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International SEO: 4 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Website

Do you have clients in different countries all over the world? Or do you have customers who speak different languages other than English? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, then you would need to consider international SEO. It will help you attract more international traffic to your website and grow your brand’s presence in those countries where you wish to sell your products or services.

So what is international SEO, and how does it work? Google’s objective is to ensure that the search results match the language and location of the user. So if you want your website to appear on the search engine result pages for different countries, you will have to add certain attributes.

These attributes help Google understand that your website might have content that matches the requirements of a user in that country. In this article, we will discuss four ways to help you enhance your international SEO.

Use Language Targeting

If you want to reach out to a foreign clientele in international markets, you should use language targeting. Many companies make the mistake of targeting different countries. However, you can reach customers in several other countries if you focus on a language spoken in those countries.

For example, if you focus on French, you can reach customers in France, Canada, Belgium, and any other country that uses French as an official language. When you are using language targeting to reach international customers, implement Hreflang tags for individual languages.

Hreflang tags will indicate your target language to Google so that your website can appear in the search pages of the countries that speak that language. You can place the Hreflang tag on the HTTP header, site map, or markup on a web page.

If you want to learn the specifics of using Hreflang tags, we suggest you seek guidance from SEO consultants like Matt Jackson. It is easy to mess up implementing the tags properly so make sure you have enough knowledge before you use them.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Keyword research is an integral part of any SEO effort. It will help you find the perfect keywords to popularise your website and make your ad campaigns successful. But when you are implementing keywords for international SEO, focus more on using long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords can not only increase your chances to match searches, but their efficiency remains unchanged in translations. The English sentence structure often changes when translated to some languages. If you use short-tail keywords, the interpretation might get mixed up if the keyword gets placed in a different part of the sentence.

Using long-tail keywords will ensure that the keyword intent remains unchanged. Long Tail keywords are also more effective at matching your target audience requirement than generic short-tail keywords.

Avoid Machine Translations

While machine translation may seem like an easy way to translate your web pages for any international clientele, it is not the most effective one. Machine translations are often inaccurate and might change the interpretation entirely. Moreover, if you rely on machine translations for your SEO techniques, you might end up targeting the wrong market.

As we mentioned before, sentence structures change when translated from English to another language. Machine translations often mess up the sentence structure, which can result in misuse of the keyword and incorrect SEO targeting. Therefore, we suggest that you hire fluent language speakers to translate your web pages if you plan to use duplicate content in various languages for your website.

Google does not penalize duplicate content in different languages because it understands your intention. But if you use machine translations to generate duplicate content, it might degrade the quality and mess up the keywords. Both of these aspects will hurt search engine ranking.

 

Adjust Your Design

If you want your international SEO strategy to achieve the best results, your website design must reflect the local culture. For example, if you wish to target Japanese customers, make sure your illustrations or design elements reflect the Japanese culture. Japanese people have different perceptions of appealing colors and designs than the United States.

So make sure that your designing team understands how international audiences react to various design elements. It will help you create a better user experience, which is one of the most important factors to rank higher on search pages. You should also ensure that the website adjusts other aspects like currency or time zone according to the country.

If you want to achieve leads from different countries, international SEO must be an integral part of your digital marketing plan. In case you have some knowledge of international SEO, you can use the tips mentioned in this article to maximize their impact. However, if you are completely new to these methods, we suggest you invest in professionals to achieve international SEO standards and marketing goals.

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