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SearchLeeds 2019 - Matt Howells-Barby - Everything you need to know before scaling SEO internationally

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Taking the giant leap into international SEO is both daunting and full of potential banana skins. Matt Barby's SearchLeeds talk helps makes the leap a little less daunting for you, and so that you avoid many of the common mistakes that are made. Packed full of examples, you’ll see how many of the top companies in the world have approached their international setup and how you can decide which is right for you.

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SearchLeeds 2019 - Matt Howells-Barby - Everything you need to know before scaling SEO internationally

  1. 1. @matthewbarby Everything You Need to Know Before Scaling SEO Internationally
  2. 2. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby 2014 201920172015
  3. 3. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Optimization”
  4. 4. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Localizsation ≠ Translation
  5. 5. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby
  6. 6. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Trainer”
  7. 7. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Trainer” “Runner”
  8. 8. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Trainer” “Runner” “Sneaker”
  9. 9. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby
  10. 10. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “The Loo”
  11. 11. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “The Loo” “The Bathroom”
  12. 12. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “The Loo” “The Bathroom” “The Restroom”
  13. 13. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Football”
  14. 14. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Football”
  15. 15. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Football”
  16. 16. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Football”
  17. 17. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby “Soccer”
  18. 18. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby And this is just English.
  19. 19. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby
  20. 20. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Swedish: ananas Danish: ananas Dutch: ananas Turkish: ananas Polish: ananas German: ananas Norwegian: ananas Finnish: ananas Latin: ananas
  21. 21. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Swedish: ananas Danish: ananas Dutch: ananas Turkish: ananas Polish: ananas German: ananas Norwegian: ananas Finnish: ananas Latin: ananas English: pineapple
  22. 22. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Do I need to be a polyglot to do International SEO?
  23. 23. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Do I need to be a polyglot to do International SEO? If a Brit can do it, anyone can.
  24. 24. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby There’s no “one correct way” to do international SEO.
  25. 25. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Targeting Options Language Your sales process isn’t impacted by the country of your customer. There isn’t a huge amount of country-level demand in search. Country Your sales process is impacted by the country of your customer. There is significant demand within each country for key search terms related to your business. Country + Language There is significant demand in each country, and there are also enough opportunities in search to capture demand from multiple languages that are spoken in that country.
  26. 26. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby ccTLDs (domain.es) *not applicable for language targeting 1
  27. 27. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdirectories (domain.com/es/) 2
  28. 28. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdomains (es.domain.com) 3
  29. 29. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Do not mix and match.
  30. 30. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby ccTLD Country Targeting 1 www.tripadvisor.fr
  31. 31. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby ccTLD Country & Language Targeting (with a subdirectory)1 www.wayfair.ca/fr/
  32. 32. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby ccTLD Country & Language Targeting (with a subdomain)1 fr.airbnb.ca
  33. 33. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby When to Use ccTLDs You have large audiences in each target country. Resources to develop and maintain multiple web properties. Resources to run local link building campaigns. You want to boost the appearance of a local sales presence. You want to build your brand presence in each target country. You have different product/service offering in each region. Resources to develop localized content for each target country.
  34. 34. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdirectory Language Targeting 2 www.shutterstock.com/pt/
  35. 35. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdirectory Country Targeting 2 www.apple.com/fr/
  36. 36. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdirectory Country & Language Targeting 2 www.microsoft.com/pt-br/
  37. 37. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby When to Use Subdirectories You don’t have the resources to build and maintain individual sites. You don’t have the resources for local link building. Your product/service offering doesn’t differ much by region. You want to keep costs low.
  38. 38. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdomain Language Targeting 3 fr.yahoo.com
  39. 39. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdomain Country Targeting 3 ca.gsk.com
  40. 40. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Subdomain Country & Language Targeting 3 fr-ca.myprotein.com
  41. 41. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby When to Use Subdirectories You don’t have the resources/ability to acquire and manage individual ccTLDs. You aren’t able (for tech reasons) to go with subdirectories.
  42. 42. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby ccTLDs Subdirectories Subdomains Geotargeting High Low Medium Authority Distribution Low High Medium UX/Conversion High Medium Low Architecture High Low Medium Implementation/Maintenance Ease Low High Low The 3 Options Compared
  43. 43. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Hreflang.
  44. 44. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Hreflang Needs to be set up no matter how you chose to structure your international site(s) - i.e. ccTLDs, subdomains, subdirectories, etc. Used to tell Google which pages are translated/localized versions of each of your pages. You can also assign a version as the default URL for all other country/language variations not specified. Prevents duplicate content issues across localized content. It’s very easy to mess this up.
  45. 45. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Example: ccTLD Country Targeting domain.com (USA) domain.com/page-b/ (USA)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr (France) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) domain.fr/page-b/ (France)
  46. 46. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.com (USA) domain.com/page-b/ (USA)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr (France) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) domain.fr/page-b/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links)
  47. 47. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Implementing Hreflang 1. Link elements in the <head>. 2. HTTP headers. 3. XML sitemap annotations.
  48. 48. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Link Elements in the <head> <link rel="alternate" href="https://trafficthinktank.com/page-name/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://trafficthinktank.fr/page-name/" hreflang="fr-fr" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://trafficthinktank.es/page-name/" hreflang="es-es" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://trafficthinktank.com/page-name/" hreflang="x-default" />
  49. 49. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby HTTP Headers Link: <https://trafficthinktank.com/document.pdf>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="en-us", <https://trafficthinktank.fr/document.pdf>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="fr-fr", <https://trafficthinktank.es/document.pdf>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="es-es"
  50. 50. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby HTTP Headers <url> <loc>https://trafficthinktank.com/page-name/</loc> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href="https://trafficthinktank.com/page-name/" /> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="fr-fr" href="https://trafficthinktank.fr/page-name/" /> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="es-es" href="https://trafficthinktank.es/page-name/" /> </url>
  51. 51. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Hreflang: Implementation rules.
  52. 52. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Rule 1: content doesn’t need to be an exact translation to have hreflang added.
  53. 53. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby
  54. 54. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby
  55. 55. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Rule 2: you only need to add hreflang on pages where you have an alternative.
  56. 56. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.com (USA) domain.com/page-b/ (USA)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr (France) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links)
  57. 57. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Rule 3: the same hreflang code must be present on all alternate versions of the page.
  58. 58. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.es/page-a/ (Spain)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links) <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.com/page-a/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.fr/page-a/" hreflang="fr-fr" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.es/page-a/" hreflang="es-es" /> This code is in the <head> of all three of the above pages
  59. 59. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Rule 4: only add hreflang to the canonical version of the page. Exception: AMP URLs.
  60. 60. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.com (USA) domain.com/page-b/ (USA)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr (France) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links) Canonical
  61. 61. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.com (USA) domain.com/page-b/ (USA)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr (France) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links) Canonical
  62. 62. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Rule 5: use x-default to state the version of the page to be served to all languages/countries not specifically listed.
  63. 63. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby domain.es/page-a/ (Spain)domain.com/page-a/ (USA) domain.fr/page-a/ (France) (purple dashed lines are hreflang links) <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.com/page-a/" hreflang="en-us" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.fr/page-a/" hreflang="fr-fr" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.es/page-a/" hreflang="es-es" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://domain.com/page-a/" hreflang=“x-default” /> x-default is the default ‘catch-all’ page for any location/language not listed explicitly X-DEFAULT
  64. 64. #SearchLeeds@matthewbarby Remember: There’s no “one correct way” to do international SEO.
  65. 65. @matthewbarby Where you can find me:

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