"We're inching closer to a linguistically local Web, in which people no longer have to leave their native languages to get where they want to go." John Yunker, author and founder of Global By Design.
Gone are the days of creating content only for a domestic audience. Users around the globe are thirsting for information from a variety of sources and places.
Increased global mobile usage combined with the rise of social media among many international markets has placed an increasing demand for geo-targeting your content globally to get discovered in searches (see media player, first image).
Craft your content with a global audience in mind. Depending on your niche you may be ignoring a particularly lucrative geographic region unless you embrace and use the concept of international SEO.
What Is International SEO?
International SEO is simply geo-targeting content. This includes localized domain targeting, localized keyword research, localized content and localized metadata.
Currency, shipping rates and language are a few examples of localized content. Each form of content varies according to the region where users are searching for data. Localized metadata includes page title, meta description and alt text elements.
Viewing Google Results in Any Market and Language
Use Google's Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool by selecting any local domain, geographic region and language to view market level search visibility for any keyword. Drill down to identify whether searchers are using their desktop or laptop to effectively optimize your advertisements (see media player, second image).
How to Localize Keyword Research
Use both Google's Keyword Planner and Keyword Trends to localize keyword research. Combining these tools helps you discern regional keyword interest from country to country (see media player, third image).
Target the Global Audience Most Likely to Share Your Content
Through diligent research find global markets with a strong interest in your offering. Using techniques like global keyword tracking with tools like SEMRush you can target your ideal audience.
You can also reach a foreign market with your local content if you target the right keywords. For example, you can write a blog post in English on your about Sina Weibo to target Chinese users or about Yandex to target Russian users (see media player, fourth image).
Enterprise-level global keyword tracking can involve robust tools like SearchLight and BrightEdge.
International domains may appear as subdomains, subdirectories or ccTLDs. Example sequences would include "country.domain.com", "domain.com/country, and domain.country." ccTLDs show users and search engines the country, sovereign state or dependent territory where a website is registered.
Select Your International Domain Set-Up Wisely
• ccTLDs send out the clearest signal to search engines and are the easiest means to rank locally but are expensive to maintain. Each ccLTD domain also has a separate domain authority.
• Subdirectories are easier to maintain than ccLTDs and consolidate domain authority to improve your SEO juice but send a weaker signal to search engines.
• Subdomains are easier to maintain than ccLTDs but send a weaker signal to search engines, may dilute domain authority and since users enjoy browsing locally you may also lose traffic by taking this route.
Increase Local Inbound Links
Increase local inbound links to the local domains improve your international SEO. For example, motivating UK based websites to link to your co.uk extension will increase local inbound links and establish greater relevance for your website.
Geo-targeting your content while using both the right tools and international domain best practices helps you capitalize on the growing global demand for tailored, easy to read content. Reach out to international audiences to leverage your content marketing campaign intelligently.