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Hi and welcome to the SEO podcast. Unknown secrets of internet marketing. My name is Chris Burris.
And my name is Matt Bertram.
Welcome to another fun-filled edition of this podcast. I didn’t, I I’m. I’m one of the owners of VWR digital. I, I tried to change it up and then forgot my lines.
Well, you know, this is live Chris, so people are listening to it with no editings.
Well, you don’t get to redo that. Can we ha we can’t start, you know, we have started over before, but that was entirely accidental.
We wish we didn’t have to start over.
I’m just, we’ve done a pretty good job. And part of it, is it because it does actually go live. We haven’t had to redo an entire podcast. Remember when we started podcasting together, there was at least one episode and maybe two or three that were like, oh, I’m sorry. I forgot to hit the record button.
That was where my best really.
Well, welcome back to another fun filled edition of our podcast. This is podcast number 537, and I just want to kick it off with a review. Cause I feel like a review says really everything. And this one is from the, the handle is corporate apostle. It is of course,
Your podcast changed how I describe what I do as, and this is quote, we’re a Google SEO specialization company that also by the way, is the highest volume expediter of New York state apostle authentications in west Chester. That’s the end of quote. I don’t even understand half of that two. We are a hundred percent Google driven and this point of our marketing evolution at this point in our marketing evolution, your podcasts are absolutely indispensable for any business that wonders how come my phone isn’t ringing. And he actually fins it, finishes it with, and I think this is how he would say it.
I like it. That.
Is, that is a great review. Thank you very much. Corporate apostle. And the next thing we have is to jump into the article, unless you have any kind of breaking news, cutting edge info, anything.
There there’s a lot of stuff going on, but I think we just jump into the podcast. I am worried about my internet connection at this point. This point a like when I really get productive is when really the internet likes to mess with me.
It gets less productive your internet.
Yep. It me to be less productive. It does like it. I think it, I think it has something against me. So I don’t know.
All right, well, we’re going to jump into this article. This article is four key areas of international SEO focus for entering a new market. This is written by, I love his first name is spelled differently, but Christopher Jones, he starts as a, with a K. I start mine with the C. He actually was the creator of pepper jam, which is an affiliate network that ended up getting bought by another company. I don’t remember the name of it and then got named, bought out by another company, which I do remember the name of it because it’s eBay. So that’s kind of cool. He built a company that ultimately got acquired by eBay. That’s pretty off. So Putin to Christopher Jones, and let’s kind of jump in.
So you now have the chance to bring your brand and your offerings to customers in different countries, because you’ve made this decision. On the one hand, this effort will be about replicating the success that you’ve had in your own country, right? That makes sense. On the other hand, marketing yourself in the United States will be different from marketing yourself and France, Germany, or Australia, or any other country that you choose. It’s going to be different on the most basic level, practicing international as international SEO means targeting specific countries and languages on your website, but we’re going to jump into the four key areas of international SEO that you should focus on when you’re entering these new markets. The first one is establish the right URL structure for the international pages.
So enterprise and large scale websites will have tons of pages like hundreds or thousands. And when you factor in e-commerce markets, you, you know, the, the number of pages can add up really fast. So first you want to build your international pages for the right audiences using the proper country coded URL structure. And when I first read those, I got a, I don’t know if that’s exactly true. And then it became obvious that it was true. Say you want to expand into the UK market, and you’re based in the U S you’ve already done all the SEO for your US-based pages, but now you need to create an optimized pages for a British audience that is pages that Google will show to users searching from the United Kingdom, right?
So this is why that kind of UK piece in the URL is a great signature to Google. And you can just wave if you want to jump in at any point.
Well, yeah, I mean, basically you’re trying to create signals for Google on where it should show the information and how you’re organizing that information. Certainly if you’re going, multi-country you want to say, Hey, these are for this country, these are for this comp plan that we’re going to get into languages later. But yeah, I mean, this is, I mean, it’s all about data organization or your data hierarchy and giving more signals. So it can trust that it’s showing the information in the right place. And that’s what the algorithms looking for.
Yep. So many international websites, as they’re kind of going international, choose to country code their international URLs with a CCT L D or that’s domain talk, and which the, in this case, the example would be a.uk or a.co.uk. Cause there’s a, apparently some con controversy controversy about changing.co.uk to just.uk other. So just to note, there was a poll 79% of Brits prefer buying from a.uk domain, right? So if you were like, oh, we don’t need it. English, you know, American English is good enough. And I think he talks about that at some point, you know, changing a few words here or there, and some of the sentence structure, we don’t really care the, the brentsville understand 79% of them prefer to buy on a.uk name.
So, so keep that in mind, other options, you can have a country coded sub domain, so you can use like UK dot your domain.com a sub folder. So your domain.com forward slash UK. And this is actually when you do language, when you have multiple languages on a WordPress site, it’ll typically add like, you know, in Spanish, there’ll be a dot E S for a spaniel. And then you could just add another domain entirely, right? So your company name just changed the whole thing and have it really optimized for British users. You’ll have to decide, which is better for your organic traffic. So why might you want one versus the other? So, 1, 1, 1 thing to take into consideration is separate with a separate domain. Your organic traffic data will be broken among different websites that you’d be seeing.
You’d have to look at different. What’s the right word platforms to see the data for the different domains. And this is true of if you’ve got a separate, you know, dot UK, or even if you have a separate sub domain. Well,
Yeah, Chris, what I would say is, you know, really from what I’ve seen is if you’re putting something on a domain, you’re not able to really leverage the SEO juice in the way that you might want to do that. So Google, a lot of times we’ll treat that as a completely separate website. And so if you want to kind of leverage this huge website and all these different areas, keeping them on the same domain would probably be a preferred option. Certainly there are instances where you might want to put it on a sub domain, but I don’t think that’s like necessarily best practice, unless there’s a specific use case for it.
Yeah. I, I would agree. I think that’s true. And I think you’ve got to really dig in and understand those use cases. If you’re choose the sub domain or the sub folder routes that would allow you to view the international versions of your site separately, while still allowing you to collect organic traffic data and all in one place. So just remember telling the search engines, the version of your website meant for each country is necessary to rank for the right audience, right? And that’s the first point. All right. Point number two, again, four key areas of international SEO. You need to go all in, on page experience for international users. So let’s talk about some problems in our little example, say you get the.uk sub domain version. That’s interesting. Cause he says.uk sub domain, it’s actually.uk domain.
Or you did a UK dot sub domain of your site to rank for British users. So say you got that to happen. Those users then go to your site and notice you’re using American English rather than British English. Maybe this isn’t a huge deal, right? Like they kinda know, but it is still a little off-putting then upon checking out your prices, those British users can only see your prices in American dollars. Like that’s a problem. So just listen, just as in traditional SEO, international SEO needs to consider user experience, be sure to translate all your website content for its intended user.
Yeah. I would just say user experience based on a lot of the algorithm changes over the last, let’s say eight months now, user experience, and really the customer journey on the website, I think has taken front and center stage with a lot of those updates and really looking at the UX of what’s happening and really focused on CRO is most important. And really not just building a site for the aesthetic component of it, but really the usability. We’ve seen that a lot with apps as well, right? Like you need to continue to use your site and have other people use it and test it out to also, I mean, even using heat mapping or you can record some of the versions to understand what was happening.
I have a specific example with the big manufacturing company that were working with, all of a sudden leads stopped flowing at one point and really couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. Well, there was a update that happened. And basically if we couldn’t see what was happening in the versions of where people were going and what people were clicking on, we wouldn’t have realized that there was a specific button on a high traffic page that actually broke for some reason. And, you know, to understand where those leads are coming from. And also what that experience is to be able to catch that in an address that through being able to understand the UX UI of what’s going on is incredibly important. And Google is really looking at how people interact with that.
If people are going to the cart and then for whatever reason, they’re leaving, that’s a bad sign to Google. And really, if you can understand, okay, that’s because it’s priced in the wrong currency and people, you know, our second guests in it, we’re getting upset about that and leaving, or there could be issues with shipping or like there’s a lot of question marks that people de-select themselves. And so you want to make sure there’s no friction through the whole sales process.
Yeah, absolutely. And, and one of the key points that I’ll touch on in, in that example you gave is it was highlighted in the data, right? So we talk, everybody talks test and measure, always be data driven. And that’s a perfect example of like ultimately, you know, the problem was actually the button, but the problem was discovered in the data. You’ll also want to lock in whether Google shows that version of your page to the right audience, by adding the H ref Lang attribute to your pages. So a just in case you didn’t know, H ref Lang laying as in language tags are signals that tell Google the language used on the page. And this is important for a couple of reasons. Google will show that version of the page to users who come from IP addresses that, speak that language.
So if you want to get it a little bit more complicated, you could create a German language version of your pages specifically for German speaking people. But you have to remember that German is spoken in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. And this case you want to add H ref Lang tags for specific countries, you’d have tags for the other countries using the letter abbreviation. And it gives the example for Germany. It’s the H ref Lang equals D E and then for Switzerland, it’s HRF Lang equals D E dash C H not intuitively obvious, but those were, there are. So, and then regarding currencies, you should be sure to look into the currency options on Shopify or WooCommerce or the platform that you’ve selected to do your e-commerce site.
And, and recently, you know, I would like to add that Shopify has added Bitcoin as a way to, Yeah, there’s a big announcement at Bitcoin Miami. So that’s really pretty cool stuff strike has done. So,
So finally, you may also want country-specific resources on each translated page of your website to address users, concerns about taxes, customs, and shipping. So if you’re shipping from the U S and you’re, you know, that may be intimidating to somebody in the UK, they just know, oh, shipping’s going to be horrible. If you’ve decided to subsidize that shipping, you probably want to have some verbiage on the site. I know one of our sites, we’ve got a pop-up that comes across and, you know, great shipping rates to UK, Australia and New Zealand. So that’s point number two, number three, be aware of international keyword differences. So you also need to be an acutely aware of the differences and keyword trends among countries.
There is of course, the issue of keywords appearing in completely different languages in different countries, but even in countries that speak the same lame language, the terms may differ elevator in the U S is a lift in the UK. So if you’re going to optimize for, you know, if you do elevator repair and you want some service, or you’ve got equipment that you’re selling into the UK, you’re going to have to call it lift repair. You can use tools such as SEM rush and H refs for keyword research, according to search volumes and different countries, you will just like with all SEO, you will need to put the time into researching the terms used in your target countries and translate them properly where necessary. I mean, this goes back to, it really is an additional full-on SEO effort to go into a new region.
And that actually, depending on the service or the product can be true, even within say within the United States, within the same country where you’ve got to like spin up all the content, you’ve got to spin up all the nuances, it just becomes more. Are there are more things that you need to be mindful of when you’re going into a new country. So, you know, from a business perspective, you’ve got to look like, okay, if we can go there and we can get X percentage of what we’re getting here. Yeah. This is an effort worth doing, but the marketing is going to be a fairly similar cost, you know, overall.
What, you know, so I, again, regionally roof versus roof, like Coke versus what is it, a pop like, there’s a bunch of stuff like that, but I think, you know, the Northeast, the south, right, the west it’s a little bit different than the mid area of the United States. Certainly like the bread basket is very different. But I would say from a country standpoint, having a country manager is really important is typically when we’re going into a new country, we bring somebody on that’s specific to that country that can help with those dialects can help with those nuances to really look at that messaging to make sure that, I mean, it’s like when you go to like Europe, people know you’re American, like, you know what I mean?
Like they just know that you’re American, you know, even people that are from other countries coming to the U S to market same way. Right. So, so we do a lot of that, right? There’s more people coming to the U S that want to market to the U S population that are from outside the U S that really want to make sure that they’re speaking the language properly so they don’t stand out, but they connect. Right. And, and I think that goes both ways, certainly for Americans, even with, you know, other English speaking countries that you’re going to target and having a country manager that can help you with those dialects is something I would certainly recommend. So,
Yeah, certainly important. All right. So number four, this is the fourth out of four key areas of international SEO is pursuit backlinks from country specific domains. So the last point to cover yes, on an enterprise website, you want to attract users in many countries, you’ll want to have backlinks to assist in that effort, right? It’s a, it’s a big portion of your SEO effort. You already know the benefits of high quality backlinks. Cause you listen to our podcast and your SEO hours. If you have a version of your site, let’s say for Japan, it makes sense that most of your backlinks should be from websites with the.jp extension, with the.dot JP domain. That just makes sense from the user experience. Right?
So if they’ve gone through from a Japanese website, a website with Japanese language on it, and they land on an English website, that’s not a good experience. You’re going to get a bounce. There’s nothing good is going to come out of that. Just think what kinds of backlinks would Google most associate with trustworthiness for my site? And let me add in that country.
Yeah. I mean, like I see a lot of, let’s say US-based companies that have a bunch of like Indian backlinks, right. You know, Google in the past might not have looked at that so much. They’re certainly looking at that now. Right. Or if there’s a bunch of links from Baltic countries and you’re in the U S wha why would those sites be linking to you, right? Or are you trying to manipulate the search engines? And so really having contextual links in the niche that you’re in the geographic area that you’re in sort of direct the traffic or have traffic that is from the area you’re trying to rank, that even affects on the local level. Right?
So if you’re geographically in one city in the United States, and then you’re getting a bunch of traffic all across north America, why is that happening? And Google’s looking at those signals trying to figure that out and understand that and process that data. And a lot of the times people are building a backlink profile without really taking this into consideration and they’re there to their detriment. Right? And so a lot of times there’s a lot of SEO work that comes to us that we have to untangle. And so it just goes back to what you always say, Chris, you do the right thing in terms of the user. And Google will look favorably upon you. That is so incredibly important.
And as Google continues to improve on their algorithms, that all kind of work confluence create like a confluence of like where the rankings come in, you just need to do the right thing and you need to go about the right way. And there’s a lot of great ways to get outreach, to get placements, to get bilingual, to buy lines. Like there’s all kinds of things you can do to build like SEO is like online PR, right. And, and to do it and go about it the right way. And again, one high quality league could be worth hundreds, if not thousands of, you know, spammy type links. So really just focus on that quality and mirror, try to mirror what is happening in the real world. It, it has happened to you.
And if you’re going into a new country, you should be getting news links. You should be getting companies connected to you. You should be offering high quality data and generating those backwards. You should have any widgets and tools that help them, those areas that will organically generate those links. And, and those should be to the pages that are with that, you know, target URL or that country URL. Everything should be organized in a way that makes sense. And then those SU signals will certainly help right now.
It’s okay to have backlinks from other countries based on like a PR launch or a certain type of presence or authority that your site has, but, you know, really taking that into mind and understanding why would you get those leaks and why should those leaks be attached to your site is incredibly important when you’re looking at the overall SEO strategy.
Yeah. I think, I think one of the gist of the article is, Hey, just do more planning, right? I think it’s, you know, we’re in this global internet economy where you can spin up some products in Amazon, UK pretty easily, but if you’re actually going to go into to the UK or Japan or wherever you’re going, and you want support from your search engine optimization efforts, then they’re going to have to be more than what you just were doing. You’re not, you’re not kind of refocusing the U S team on Japan. You actually really need to have at least one person who’s who can speak a native Japanese, and hopefully has spent some time in Japan on the internet so that they’ve got familiarity with whatever the customs and habits are of the Japanese population.
And, and so, yeah, it just takes more thinking about it. And, and he really wraps this up. Christopher wraps it up with, it takes a lot of time and effort to get your international SEO, right. But if you’re an enterprise business expanding across national borders, be sure your website is working for you rather than against you. And I think, you know, that’s probably true all the time and is equally true when you’re talking about expanding international. So TIFF to Christopher Jones,
The last comment that I would make on this is I think you really hit the nail on the head. And this comes with all SEO efforts, really proper planning. I think that there’s not enough emphasis on really defining out those customer personas, that customer journey. What’s the SEO strategy. What’s the content calendar. Are you doing the audits? Are you taking some time to put together some workshops to really understand what you’re trying to achieve and not just jumping into it? Because you could, I mean, think about it like a, maybe like a maze, right? If you’re, if you’re putting together a maze, you’re going to go hit some roadblocks and then you’re going to have to all come all the way back and then you’re going to have to go like another direction.
Now, if you spend a little bit more time analyzing where you’re going or what you’re kind of do from a higher level, you can figure out what that right path is without having to rework a lot of these things. And I just think that people want results so quickly and SEO takes so much time, but it takes less time if you plan it properly. And the work that you put in has some real merit and impact to get you to where you want to go. And you’re focusing on the right things. And you’re not just the mouse in the melt, turn it into cheese and going as fast as you can. But, but that planning piece is probably the most valuable piece. And I think it’s the piece that people skirt over the most.
And, you know, I think just SEO, there needs to be more emphasis on that strategy component. And, and certainly when you’re trying to expand it, shouldn’t be haphazardly. It should really be methodical and laid out and invest the time into figuring those things out to make sure you’re doing it right. So I think that was a really good summary, Chris.
Yeah. I, I think that’s good. Yeah. I really like your, it takes lots of time to do SEO. It takes less time if you plan it appropriately.
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Yes. I would say we do a lot of workshops to help plan some of these things out. We have some great audits. Certainly we do some like one-off consulting through the podcast. Check out EWL, digital.com. We’ve worked with a lot of enterprise level companies. We’re moving into the web three space. Hit us up.
Yeah. All right. Well, this wraps up our podcast until the next podcast. My name is Chris morose.
My name is Matt Bertram.
Bye-bye for now.
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