The work of SEO or Search engine optimization is quite complicated in itself when having a common language of communication but if you have a foreign language and the nuances of an overseas market in the mix, things get even more challenging. So much so that the chances of mistakes become even more common.
However, with so many international markets now available to online businesses, it’s important to know how to build an international SEO strategy. International SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to maximize visibility on search engines in overseas markets. International SEO, however, is more complex than simply optimizing your website for a global audience. This is because different countries have different search engines, different languages and different cultural norms. Hence, using an international SEO company can be beneficial in a lot of ways. However, the language barrier can pose a challenge in various ways when you choose to hire an international SEO company for SEO services.
Some of these challenges are as follows.
Linguistic and Cultural Challenges
- Clone & GoThe primary step for making a website for a global audience is to translate so that it can be locally targeted. Sounds simple enough right? But there are a few challenges associated with this too. There is a common myth that simply cloning a site and using an online translator is enough to create an international website. A big word of advice for international SEO companies would be to not do this.
Online translators are notorious for making grammatical errors along with messing up words and cultural contexts thereby creating more issues. These may require even more money to fix in the long run.
If money is no bar for you then make sure to use the languages of the countries you plan on targeting thereby beginning with Tier 1 languages and markets. It’s not necessary to make a website that would cater to hundreds of countries in their regional languages.
- Translate Once, Copy 50
Make sure to map the specific languages of each country so that your efforts don’t go to waste. Don’t just add the language of a different country to target another, like there is no need for adding Japanese or French in a Mexican website just because you have those versions of your website set up already. Adding unnecessary languages/translations in your site may also cause lags in loading the website or create duplicate content resulting in targeting errors.
All international SEO companies should bear this in mind.
- Popular Translations vs. Correct Ones
It is tempting to use the keyword with the highest volume of search even if the translation is inaccurate. International SEO companies should bear in mind that even if this sounds like the most logical tactic it’s not always the best practice as you need to take cultural differences into consideration while choosing words for content.
For example, there are huge dialectical and grammatical differences between European and Asian languages so the best idea is to hire native speakers or a local service who know these differences to choose the appropriate words.
- Optimising Local Sites
Several website owners make the mistake of investing huge sums as well as resources for creating as well as optimising the home-based websites with multiple country and language options. Yet they do not keep up with the constant optimisation that is required for these websites.
If you want to cater your website to a global audience, it is important to hire international SEO companies and invest in the upkeep of optimization and updates so your website keeps running smoothly.
One of the most common mistakes made by international SEO companies is using their own language tags. You may wonder why you cannot use your own language to geotarget the global market. The first reason is Google does not specifically use the languages or country tags within the metadata because a huge portion of it is wrong.
Furthermore, several content management systems and plugins tend to mess them up as well. This issue occurs, even more, when localisation tools or certain hreflang tools inside of WordPress are used.
Oftentimes even WordPress uses wrong language codes or uses the wrong syntax for a particular country. This is why international SEOs should not rely on the system to create geotargeting.
A few other mishaps faced by international SEOs during geotargeting are faulty rank reports and geo reporting. Rank reports should show the correct data i.e. not only the number of pages ranking on the first page or in top ranks but rather if the correct pages are ranking in the relevant market or not.
Other geotargeting problems include faulty IP detection logic as well as, aggressive Cloudflare settings where Cloudflare settings get triggered resulting in users getting blocked from websites.
It goes without saying that the content requirements of any website should be optimised based on the language of the target audience and the country. International SEO companies should bear in mind local dialects and grammatical variations while making content for global websites. Content writers should be informed about these things so that they can create content accordingly.
Some common CMS or technical site infrastructure problems faced by international SEO companies include search engine confusion with multilingual websites. If a website uses two or more language translations for one page but has only one URL for every page then the search engine gets confused.
Some of the issues faced by single URL sites include:
- Diluted Inbound links to your URL
- Unable to use techniques for geotargeting
- The language last used is often the one that shows up in the local index.
- Mixed Hreflang Signals
- Confusing Signals
- Wasting Crawlers’ Time
One of the top organisational problems faced by international SEO companies is global dysfunction. The key feature of a global website includes the management of multiple websites on your own or with an in house team. You may use the help of external local agencies as well but this may create extra hassle if they cannot handle the task right.
The easiest way to tackle this is by creating standard rules for running the website then its proper implementation to the local agencies.
Use templates or make one for your main website so everyone can follow this across all websites.