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Best Of SEJ Summit: Preventing International SEO Disasters


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SEO is complex enough in a single language but entering foreign markets adds additional challenges many that are out of the control of the SEO team.

Join Bill Hunt and Motoko Hunt as they identify some of the most common challenges and how to prevent them from destroying your global opportunities and reputation.

Published in: Marketing
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Best Of SEJ Summit: Preventing International SEO Disasters

  1. 1. Preventing International SEO Disasters Motoko Hunt & Bill Hunt #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  2. 2. 3 Takeaways 1) Focus on the Searcher 2) Pay attention to detail 3) Collaborate as a team #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  3. 3. Common Disasters Language/Culture CMS/Site Infrastructure Geo Targeting Organizational International Challenges
  4. 4. LANGUAGE CHALLENGES #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  5. 5. Clone & Go • Don’t just clone a translated site for another market #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  6. 6. Translate Once Copy 50 #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt ”We paid for it so we are using it” = 5 million more pages than necessary
  7. 7. Correct or Popular EN JP Words Search Volume Notes women 女性 135,000 ladies 婦人 3,600 used often for apparel women ウィメンズ 22,200 ladies レディース 165,000 used often for apparel men 男性 40,500 gentlemen 紳士 9,900 used often for apparel men メンズ 90,500 used often for apparel price 価格 1,220,000 price of item price 料金 33,100 as professional fees fee 費用 5,400 fee (or cost) of school trip cost コスト 8,100 Japanese food 日本食 8,100 typical translation on non-Japanese sites. Japanese food 和食 135,000 Japanese food in general Japanese cooking 日本 料理 18,100 Japanese food restaurants #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  8. 8. Local Site Not Optimized #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  9. 9. Challenge – String Translation #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  10. 10. Challenge – String Translation #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  11. 11. GEO TARGETING CHALLENGES #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  12. 12. Language Tags are Incorrect #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  13. 13. Rank & Geo Reporting • Are your rank reports giving a true picture? #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  14. 14. Rank & Geo • Run rank reports to monitor if local page ranks • Simple pivot table or v-lookup to find non-local sites Source: HREFLang Builder Local Page Performance Report #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  15. 15. Barrier – Faulty IP Detection Logic Searched Google Lithuania #1 Result: US Site for exact product Redirected to Swiss Italian Home Page #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  16. 16. Aggressive CloudFlare Settings #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  17. 17. IP the Location but Content is Local • URL changes but content is adapted based on IP even with local page • AngularJS site with a rendering that was confused by IP #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  18. 18. Forced Country Selection #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  19. 19. Forced Country Selection Snippets #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  20. 20. Barriers – Cookie Settings vs. IP #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  21. 21. IP Detect on XML Site Map #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt Did not exclude Search Engines from IP detection
  22. 22. IP/Language Detection - Tests • What is the default – non-detected version? • What happens with search engine visits? • User Agent detection and allow Engines access what they are requesting (NOT Cloaking) #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt Tunnel Bear VPN
  23. 23. #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt Fixing IP Blocked Indexing & HREFLang SPONSORED BY
  24. 24. TECHNICAL CHALLENGES #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  25. 25. Multilingual Single URL #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  26. 26. Multilingual Single URL #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  27. 27. Who gets the listing? #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  28. 28. Multilingual Single URL Issues • Links can go to URL so are diluted • Cannot use Geo targeting techniques • Which language shown is often up to which local indexer visited last #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  29. 29. Mixed HREFLang Signals #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  30. 30. Confusing Signals #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt Canonical was to en-US but HREFLang was to en-us
  31. 31. Wasting Crawlers Time #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  32. 32. ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGES #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  33. 33. Global Dysfunction #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt 187 different patterns for setting country and language
  34. 34. Optimize Templates for Scale Page Title and Meta Data recommendations Fully indexable navigation? Ensure all parts of the page are indexable Correct use of Header tags Can search engine’s follow all of the links? Enhancement of cross-links to distribute link equity #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  35. 35. Same CMS but different templates ● US: <meta content="v16 Template Generator" name="Source"/> ● AT: <meta content="v14 Template Generator" name="Source" /> ● DE: <meta content="v16 Template Generator" name="Source" /> ● JP: <meta content="v15J Template Generator" name="Source" /> 1. What is the template deployment and implementation process? 2. Are similar languages aligned in the deployment? 3. Share page level audits to reduce duplication and costs #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  36. 36. Benefits of Uniform Templates • Eliminated need for local market On-page SEO audits saving over $150k globally • Centrally managed templates and core content eliminated need for 40+ local creative/web agencies • Funded internal dev team that is creating modules for all market companies #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  37. 37. Education Infrastructure Enhancement Force Multipliers Which are most effective techniques, tools and resources? Uniform KPI’s How do we compliment other teams for enhanced outcomes? Where can we intersect with current activities and technologies? What do we measure and why? 1 2 3 4 Center of Excellence Adopt a COE to manage shared services, centralize best practices which have been leveraged to scale search globally resulting in exponential performance improvements. #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  38. 38. #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt • Incremental page audits – on demand page auditing via automation or agency resources to identify problems with pages outside the Top and Strategic Keywords Lists • Ad Hoc site and diagnostic audits – leverage agency resources to triage site segments for SEO performance beyond the page level • Link building and outreach – leverage external resources to identify and request relevant links from relevant third party sites • Market assessment modeling – using localized keyword data and keyword demand tools to develop opportunity models to understand missed opportunity in non-core markets Core deliverables (COE-funded) Incremental “Pay for Play” and engagement model for each Central/Local Actions SEO Consulting • Support development of COE and GBU SEO strategies • Identify SEO tools and GBU optimization best practices • Create models aligning search interest and content • Review PLP relevance and actionable keywords • Sponsor “Lunch & Learn” sessions • Audit underperforming content • Integrate SEO models into COE workflows Basic SEO Services • Conduct org level keyword research • Develop keyword mappings/clusters • Prepare SEO meta data and content optimization recommendations • Publish text and XML site maps • Align SEO requirements with Global IT infrastructure • Maintain preferred landing page (PLP) keyword mappings for Top and Strategic Keywords SEO Reporting/Analysis • Monitor performance of top and strategic keywords • Provide reports and analysis - KPIs (rankings/ traffic/ conversions) - Compare SEO & PPC results - Compare SEO and social media keywords - Directional metrics • Establish diagnostic signals • Maintain Issue Tracker
  39. 39. “Always On” Alignment #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt Align common overlap pages to keywords to have uniform reporting
  40. 40. Keyword Group Performance Report • Always On/Mission Critical keywords • Easy to spot market deviations and underperformance • Easy to spot missing pages/content #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt
  41. 41. Top 3 Takeaways 1) Focus on the Searcher 2) Pay attention to detail 3) Work as a team not individuals #SEJSummit @motokohunt / @billhunt