An International SEO Campaign is an essential part of any organization’s effort to penetrate new markets or widen its customer base on a global scale. A business can easily establish itself as a stable business in the global market through international SEO. You can also build a strong foundation on which to scale any further expansion in your future marketing strategies and natural business evolution.
Step #1: Identify your target base
You should start by focusing your efforts on the current conversion regions that generate the highest visibility, traffic and conversions. You can use Geo Reports from Google Analytics to evaluate your current site. You should know which countries/languages produce the highest traffic as well as the keywords and queries that attract highest traffic in different parts of the world. You can also use the “Search Queries” function in Google Webmaster tools.
By now, you have identified your top international markets, including their languages and search habits. The next thing is to find out the growth and revenue potential they hold for your business.
Step #2: Keyword research
You want to know what areas in the world demand for your products/service the most, as well as the regions where others within your industry have already targeted. The best way to do this is to conduct comprehensive keyword research on a very large scale. You can use tools like SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner and SuggestMrx.
As you go about your global SEO effort, you must remember that global Search engine marketing efforts are only workable where products and services are offered in the regional languages. You can start by languages that have the greatest market internationally, and those which are most relevant.
Step #3: Develop a marketing strategy
If you’re on an unlimited budget, you can go by country, but where you’re limited to small amounts, work out a strategy by language. The optimal approach would be to consider both. Determine whether the location is a factor for your target areas. Choose those countries and/or languages that have the greatest potential. If a country by country analysis is not fruitful, go by language.
Step #4: Creating the internationally targeted website
It’s important to select the most appropriate domain structure. You can decide to use country-code top level domains (ccTLDs). This will help convince Google and other search engines on the legitimacy of your enterprise, and is useful if you want to dedicate entire sites to your selected target countries.
Alternatively, you can target by pages, so that you have a single site but with pages for each foreign market. If you have a generic TLD, using subdirectories would be a good idea. TLDs are not limited to any geographical region, e.g., .com websites. It would take greater effort, however, but where there are large amounts of content to be indexed, the separate web versions can be isolated more easily.