key point here is that, for the sake of their own ease and convenience, your target audience are much more likely to take interest in a webpage written in their native language. Your rankings could also be affected since many search engines favour results in the language of the engine you’re searching in.
3. …the way they’re speaking it
Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than a straight-forward translation of the webpage concerned. Chances are, your current website pages appeal to your current audience in the way they think and view things, their interpretation of certain colours and images, and perhaps their sense of humour. These are all factors which differ significantly across cultures, and your content must be adapted respectively. Translators and industry professionals refer to this as ‘localisation’, meaning that the content of your site is adapted to communicate your message through language and presentation which will appeal to your target audience.
4. Find out what they’re searching for
In a similar vein, the terms an international market are searching for to find your products or services may not be literal translations of the keywords your rank for in your home market. To have any impact on your target market, it’s crucial you understand what they’re searching for and work on ranking for these terms. An SEO agency can help you with keyword research for your international SEO.
5. Place links on local websites
Just as Google gives more weight to sites offering content in the target language, so it is with backlinks. If you’re trying to reach the German market, for example, having backlinks to your website from .de domains will tell Google that your website is relevant to that market and will give more weight to your site’s rankings.
Targeting an international market is not a simple task, and all of the above factors come in addition to regular SEO practices. Working with an SEO agency is the best way to combine all of these influences in a way that will have the greatest impact on SEO in your desired market.