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SearchLove London 2019 - Lindsay Wassell - Managing Multinational & Multilingual SEO in Motion

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International SEO is difficult at the best of times. Maintaining and, hopefully, growing organic search traffic through phased re-architecture and migration of multinational and multilingual organizations is even more complex. Together we’ll look at specific challenges and opportunities from recent complex project examples.

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SearchLove London 2019 - Lindsay Wassell - Managing Multinational & Multilingual SEO in Motion

  1. 1. Managing Multinational & Multilingual Migrations in Motion
  2. 2. …is pretty bleak without you. This room
  3. 3. Resilient, Resourceful, Creative, Ass-Kickers. [That’s you!] Multinational Migrations Who cares?
  4. 4. How to successfully manage the process of a multinational/lingual migration. This talk is really about
  5. 5. What is a Web Migration?
  6. 6. The Big 3 Changes Web Migrations CMS or Front-End Framework WordPress -> Sitecore HTML5 -> React.js Back-End Technology .NET -> Python IIS -> NGINX Domain or Sitewide URLs www -> non-www .co.uk -> .com BIG 3 Changes E.G.
  7. 7. Potential SEO Impacts Web Migrations CMS or Front-End Framework • URL Changes • Navigable Structure • CDN • SE Accessibility • Speed Back-End Technology • Redirect Tech • XML Sitemap Generation • Log Files Domain or Sitewide URLs • Authority of Domain • Authority of Page • Secure/Non-Secure • KW Inclusion BIG 3 Changes
  8. 8. Might look like this Web Migrations NEWSAMEOLD Product Content Pages URLs Languages Geographies
  9. 9. Might look like this… Web Migrations NEWOLD Product Content Pages URLs Languages Geographies SAME
  10. 10. Migration MARVEL
  11. 11. Migration MAYHEM
  12. 12. 1. Lang/Geo Segmentation Method 2. Hreflang Management 3. Redirects & Capacity to Implement 4. Establish SEO as Priority 5. Sponsor Other Teams’ Wish Lists Key Success Factors for Multinational Migrations
  13. 13. Plan for Messy Lang/Geo URL Segmentation expect mixed methods
  14. 14. Lang URL Segmentation Methods Lang URL Folder Subdomain TLD cherrypize.com/fr/ (very rare) fr.cherrypize.com
  15. 15. Lang URL Folder Subdomain TLD cherrypize.com/fr/ (very rare) fr.cherrypize.com Lang URL Segmentation Methods
  16. 16. They need to know about language TLDs. Lang URL Segmentation Methods
  17. 17. Language Location TLD Hreflang Description Breton Brittany, France .bzh Yes For websites in the Breton language or about the culture. Catalan Catalonia, Spain .cat Yes For websites in the Catalan language or about the culture. Basque Basque, Spain & France .eus Yes For websites in the Basque language only. Galician Galicia, Spain .gal Yes For websites in the Galician language or about the culture. Lang URL Segmentation Methods
  18. 18. Geo URL Folder Subdomain TLD cherrypize.com/ca/ cherrypize.ca ca.cherrypize.com Geo URL Segmentation Methods
  19. 19. Lang/Geo URL Folder/Folder Folder/ccTLD Folder/Subdomain cherrypize.com/fr-ca/ ca.cherrypize.com/fr/ cherrypize.ca/fr/ Subdomain/Folder Subdomain/ccTLD Subdomain/Subdomain fr.cherrypize.com/ca/ fr-ca.cherrypize.com fr.cherrypize.ca Geo URL Segmentation Methods
  20. 20. Consider… • IT Management & Maintenance • Authority of Domain Consolidation • Marketing & PR Resources • Market-Level Analysis (the SERP data) • Market-Level Awareness (local preferences) • Business Needs Geo URL Segmentation Methods
  21. 21. Tell them they don’t get to pick just ONE lang/geo method.
  22. 22. cherrypize.com/en-us/ cherrypize.com/en-au/ tartesauxcerize.ca/fr/ tartesauxcerises.fr cherrypize.com/jp-jp/ cherrypize.com/es-mx/ France likes correct spelling. TLD available. J de.cherrypize.com Germany team likes the old CMS. .com working okay in some of our markets. Our French market prefers French. Couldn’t get a TLD. L Canadians don’t like to shop on .coms. Mixed Segmentation Methods
  23. 23. Plan for Hreflang Mapping Management not just hreflang implementation
  24. 24. HTML Header Tags XML Sitemap Attributes Choose One Hreflang Publishing Methods
  25. 25. Capacity to Publish Hreflang ≠ Mappings Management Hreflang Publishing Methods
  26. 26. Key Factors Scenario: Phased Multinational Migration 30+ lang/geos to be deployed, one at a time, over 2 years. Completely new IA, pages and URL structure. Hreflang implementation deemed out-of-scope due to mapping complexity. Hreflang Issue EXAMPLE
  27. 27. The challenge is NOT how hreflang is published. The challenge is managing hreflang mappings. Hreflang Issue EXAMPLE
  28. 28. Our Solution: Google Sheets to manage evolving mappings. Google Apps Script to generate 30+ XML Sitemaps with hreflang annotations. Hreflang Issue EXAMPLE
  29. 29. Step 1: Build Mappings in Google Sheets Step 2: Execute Apps Script Hreflang Issue EXAMPLE
  30. 30. Step 3: Tada! Hreflang Issue EXAMPLE
  31. 31. Test Redirect Implementation especially when back-end tech is changing
  32. 32. Site-wide rules and settings. Where handled (CDN, Client, Code/UI, Server). Special handling for users/user-agents. Redirects New back-end tech? Find out:
  33. 33. Tell them how many times your redirects have been de-scoped at launch. Redirects
  34. 34. Redirects Post-Launch, Review Log Files to analyze redirect behavior. Especially for GoogleBot.
  35. 35. Establish SEO as a Priority organic search traffic is not a guarantee
  36. 36. Multinational Web Migrations are notorious for scope change.
  37. 37. ACMEvelo.fr ACMEbike.fr Scope Change Last minute domain rebrand added to migration scope. EXAMPLE
  38. 38. Scope Change Last minute domain rebrand added to migration scope. Migration Enthusiastic SE Re-evaluation Harsh Reality Scope Change EXAMPLE Scope Change Last minute domain rebrand added to migration scope. EXAMPLE
  39. 39. Get a seat at the boardroom table, and repeat.. What’s an SEO to do? Organic search traffic is not a guarantee. Talking about SEO is not the same as implementing SEO. Organic search traffic is valid as a top priority in migration.
  40. 40. Organic search traffic is not a guarantee. Show figures, values and highlight risk
  41. 41. Sponsor Wish Lists of Other Teams for additional SEO wins
  42. 42. Wish Lists Multinational Migration
  43. 43. I wish. I wish…SEO for search engine friendly URLs
  44. 44. • Better URL conventions • Link-worthy, 10x content • Consolidation (weak domains, duplicate content) • Improved/more body copy • JSON-LD SEO Wish Lists Multinational Migration
  45. 45. …everybody has a wish list.
  46. 46. Content PR IT CEO Support…everybody has a wish list.
  47. 47. PR – media kit, campaigns moved on-site Customer Support – Robust FAQ Product – Better visibility for key products Content – More input control in CMS IT – Secure protocol (https) Legal – Accessibility standards Wish Lists Multinational Migration SEO GOLD MINE
  48. 48. Key Takeaways
  49. 49. Plan for Messy Lang/Geo URL Segmentation expect mixed methods
  50. 50. Plan for Hreflang Mapping Management not just hreflang implementation
  51. 51. Test Redirect Implementation especially when back-end tech is changing
  52. 52. Establish SEO as a Priority organic search traffic is not a guarantee
  53. 53. Sponsor Wish Lists of Other Teams for additional SEO wins

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