So, you find yourself in the situation that your business is doing well in your local market and you are seeing sustainable growth with reliable year-on-year revenue generation. At this point, your next step should be to look at the possibility to expand your business overseas. To this end you have further defined your business strategy and even zeroed in on the countries that you would like to enter. In such a case, the logical step is to utilize an international SEO strategy and evaluate how broaden your customer base internationally.
Below we will share the information necessary to plan a global venture using digital globalization and a few marketing tools.
To illustrate our points we will use the example of a retailer from the West planning to open a chain of supermarkets in Asian countries.
We have divided the strategy into five steps to help you understand the approach.
Step 1: Evaluating the Potential International Market
You cannot blindly start your business without evaluating the potential market. With the help of Google Analytics, you can quickly find your website’s ranking in a particular country. You can gather this data using Google Analytics. You will be able to view the sessions from that country.
The next step would be gathering information about the keywords that help your website rank in the targeted countries. There are different tools to generate a report for your site. With the help of domain analytics, you can access data related to the number of keywords ranking for the top 100 organic searches. You will also have an estimate associated with the monthly traffic generated.
You will note that your website is absent from the list in these countries, as you have not yet established yourself globally. You can search for data related to your competitor in the local market for a quick comparison in such cases.
The chart will provide a detailed view along with the keywords relevant to your domain. If a keyword has a higher ranking and local presence, then you can establish your business using organic traffic in the target countries using the relevant keywords.
Step 2: Competitive Analysis
Irrespective of your domain’s international potential, learning about your competitors is crucial. The use of organic competitor reports helps you understand the market in your targeted regions. From the same domain analytics tab, you can use the organic research and choose competitors for detailed information. It would be appropriate to concentrate on those who have high traffic and rank better for keywords. The process will help you analyze your competitors and their digital achievements.
Step 3: International Keyword Research
The above categories have helped you identify your competitors and their digital achievements. It is time to consider the keywords relevant to your domain and have a better indexing rate than others in the target countries.
The domain report that you have in hand will explain the details about the organic competitors. You can utilize it to compare your website against your competitors to learn about the unique keywords used and the common keywords. A better way to start this process is by comparing it with a relevant competitor to your business. You can use the list, or the details obtained using the previous step and use the common keywords category.
You will see the following domain vs. domain report:
You must switch to the advanced mode and define the parameters, where you will select “Unique to first domain keywords.” It is crucial because you are learning about the keywords that your competitor is using. Make sure to input your competitor’s domain.
You will see all the keywords that your competitor is using, that you are not using. Before beginning to use some of the keywords, identify those that have a heavy search volume. Use the advanced filters to narrow the keyword volume. You can then choose a few keywords to borrow and export them to Excel or a CSV file.
Step 4: Localizing the Brand
It is time to localize your brand. You have collected all the valuable keywords relevant to your domain. It is time to start preparing content using the keywords in the local region. For instance, what may work for Thailand can be irrelevant to Vietnam. Therefore, prepare content based on the region and language. Additionally, you must be precise and specific about the technical descriptions.
When preparing content, it is crucial to take local customs into consideration. For instance, the polite form of ‘you’ can differ from one country to another etc. Gaining insights into local SEO building will be of immense help before launching your domain.
Step 5: Deciding on the Technical Aspects
The last but crucially important part of handling the international SEO is the technical aspect. It will include the following:
Selecting the appropriate structure for your website: You must define the goal before deciding the site structure. For instance, it can be targeting a language, a country, or an audience. You can then choose the international site structure. The structure includes ccTLDs, Sub-directories, and Sub-domains.
Picking the server location: The server location has significant importance on your ranking. Distance server will slow down the site speed. Find which web hosting works the best for your domain and how you can benefit from local hosting.
Deciding on the correct hreflang implementation: When you implement the international SEO correctly, then the targeted audience comes to the right site. Hrefland annotations have a significant role, as they help cross-refer the pages but content but different user base. Improper annotations damage your overall ranking and user experience.
The strategy mentioned above will help you evaluate SEO potential for your domain in the international market. You can start the analysis, collect data, learn about the keywords, and even go through the technical aspects of building a global targeted website. You must get into the market, begin the process of battling it out with your competitors, and capture the audience. Once the site is up and running, evaluate its performance using the right set of tools. They help in altering the site as needed to stay ahead of your competitors. Good Luck!
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