When considering branching out your business to an international audience, there are many factors that you’ll need to take into consideration in order to best service your prospective new users in the territories that you’ve identified.

Websites that directly sell may need to consider alternative shipping methods, pricing and delivery options, and those who don’t may need to show content selectively depending upon relevance in each area. Whichever category of website yours fits into, many of these necessary changes could potentially have an impact upon the visibility of your website internationally, or your international SEO.

At Red Cow Media, we have many years of experience working on complex international SEO campaigns that include multilingual websites and various different search engines. Whilst many believe that content translations into multiple languages will give you an immediate impact on a global scale, this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to fully optimising your site internationally.

There are so many different aspects of an international SEO campaign that need to be addressed even before you take steps to translate your content, many of which are too frequently overlooked. From choosing the best structure and set up for your new, internationalised website, through to methods of specifying the correct language and country to Google, Red Cow Media are here to help guide you as you branch out to the international markets you’re looking to pursue, whilst maintaining any SEO visibility you’ve built up in current geographical target locations.

Best practices in internationalising your website can be difficult to get to grips with as there seems to be a wealth of conflicting information available; do you go with a subdomain structure or subdirectories? Do you auto-redirect users to the correct language based on their location, or leave them to choose? The answers to these things and many more seemingly depend upon where you do your research, but there are tried and tested best practices that work time and time again, so it pays to consult with an international SEO agency who have hands on experience in website optimisation at this level.

A true international SEO strategy should encompass everything you need in order to be visible to, and accommodate your new prospective users in a seamless, intuitive experience from their initial search through to the completion of a conversion.

Red Cow Media’s international SEO services encompass the following:

  • International website structure and architecture
  • Best practices for optimisation in alternative search engines including Baidu (China), Yandex (Russia) and Naver (Korea), as well as Google in almost every applicable country
  • Localised, native keyword research
  • International, multilingual on page optimisation
  • Multilingual SEO content writing
  • Multilingual native translations for existing content
  • Ongoing international link attraction & outreach campaigns

When should we engage with an SEO agency about internationalisation?

Once you’ve taken the business decision to expand into other countries, it’s important to consult an SEO specialist as soon as possible. Whilst many leave it until after the website development stage, this is often too late in the process for an international SEO project.

The necessary changes begin with the overall website architecture, and developers often look at projects in a different way to SEO specialists. With this in mind, it’s more beneficial to take SEO advice prior to embarking upon development or website changes so that internationalisation best practices can help to inform the process.

Which countries should we branch out to first?

The countries that you optimise your website for should align with your overall business goals and take into account your ability to service other areas. For example, if you’re a service based company and your services are delivered in English, you may want to limit visibility to English speaking countries at least initially to ensure you’re able to facilitate the prospective customers. If you’re not limited, a specialist with experience in international SEO should be able to help inform this process by using historical data from your website users to define where may be best to consider.