How to Avoid International SEO Mistakes

How to Avoid International SEO Mistakes

International SEO Mistakes is an important part of any global marketing strategy. In a recent webinar, international marketing experts showed how to adapt to new markets.

International SEO mistakes has long been a hot topic for enterprise-level brands and global companies. But, the increasing ease of connecting with people around the world means that this strategy is becoming increasingly important to a growing number of businesses.

International search experts Clayton Warwick and Gary Reilly of WordBank and Jeremy Heflin of Safeguard Global recently presented a webinar that outlined some of the best when it comes to optimizing for searchers who live in different countries or speak different languages. Common pitfalls and their solutions are highlighted.

Here are three key strategies from the panel on how marketers can prevent international SEO mistakes.

International SEO

Build a Person-Based International Strategy in

SEO Mistakes

“As marketers, the most important thing we can do is to understand who our customers are and when and how they buy,” Heflin said. “By moving into new international markets, you will develop the most targeted individuals.”

“It’s okay if those individuals are different from those in your core markets; in fact, they probably will be,” she said.

Most of these new customers are not ready to make a purchase from the get-go, so marketers need to guide them through relevant content and experiences before pushing for conversion. To help with this process, Heflin recommends leveraging client personas when accessing international markets. This can help marketers better understand the needs of their new audience.

However, to ensure that these individuals accurately reflect the audience, marketers need to look at international search data to determine the market opportunity for their brands.

“We found that a good tool to measure this is Google’s Keyword Planner,” Reilly said. “It’s fantastic for measuring interest within a market. We recommend using Planner to research keywords in these new markets at both a national and regional level.”

Optimize International  SEO User Experience in Mistakes

“As much as we consider user experience domestically, it is often overlooked in other markets,” Warwick said. “We have customized our UX based on the preferences of Americans, and taking into account the level of attention that users want in new markets as their journey is important.”

Warwick recommends that marketers consider the use of market tools for their product or service. Mobile, in particular, accounts for a large share of the organic search market (61% as of Q2 2011). And while there are some industry sectors where more people search via desktop, marketers would be knowledgeable to optimize for these tools.

“There have been a number of updates from Google that focus on the importance of the mobile user experience and the impact it will have on brands that don’t prioritize it,” Reilly said.

One way to optimize UX is to follow Google’s Page Experience Guidelines. The Page Experience Update, which debuted in June last year, rewards sites with high-quality user experience cues, such as reliable security, optimized pagespeed, mobile-friendliness and more. Marketers can review page experience reports in Google Search Console to make sure their content delivers a good experience for international users.

In addition, Reilly says that marketers need to focus on optimizing what they want among their international audiences: “testing a range of cultural UX ideas on major landing pages, for low funnel content or conversion content A great idea, especially when it’s a new market and you’re not 100% sure about the best type of design elements you should be using based on your target audience.”

Paying attention to text styles, color palettes, types of images, and languages ​​used on your landing pages can help ensure that your content resonates with these new audience groups.

Make sure the technical elements are aligned

Marketers should work closely with developers when optimizing their content for international audiences because overlooked technical issues can often derail campaigns.

“Start through your site to see areas where you can improve your technical setup,” Warwick said. “Fill out that list for your developers so they can start knocking out items.”

To be more specific, he pointed to the importance of in-market page load speed: “We all know how important page speed is to both SEO and paid efforts. We don’t want to waste media dollars sending someone to a site where they will inevitably pounce.

Tools like PageSpeed ​​Insights (shown below), can help marketers gauge their site’s performance based on Google’s key web vitals and recommended loading times.

Google’s PageSpeed ​​Insights report

Pagespeed is not the only factor that marketers must consider. When looking at international markets, CMS and multilingual plugins have the potential to make or break a campaign. These technical frameworks should be able to adapt to the searcher’s region and language to prevent bad experiences.

“CMS and localization plugins can have a big impact on how effective search campaigns are,” Reilly said, “they can affect the number of things you can optimize and test.”

“Depending on how the CMS and translation tools are built, you may not be able to fully optimize the technical aspects, and this may impact search performance,” he said.

At a minimum, marketers should be using a CMS that allows them to set language and region information in hreflang tags. It helps search engines understand the linguistic and geographic context and, ultimately, provide the most relevant results for your international audience.

Our world is more connected than ever, and a growing number of brands must ensure that their content meets the needs of searchers outside of their local markets. Ignoring international SEO considerations can mean wasted search effort and missed opportunities.

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