Cross Borders with SEO

Hey there in this lesson, we’ll explain how search engine optimization SEO strategy can help your business reach international prospects and customers if your potential customers are in different countries or speak multiple languages. There are many aspects to consider. We’ll go over the most important ones language, localization and country targeting.

First things first, you need to speak your customers language, literally. There were some guidelines for websites that offer content in multiple languages, the first is to make sure that each page in a different language has its own unique Web page. So why is that so important? Let’s say you grow avocados in the U.K. and you want to sell your prime product to other countries. Web design technology makes it possible to have English language content on a Web page, say example, dot com forward slash avocado dot html, but allow visitors to click a button to view the same page written in French. Sounds good, right? The problem is that humans can click that button, but search engines can’t. A better approach is to separate each translated version onto its own Web page. In this example, it would be much better to place the French version in its own page with a separate URL dot example dot com forward slash dot html. The second thing to keep in mind, mixing languages on the same page. This is a big no no. For example, when half your content is in French and the other half is in English, search engines can’t decide what language your content is in. It’s better to use different pages for different languages. Next, avoid using automated services to translate your content. Have a piece of content about organic produce that needs to be in French, get a real life person to translate it for you. Why is this necessary? Well, search engines don’t value content generated from automated translation tools. Even worse, the page might be considered spam. Translation services may cost a little bit more up front, but you’re likely to have a higher quality content that can drive better results for your business. If you’ve taken the time to translate content, some search engines allow you to add language annotations to your Web pages. These annotations help search engines serve the right content to the right person based on his or her country or language. Let’s imagine you’re a farmer who ships delicious fruits and vegetables across borders. You have created some great content for your UK clientele, but you have also had the same content, carefully translated into German for your market in Germany.

One such page is all about avocados. As a farmer, you’d expect your German avocado page to show up on a search results page for your prospects in Germany and your UK page for customers in the UK to help search engines discover this alternate content. In this case, you’d be able to add an annotation to each English and German page. These tags will mark your pages so search engines can serve up the right version of your content to viewers in their respective countries. When you explore annotations a bit further, you’ll see that they can be a great tool for more advanced, multilingual and multinational set ups. This covers some of the structural considerations for adding different languages to your website. But even if you don’t add multiple languages, there are other considerations for customers in different countries and markets. Start by thinking about what information would be useful to them.

Do you need to provide product prices in different currencies? Do they use a different system of measurement metric versus Imperial? For example, would customers where your avocados in kilos or pounds, did you include local addresses and phone numbers so that they can contact you? Do you need to list your business hours in different time zones? These are all small things you can do to make sure your website remains useful to potential customers in different countries. There are also signals to help search engines understand your content is relevant to international markets beyond language and localization. You can help search engines understand the country or countries you are targeting. For instance, if your website has a country code, top level domain name for short, it’s a strong indication that your site targets a specific country and example of a UK site with would be www dotavocado.far.uk. For Germany that site might be www.dotavocado.farm.dí. And if it doesn’t, what if you have a generic domain such as w w w dot example. Dot com search engines may use a number of factors, including where your website is hosted, the IP address and the information on the Web pages. You can still help your site and its content be more visible to international prospects by using country targeting tools such as those found in Google search console and there you have it as you start promoting your websites in other countries. Keep three things in mind language, localization and country targeting. If you do, you can adjust your website and SEO strategy to make your website an international success.

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