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International SEO Strategy Webinar


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Online businesses have unique business needs, which makes a "one-size-fits-all" international SEO strategy about as common as a unicorn sighting. Make sure to get your company's international SEO strategy right by checking out this slide deck & the link bundle here:

Portent's SEO Strategist Kaitlin McMichael shares insights into how to set up and execute a successful international SEO strategy. Topics covered include which URL structure to choose for your site(s), tips & tricks for hreflang implementation, the new locale-adaptive Googlebot crawlers, and what to expect in terms of ROI for your international SEO strategy.

Published in: Marketing
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International SEO Strategy Webinar

  1. 1. Portent, Inc. Your Name PresentationName MonthXX,20XX Portent, Inc. InternationalSEOStrategy KaitlinMcMichael March26,2015
  2. 2. About Portent We are a leading integrated internet marketing agency set in Seattle, serving world-wide clients We are 30+ strong Founded in 1996 (pre-Google) We rally around the definition of “Portent”: the forecast of something big on the horizon Admittedly, we are total nerds With 19 years in the industry, you can trust our expertise. Greetings from the #smithtower
  3. 3. 5 Years of SEO & Marketing Experience in-house & agency Specialize in International SEO Really into Salsa Dancing Kaitlin McMichael @kakefin Portent International SEO Strategy
  4. 4. What is this webinar? Portent International SEO Strategy
  5. 5. What is this webinar? An intro to International SEO Strategy to help marketers decide on the best approach to getting quality organic revenue from global markets. Portent International SEO Strategy
  6. 6. This webinar will NOT Portent International SEO Strategy
  7. 7. This webinar will NOT make you an International SEO expert Portent International SEO Strategy
  8. 8. replace personal SEO consultation This webinar will NOT Portent International SEO Strategy
  9. 9. Portent SEO - An Overview So, what is International SEO?
  10. 10. Strategy Portent International SEO Strategy
  11. 11. Strategy + Technical Portent International SEO Strategy
  12. 12. Strategy + Technical + Content Portent International SEO Strategy
  13. 13. Creating an International SEO Strategy It’s hard enough ranking well in one country. Ranking internationally isn’t any easier. Portent International SEO Strategy
  14. 14. Portent International SEO Strategy
  15. 15. Portent International SEO Strategy
  16. 16. strategy-guide-plus-a-flowchart.htm
  17. 17. • What resources do you have available? • What are the costs involved? • What’s the best approach for structuring your site? • What is the potential for return on investment? Questions Portent International SEO Strategy
  18. 18. Does your team have: • Design and development resources to handle multiple sites / hosting on multiple servers? • Writers to develop unique, local content & professional translations? • Resources for regional link outreach? Resources Portent International SEO Strategy
  19. 19. • Cost of regional link outreach • Cost of content creation by local marketers • Cost of professional translators • Cost of local servers • Cost of SEO consultant(s) delivering recommendations • Cost of Developer(s) implementing recommendations Costs Portent International SEO Strategy
  20. 20. (Anticipated Revenue from SEO efforts – Proposed Cost of Project) / Proposed Cost of SEO Project = Anticipated ROI ROI Portent International SEO Strategy
  21. 21. • Check Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools data for traffic volumes & conversion data by country/language • Test new markets in AdWords to see how they convert • Research keyword search volumes in target markets Choose Your Targets Portent International SEO Strategy
  22. 22. Google Trends, Ubersuggest, AdWords Keyword Planner Tool and SEMRush Keyword Difficulty Tool SuggestMrx pulls data from Google Suggest and YouTube Suggest for 14 countries and 7 languages. Research Tools Portent International SEO Strategy
  23. 23. Language vs. Country Portent International SEO Strategy Image from KISSMetrics
  24. 24. Top Level Domains = Best bet Sub-domains = Sub-par Directories = When you’re not Godzilla Site Structure ccTLDs (Country-coded top- level domains) are a big deal because they give the strongest, clearest signals to Google. There is no required structure but ideally should follow ISO codes. Benefits: can geo- target in GWT, easy to manage, same backlink profile. Benefits: none. Note: Craigslist does it, so it can be done. Portent International SEO Strategy
  25. 25. ccTLDs TripAdvisor, Amazon and use ccTLDs for country targeting. Portent International SEO Strategy
  26. 26. Require IT resources to setup and maintain multiple sites Splits link authority among several domains Strict ccTLD requirements (for some countries) Clear geolocation signals Server location is irrelevant (ccTLD overrides server location) Increased click-through rates from users who prefer local domains (& higher conversion rates & average spend) Pros Cons
  27. 27. Best For Those With • Large audiences in each of their target countries • Lots of resources to invest in development, design, content, and SEO • Significantly different product catalogs or services for each region • Offices / Physical presence in the target countries Portent International SEO Strategy
  28. 28. Sub-folders Spotify, EA, Microsoft, Ikea, and Apple are country targeting using sub-directories. Skype and Atlassian use sub-directories to language target. Portent International SEO Strategy
  29. 29. Cannot set up local servers Weaker signal to search engines than ccTLDs One consolidated backlink profile Easy to set up and manage Can geo-target by country within Webmaster Tools Low maintenance with same host Pros Cons
  30. 30. Best For Those With Limited resources to build and maintain multiple sites Limited resources for investing in regional link outreach Limited variations between product catalogs or services for each region Portent International SEO Strategy
  31. 31. Sub-domains Shop and Beats by Dre use sub-domains to country target. Wix and are language targeting using sub-domains. Craigslist uses sub-domains on a city level. Portent International SEO Strategy
  32. 32. Users might not recognize geo- targeting from the URL alone Requires IT resources to setup and maintain Splits link authority among sub- domains Higher risk of mis-linking Easy to set up Can use Webmaster Tools geo- targeting Allows different server locations Easy separation of sites May maintain some of the metrics of the root domain (but not likely) Pros Cons
  33. 33. Best For Those With Desire to keep brand name in main domain, but separate out international sites on sub-domains. There are typically not enough advantages over ccTLDs or sub- folders to make sub-domains a good option. Portent International SEO Strategy
  34. 34. Jesper Jørgensen Image by Jesper Jørgensen
  35. 35. Strategy + Technical Portent International SEO Strategy
  36. 36. <rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es-ES” href=”” /> “es” indicates the language according to ISO 6391-1 format. “ES” is the country in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format. Portent International SEO Strategy That Hreflang Thang
  37. 37. Hreflang does not affect ranking in any way. It is meant to help search engines understand the relationship among your pages so that the right content is shown to the right users. Portent International SEO Strategy Purpose
  38. 38. Duplicate Content Beware
  39. 39. Hreflang generator: generator/ Hreflang validator: Portent International SEO Strategy Tools
  40. 40. Page tagging HTTP HeadersXML Sitemap Hreflang Implementation Reference all pages in the group on the page, including the page itself. Reference each page grouping multiple times - each URL in the group referenced in the <loc> element once. Use this tool: m/tool_hreflang.php Example: Link: <>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="es" Good for PDFs. Portent International SEO Strategy
  41. 41. Hreflang Sitemap
  42. 42. Avoid auto-redirection. It can really bother the user when it’s wrong, and automatic redirects will prevent crawlers from indexing the other portions of your site. Portent International SEO Strategy Auto-Redirection
  43. 43. Why does Car2Go think I live in Austin, TX? Portent International SEO Strategy
  44. 44. If you want to implement redirection, present the user with an un-obtrusive message (not a pop-up) that asks if they want to switch to a more relevant version. Portent International SEO Strategy Auto-Redirection
  45. 45. Always a good idea to have this, either in the header or footer. It should be prominent but not distracting. This helps with interlinking of sites, and will allow the user to switch to a new version if they want. Portent International SEO Strategy Language Selector Box
  46. 46. Please don’t ask for the user’s language/country via a pop- up window… Portent International SEO Strategy
  47. 47. Strategy + Technical + Content Portent International SEO Strategy
  48. 48. Portent International SEO Strategy
  49. 49. Regional Content Variation Professional translations Regional vernacular, spellings Currency Local office address Local phone numbers Google+ Local Pages Portent International SEO Strategy
  50. 50. Regional Content Variation URLs Meta Titles & Descriptions Navigation labels Headings Image file names & alt text Body content Portent International SEO Strategy
  51. 51. US UK Color Colour Inseam Inside leg Sweater Jumper Sneakers Trainers Undershirt Vest
  52. 52. Keyword Research & Translation First, do Keyword Research as you would normally for any site. Then, hand off your keyword list to a professional translator. Portent International SEO Strategy
  53. 53. Regional Link Building Portent International SEO Strategy
  54. 54. Regional Link Building Get links from local sites to your local content. Portent International SEO Strategy
  55. 55. Prepared by Kaitlin McMichael SEO Strategist @kakefin Thank Portent, Inc.506 2nd Ave. Suite 1700 Seattle. WA 98104-2354 | Tel:206.575.3740 YOU Portent InternationalSEOStrategy
  56. 56. Preparedby Kaitlin McMichael SEO Strategist @kakefin Q&A Portent InternationalSEOStrategy