Expanding into new markets can be immensely beneficial to any business. It opens up new customer bases and you may find less competitive markets where you can make a bigger impact at a lower cost. From an SEO standpoint, there are many different aspects to consider when developing an international strategy. But where to start? This handy guide covers the most important points to consider if you are thinking of expanding your business into other markets.
- First, you want to capitalise on the traffic you’re already getting. You can do this by analysing your existing international organic traffic to determine if you get enough visits to make expanding worth the investment. For example, in Google Analytics under the Audience tab in Geo -> Location and Geo -> Language you can find out which countries you are already attracting visitors from and languages your visitors speak. You can find similar demographics data for other platforms you may be using: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etcetera. Once you’ve gathered this data you’ll be able to prioritise your efforts in starting your global SEO-strategy.
- Next, you want to investigate your current organic visibility in other countries: identify the queries and pages you rank for in other countries, using Google Search Console, SEMRush and SearchMetrics.
- This brings us to the next step in the process: conducting localised keyword research and determining if there is sufficient search volume for your key terms in the market. You will also need to ask yourself which search engines are active in the market you are considering targeting and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Conduct market research to understand your international audience’s behaviour and characteristics and analyse your international industry and competitors, using for example STAT, SEMRush, SearchMetrics and SimilarWeb.
- Subsequently, you will have to come up with a localisation strategy. Ideally, you create localised meaningful, original content that targets market-specific keywords. You will also need to decide if you should localise your social media efforts and consider link-building in the local market. No matter which languages or platforms you choose to prioritise, it’s crucial to avoid automated translation when entering a new market. While multilingual brand messaging can be difficult and time-consuming, machine translation will not be sufficient to properly localise your content. An authentic voice is critical, especially when engaging with potential customers on social media.
- Lastly, consider the technical aspects of your expansion plan. For example, choosing the right domain structure, implementing hreflang tags, and looking at setting up a country/language switcher for user-friendliness.
In the end, it’s all about making the best decisions for your business. Coming up with a data-driven strategy before launching international websites will ultimately make a big difference in the results you will achieve.
With our team of linguists and SEO specialists, Locaria can help you develop and implement your international localisation strategy. We provide research and testing services across various global markets, as well as international SEO, digital content marketing, and website localisation services. To find out more about how we can help your business thrive, contact us to get your quote today.