International SEO – How to Prevent Common Mistakes

If going global is on the agenda for your company in 2016, then one of the main areas you will need to look at in order to make it a smooth and successful operation is international SEO. It’s quite possible that you or your team have it down to a tee in your own country, you may even have secured yourself the top spot on Google, but when it comes to going global with your SEO, it’s a whole new ball game, and there is a lot that could go wrong.

Because you plan to begin doing business in, for example, 10 new countries worldwide, that you then need 10 new resources, one in every country, to work a little on your SEO for their specific country. The issue is, the more resources you add to the deal, the more overheads you create due to additional training, communications, etc. and the harder it becomes to manage a suddenly much larger team, especially remotely.

Find well-established SEO agencies or freelance executives who can dedicate a significant amount of time to your project, and create a contract with them that covers as many of the countries in their region as possible. It’s easier to keep up communications and understanding of needs with one person/agency than 10 individuals who are only working on small chunks of your SEO, and who aren’t likely to prioritise yours over their much larger native clients.Languages

The most common option and the best in theory when selecting a language for each country’s SEO to be implemented in is often to use the official or dominant language of the country. But in reality, this may not be the best option when it comes to search, nor may it be the language most used by your target market.

Invest some time in properly researching your markets in each country in terms of how they behave online. Which language is the most dominant when it comes to online searches for the country? Is your target market part of a minority that doesn’t use the dominant or official language primarily? All these things are easily overlooked as we don’t necessarily have them to consider in our own country, but they are vital to the success of your SEO efforts on a global level.

Another common misconception is that search is search, and wherever you go in the world it is the same, therefore whatever strategy worked in your own country will work overseas.

In reality, every country differs dramatically in their search culture, and so simply rolling out a pre-set strategy that worked in your country will damage your efforts and be a complete waste of time and resources.

Having the help of an agency or executive who is native to the region and knows how SEO works in the countries you are targeting will be a great help as they will advise you on what to try rather than you shooting blindly into the dark and hoping something hits.

SEO is one of the biggest areas that could make or break your global success, especially if your company will rely mainly on eCommerce in the countries you are expanding to, so making sure every aspect is considered and perfected is vital to your success.