Step by Step on how to create International SEO Strategy
International SEO means improving your site for certain locations and languages. For instance, you can increase your site presence in German instead of only serving English. There are many benefits of International SEO such as increasing the number of keywords you can rank for. You can improve search visibility by connecting with the right audience. The best part is you can provide a great user experience by serving the landing pages in a local language people are looking for.
Step 1 – Determine the potential in several locations
Certain global SEO Strategies will help you to determine the location and language that provides you with the best return on investment. You can always explore the Google Analytics audience report to know where your audience is coming from. It is a best practice to open a local store based on the region with the most searches. It can also provide you with some insightful reports to target potential locations.
Step 2- Do Proper International Keyword Research
Keyword Research helps you to determine the key terms working for the area and offer the best ROI. There are keyword research tools that will help you to explore the right data including search volumes based on specific locations and languages such moz, ahref and Kwfinder.
Step 3 – Analyze Competitors for International SEO
It is the best practice to analyze the competitors and explore how they are targeting the locals. This will help you decide whether to go multilingual or create purely local sites. In fact, you can perform the search on the tools such as SEMrush, ahrefs, etc.
Step 4- Recognize Local search engine preferences
Mostly Google dominates with local searches but there might be a case where Baidu and Yandex are most popular. For an instance, Yandex is slightly more famous than Google in Russia and eastern European countries.
Step 5- Prefer Optimized URL Structures
There are three common URL structures basically for International SEO Strategy
- Subfolder- This can be yoursite.com/example-post as the original post and the German language can be yoursite.com/de/example-post.
- Subdomain- This can be yoursite.com/example-post and for the German language, it can be de/yoursite.com/example-post.
- Separate domains – This can be yoursite.com/example-post for the original post and it can be yoursite.com.de/example-post for Germany.
Google provides equal weightage to all above so a lot comes from personal preference. The best approach is to use a subfolder as it is easy to implement and does not require complicated domain mapping.
Step 6- Localize your Content
It is always good to create contacts manually rather than using AI. Translating your content into different languages is not only enough but you need to do the following
- Displaying different images making sure your images are optimized for local
- Updating cultural references
- Updating currencies
Step 7- Adding the hreflang attribute
The hreflang tells Google and other search engines to detect the language site is targeting. It says that Page A is in English and Page B is in Spanish. Google is smart in detecting the language but specifically providing the information for hreflang helps to guarantee the results. You can use the tool TranslatePress WordPress plugin for easy handling.
Step 8 – Optimize URL Slugs
The Slug needs to be optimized once you have set the URL structure. For instance, if you have a blog post yoursite.com/example, the URL slug would be an example. It is always a good practice to include the main keyword. Including the main keyword is always the right tactic.
Step 9 – Translate SEO Metadata & Social Graph
Meta Tags play a vital role in search engine optimization so it is necessary to show translated meta tags and social graphs according to the locals. You can use the TranslatePress plugin which works well with your SEO plugins such as RankMath, Yoast SEO, and All in One SEO.
Step 10- Add local Signals
Going local can help you drive value to the local pages. This can be creating a profile on social media sites and adding the local version of the pages. For instance, RocketCDN is easy to use tool for CDN to deliver your content instantly—no matter where your users are located.
Step 11- Perform Local Link Building
Link Building is one of the ranking factors Google considers so it is worth creating links on local sites and promoting them on the web online. Building links on the quality site will help you to rank higher. For less competitive sites, you can perform on-page SEO and rank but for the competitive sites, you need to build local links.