SEO

How can you promote your website to overseas markets and visitors? How can you get found in the French, German, etc versions of Google?

There are a few simple steps to follow:

1. Create foreign language content
It sounds obvious, but you need entire pages in the language of your choice. My top tip is ensure these pages are search engine optimised including relevant Title Tags, meta tags, and keyword rich content. Don’t forget to include these foreign language pages on your site map.

Do not even consider using those nasty web-based translation sites; this is one time it will be worth investing in a good translation service. And remember to re-use the translated material on other marketing collateral to get your money’s worth.

Your content needs to extend to your foreign office address and phone numbers, if possible. Don’t be shy – put this foreign address information on every page of foreign language content, perhaps in a footer.

2. Domain names
If you want to trade in the USA, get a .com domain name. If you say “.co.uk” to a Yank, they’ll say “dot what?”

If you want to invest in a top level country domain name (.fr, .de) then you will need an address in that country to have entitlement to the domain name.

And how to manage the international language content? If resources can stretch that far, then create an entire site designed for your foreign market. Duplicating content on websites is bad practice for search engine optimisation, but if your content is translated then you should have no problem.

3. Foreign hosting
To stand the best chance of ranking well in the foreign versions of Google (www.google.fr, www.google.de) then you will need content in the language, but also a website hosted in each respective country.

If you want to find out where your website is hosted, then here’s a very useful little tool that checks your website IP address and country.

(and don’t forget that you want your UK website hosted in the UK!)

4. Inbound linking
You’ll need inbound links from foreign partners, and these links should go to your foreign language content. It’s just a mini search engine optimisation exercise.

These steps won’t make a dramatic change in your rankings in Google over night, but they certainly will improve your chances.

0 responses to “Improve Rankings in International Search Engines”

  1. Hi Susan, some great advice. As someone running a translation agency, I have a few suggestions:

    1) On foreign language content, its worth thinking carefully about how much of your English site you want to translate. If your whole site is 10 pages, its quite straightforward to translate the lot, but if you have a large site, its worth starting selectively. We were asked some time ago the price to translate an 800 page website into three languages. This would have been prohibitively expensive to do all in one go, and would also have created loads of work for the web developer. Our recommendation was to prioritise required foreign language content, and to build it up over a period of time.

    2) Localisation: this is the process of making the content locally relevant. On our site, we have a nice case study about mothercare, they are our largest client, and being a well known brand are important for potential clients to read about, right? Well not necessarily. For example they don’t have any US presence, so if I’m writing for a US audience, they won’t identify with the case study. We could re-write the content for an American audience with background information about the company, but a much stronger approach would be to give a case study of a US client.

    3) With foreign hosting, rules are getting easier than they used to be. For example we couldn’t get a .fr domain 4 years ago, so put our French content on http://www.betterlanguages.be instead. We’ve recently been able to buy a .fr, with the hosting company acting as the French address with the registrar.

    4) Foreign language SEO can be surrounded by mystic, and there are some companies out there wanting to charge a lot for keyword research in other languages. In general, if the English copy is well written and keyword rich, then a good translation will be too.

    5) Intended outcome: its worth thinking about what you want to achieve. If your aim is to generate sales in another country, can you service that need? For example, can you deal with phone calls in another language, do you have a distribution network in place to deliver the product?

    Hope this is helpful. In general, we would say think long and hard about foreign language content, and seek professional advice.

    Regards

    Mike Hunter
    CEO
    betterlanguages.com Ltd.

  2. cynthia says:

    I completely agree with Mike here.
    Felt nice to read your experience and tips. They definitely help at international exposure. Thanks.

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