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#seocamp
How to Develop a Successful
International SEO Strategy
Helga Bendea
#seocamp
International SEO Strategy | Key Elements
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
2
Content Accessibility Structure TargetingMarkets
Which
languages
and/or
countries?
Translated or
customized
content?
User choice
or automatic
redirects?
Domains,
subdomains
or
subfolders?
When and how
to use SEO
language /
country markup?
#seocamp
Markets
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
3
The success of the whole strategy
depends on the selection of the
appropriate languages / countries that
the website should target.
Helga Bendea
This choice should be made after careful
consideration of the real benefits for
the business in terms of ROI.
#seocamp
Which websites should do international SEO?
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
4
A website should consider an
international SEO strategy
only if the ROI generated by
international visitors is
positive, i.e. the revenues
are enough to generate
profit after covering all the
costs of international SEO.
ROI
Revenues Costs
Costs
100
Revenues Visits
Conversion
Rate
Average
Conversion
Value
#seocamp
Choosing languages and/or countries
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
5
Language-specific
 Websites with no country-
specific offers
 Small/medium sites, typically
corporate websites
 Not enough budget for
translation/localization
 Websites with country-specific
offers
 Medium/large sites, typically
e-commerce (currency, etc.)
 Dedicated translation and
localization budget for each
country
 Websites with country-specific
offers targeting countries with
more than one official language
 Large sites
 Enough budget for the
localization process
Country-specific Language and
country-specific
#seocamp
Content
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
6
A successful international content
strategy is based on:
Helga Bendea
Relevant, targeted content
Custom keyword analysis for each
language / country
High-quality content translation /
localization
#seocamp
Key elements of content optimization
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
7
Title and
Meta DescriptionURL
Heading Tags
Navigation Elements
Images and Alt Texts Main Content
Reviews
Phone and ContactsCurrency and Shipping
Helga Bendea
#seocamp
Content translation vs customized content
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
8
Translated content Customized content
Easier and quick implementation and
maintenance
Reduced content production and
management costs
Uniform global brand image
SEO-friendly markup needed to
prevent duplicate content
(only for the same language for different
countries: ex. US EN, UK EN, AU EN, .com in EN)
Standard or even poor UX when
localization is necessary
More difficult and longer implementation
and maintenance
Higher content production and
management costs
Market-specific brand image
Unique content with no risk of duplication
for versions in the same language
Personalized UX based on user location,
language and culture
#seocamp
Accessibility
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
9
The content that is inaccessible to
search engine bots has zero visibility in
search engine results.
Helga Bendea
Lack of SEO targeting or accessibility
optimizations can lead to bad user
experience.
#seocamp
Accessibility: what is best for SEO?
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
10
Standard accessibility to
all versions
All versions are accessible to search
engine bots and to all users worldwide
Accessibility based on user
cookies or choice
Inaccessibility and
automatic redirects
Best UX: users can select the version
they want and/or a cookie is set up to
store preferences for next visits
Bad UX if the redirects lead the user to
an inappropriate version
Lack of international SEO might lead to
bad UX: users reaching versions of the
site intended for other markets via
search engines
All versions are accessible to search
engine bots and indexed
Not OK if users must only have access
to a specific version
If access to other markets is totally
restricted (no market selection possible)
 rule needed to exclude bots from
IP-based redirects
OK only if business policies require to
restrict user access or if location
selection is allowed
#seocamp
Structure
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
11
The choice of the website structure is
mainly influenced by:
Helga Bendea
Market structure: multilingual /
multiregional
Website type, size and budget
Brand image and link popularity
strategy
#seocamp
Multilingual / multiregional website structure
Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
12
ccTLDs
(Country-Code Top-Level Domains)
Subdirectories Subdomains
example.com/fr fr.example.com
#seocamp
ccTLDs | Advantages & disadvantages
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
13
Easy separation of sites and web
analytics
More expensive and limited
availability (for some domains)
Helga Bendea
Server location is irrelevant, however
sites can be hosted on country-specific
servers
Very strong geolocation signal for the
users; usually results in higher
click-through rates and conversions
The strongest geolocation signal for
search engines, very useful for ranking
in a specific country
Higher costs for infrastructure, IT
resources and maintenance
Strict ccTLDs legal requirements in
some countries
Domain authority and backlink value is
not shared among sites: need to invest
in backlink campaigns for each domain
#seocamp
Subdirectories | Advantages & disadvantages
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
14
Easy to set up and manage Much weaker geolocation signal for
search engines than ccTLDs
Helga Bendea
example.com/fr
Low maintenance costs with same host
Can use Google Search Console to set
up geo-targeting
Consolidated domain authority:
backlinks to any subdirectory provide
link value to the whole website
May be less intuitive for users
expecting a ccTLD for local sites
More difficult separation of different
site versions
#seocamp
Subdomains | Advantages & disadvantages
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
15
Easier to set up and manage than
ccTLDs
Weaker geolocation signal for search
engines than ccTLDs
Helga Bendea
fr.example.com
Each subdomain can be hosted on
different country-specific servers
Can use Google Search Console to set
up geo-targeting
Easy separation of sites
More difficult to set up and maintain
than subdirectories; more difficult
web analytics set up (in some cases)
May be confusing for users since the
subdomain can represent the country
or the language
Domain authority is transmitted only
in part to the subdomains and backlink
value is split among sub-domains
#seocamp
Targeting
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
16
In terms of content, SEO-friendly language /
country markup helps search engines
differentiate local versions of the same
content. No risk of duplicate content for the
versions in the same language.
Helga Bendea
In terms of accessibility and UX, this markup
ensures visibility in search engines to the
appropriate website version for a specific
market.
#seocamp
Language/country markup | Best practices 17
 Include the annotations of all alternate content version
URLs that are available on your site
 Implement for each page having multilingual /
multiregional versions
 Do not implement for pages/site versions having highly
customized content (no content duplication risk)
It helps Google serve the right page to visitors in search
results based on their language/location
Document location signal used by Bing to determine
rankings of a content in search results. Other signals:
<html lang=""> and <title lang="">
rel="alternate" hreflang meta http-equiv="content-language"
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/fr-fr/" hreflang=“fr-fr" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/fr-ca/" hreflang="fr-ca" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/en-ca/" hreflang="en-ca" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/" hreflang="x-default" />
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 Helga Bendea
#seocamp
Conclusions
How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016
18
A successful international SEO strategy is
tailored to the client’s business. There are no
universal best solutions.
Helga Bendea
Investing in high-quality targeted content and
UX is essential to long-term performance on
each market.
The elements of the strategy are tightly
connected. Each element influences overall
results.
#seocamp
Thank you
Helga Bendea
SEO Lead
Accenture Interactive Italy
helga.andreea.bendea@accenture.com
www.linkedin.com/in/helgabendea

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International SEO Strategy - Helga Bendea - Seocamp

  • 1. #seocamp How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy Helga Bendea
  • 2. #seocamp International SEO Strategy | Key Elements Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 2 Content Accessibility Structure TargetingMarkets Which languages and/or countries? Translated or customized content? User choice or automatic redirects? Domains, subdomains or subfolders? When and how to use SEO language / country markup?
  • 3. #seocamp Markets How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 3 The success of the whole strategy depends on the selection of the appropriate languages / countries that the website should target. Helga Bendea This choice should be made after careful consideration of the real benefits for the business in terms of ROI.
  • 4. #seocamp Which websites should do international SEO? Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 4 A website should consider an international SEO strategy only if the ROI generated by international visitors is positive, i.e. the revenues are enough to generate profit after covering all the costs of international SEO. ROI Revenues Costs Costs 100 Revenues Visits Conversion Rate Average Conversion Value
  • 5. #seocamp Choosing languages and/or countries Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 5 Language-specific  Websites with no country- specific offers  Small/medium sites, typically corporate websites  Not enough budget for translation/localization  Websites with country-specific offers  Medium/large sites, typically e-commerce (currency, etc.)  Dedicated translation and localization budget for each country  Websites with country-specific offers targeting countries with more than one official language  Large sites  Enough budget for the localization process Country-specific Language and country-specific
  • 6. #seocamp Content How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 6 A successful international content strategy is based on: Helga Bendea Relevant, targeted content Custom keyword analysis for each language / country High-quality content translation / localization
  • 7. #seocamp Key elements of content optimization How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 7 Title and Meta DescriptionURL Heading Tags Navigation Elements Images and Alt Texts Main Content Reviews Phone and ContactsCurrency and Shipping Helga Bendea
  • 8. #seocamp Content translation vs customized content Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 8 Translated content Customized content Easier and quick implementation and maintenance Reduced content production and management costs Uniform global brand image SEO-friendly markup needed to prevent duplicate content (only for the same language for different countries: ex. US EN, UK EN, AU EN, .com in EN) Standard or even poor UX when localization is necessary More difficult and longer implementation and maintenance Higher content production and management costs Market-specific brand image Unique content with no risk of duplication for versions in the same language Personalized UX based on user location, language and culture
  • 9. #seocamp Accessibility How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 9 The content that is inaccessible to search engine bots has zero visibility in search engine results. Helga Bendea Lack of SEO targeting or accessibility optimizations can lead to bad user experience.
  • 10. #seocamp Accessibility: what is best for SEO? Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 10 Standard accessibility to all versions All versions are accessible to search engine bots and to all users worldwide Accessibility based on user cookies or choice Inaccessibility and automatic redirects Best UX: users can select the version they want and/or a cookie is set up to store preferences for next visits Bad UX if the redirects lead the user to an inappropriate version Lack of international SEO might lead to bad UX: users reaching versions of the site intended for other markets via search engines All versions are accessible to search engine bots and indexed Not OK if users must only have access to a specific version If access to other markets is totally restricted (no market selection possible)  rule needed to exclude bots from IP-based redirects OK only if business policies require to restrict user access or if location selection is allowed
  • 11. #seocamp Structure How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 11 The choice of the website structure is mainly influenced by: Helga Bendea Market structure: multilingual / multiregional Website type, size and budget Brand image and link popularity strategy
  • 12. #seocamp Multilingual / multiregional website structure Helga BendeaHow to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 12 ccTLDs (Country-Code Top-Level Domains) Subdirectories Subdomains example.com/fr fr.example.com
  • 13. #seocamp ccTLDs | Advantages & disadvantages How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 13 Easy separation of sites and web analytics More expensive and limited availability (for some domains) Helga Bendea Server location is irrelevant, however sites can be hosted on country-specific servers Very strong geolocation signal for the users; usually results in higher click-through rates and conversions The strongest geolocation signal for search engines, very useful for ranking in a specific country Higher costs for infrastructure, IT resources and maintenance Strict ccTLDs legal requirements in some countries Domain authority and backlink value is not shared among sites: need to invest in backlink campaigns for each domain
  • 14. #seocamp Subdirectories | Advantages & disadvantages How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 14 Easy to set up and manage Much weaker geolocation signal for search engines than ccTLDs Helga Bendea example.com/fr Low maintenance costs with same host Can use Google Search Console to set up geo-targeting Consolidated domain authority: backlinks to any subdirectory provide link value to the whole website May be less intuitive for users expecting a ccTLD for local sites More difficult separation of different site versions
  • 15. #seocamp Subdomains | Advantages & disadvantages How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 15 Easier to set up and manage than ccTLDs Weaker geolocation signal for search engines than ccTLDs Helga Bendea fr.example.com Each subdomain can be hosted on different country-specific servers Can use Google Search Console to set up geo-targeting Easy separation of sites More difficult to set up and maintain than subdirectories; more difficult web analytics set up (in some cases) May be confusing for users since the subdomain can represent the country or the language Domain authority is transmitted only in part to the subdomains and backlink value is split among sub-domains
  • 16. #seocamp Targeting How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 16 In terms of content, SEO-friendly language / country markup helps search engines differentiate local versions of the same content. No risk of duplicate content for the versions in the same language. Helga Bendea In terms of accessibility and UX, this markup ensures visibility in search engines to the appropriate website version for a specific market.
  • 17. #seocamp Language/country markup | Best practices 17  Include the annotations of all alternate content version URLs that are available on your site  Implement for each page having multilingual / multiregional versions  Do not implement for pages/site versions having highly customized content (no content duplication risk) It helps Google serve the right page to visitors in search results based on their language/location Document location signal used by Bing to determine rankings of a content in search results. Other signals: <html lang=""> and <title lang=""> rel="alternate" hreflang meta http-equiv="content-language" <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/fr-fr/" hreflang=“fr-fr" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/fr-ca/" hreflang="fr-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/en-ca/" hreflang="en-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://domain.com/" hreflang="x-default" /> How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 Helga Bendea
  • 18. #seocamp Conclusions How to Develop a Successful International SEO Strategy - 27/09/2016 18 A successful international SEO strategy is tailored to the client’s business. There are no universal best solutions. Helga Bendea Investing in high-quality targeted content and UX is essential to long-term performance on each market. The elements of the strategy are tightly connected. Each element influences overall results.
  • 19. #seocamp Thank you Helga Bendea SEO Lead Accenture Interactive Italy helga.andreea.bendea@accenture.com www.linkedin.com/in/helgabendea