Search Engine Optimization is one of the most complex and important activities for businesses today. Operating SEO in one language is pretty tedious itself, operating it in foreign or international markets is even tougher. While entering the market across borders, your SEO team may face several challenges which if not dealt with properly, could lead to huge mistakes. A lot of these mistakes can be avoided if you know how to identify the challenges that commonly come up. The challenges are often spread out in the areas of language or culture, geotargeting, CMS or site infrastructure and or organizational.
Here’s a brief of how you and your team can work out and identify these challenges without too much trouble.
- Linguistic Challenges
Avoid Cloning Your Website
When you enter a foreign market, you need to modify your website such that it caters to local needs by translating the website into the local language. The easy way used by a lot of organizations is to simply duplicate the website and use an online translator for the content. This is the biggest mistake you can make for SEO because there are lot of things that go wrong while using these online translators.
Online translators often ignore grammar and other cultural differences often creating more trouble than solving. If you’ve got a great budget, make sure you utilize it in working with the country’s local language.
Translate Only Once
When you make a new version for your website, your company may want to increase the investment they make but they shouldn’t do that by creating tons of websites with separate languages targeted towards each country.
These translations often add to the server load and ruin your website’s performance. Instead, map the correct language for every country in order to maximize your efforts.
Know What Is Correct And What Is Popular
If you plan to use a popular keyword while translating and it is the least suitable translation, then that is something you must avoid. Even though it may make sense to you, remember that a couple of words may mean different things. There are quite many gaps between Asian and European grammar along with the obvious differences in cultures. It is apt to hire few native speakers and agencies based locally.
Optimize The Local Site
Along with ensuring that your main website is optimized, you also must optimize your local websites. After the translations and other developments, you have to make sure that you constantly update these local sites and optimize them too.
If you want to cut down costs while translating then you can use any translation software. A little investment in this sphere can help you save a lot.
- Challenges Regarding Geo-Targeting
Using Language Tags Maybe Incorrect
If you have some content for your website, the best thing to do is use it to target it towards your audience. If you possess just a single language then that makes it global. When your SEO team starts working with other markets, they will need to use geotargeting.
Using language tags may not make sense because Google does not consider it for the reason that the metadata has 90% wrong information. Your CMS may not recognize them correctly either.
Geo Reporting and Ranking
The rankings should show if the right pages are being displayed in the correct markets. Showing the top ranked websites does not help at all unless the search engine shows if they belong to a relevant search.
Technicalities Related To IP Detection and CloudFlare
A lot of websites these days are depending on the technology of IP Detection Logic tools to redirect users to some page closer to theirs. Mostly these work but sometimes CloudFlare may cause the users to be blocked.
- Challenges In The Technical Sphere
URLs Having Multiple Languages
You must have come across websites which have one singular URL but can be translated to several languages using the same URL. This sometimes ends up confusing search engines as well as users. They may also lead to diluted inbound links.
When Hreflang Signals Are Mixed
A classic example would be putting different tags for the header and XML sitemap. This leads to confusion for the search engines because there is some variation between assigning a webpage to some language along with a country and assigning it only to a language.
Try Not To Waste Crawler’s Time
Try paying attention to the details in order to avoid wasting crawler’s time. This must specifically be done while making XML sitemaps.
- Challenges That Are Organizational
Problems Due To Global Sites
If you have global websites, then you and your SEO team needs to take care of multiple websites and not doing so may result in bigger troubles. An easy way to avoid this is to prepare a standardized list of guidelines to run these sites and provide them to local agencies as well. Use templates for uniformity and these can be used for other local sites too.
While there are several challenges that your SEO team may come across while making your website internationally available, these can be solved by simple measures. The key is to understand SEO requirements and try not to adopt shortcuts. Investing a little money will help you save tons in the future because this will lead to proper and effective SEO practices. You must ensure that local needs are prioritized and be sure to remember that your culture may be leagues apart from that of another country or state. Your SEO team needs to come up with a way to localize the website such that it serves the target audience.
Ensure to focus well on the person who is searching and remember he is different from the users you have been dealing with until now. Do not skip any details just to save some time or money. Learn to be thorough. Teamwork is important between the main team and the local agencies.