International SEO can be a tricky and confusing subject. So if your company wants to dip its toes in international waters, so to speak, you’ll want to make sure to get it right. I have experience with a variety of clients doing international SEO. I currently am the International SEO Strategist at Getty Images, plus I specialized in the subject while at Portent, a digital marketing agency. Previous to my time at Portent, I also did some international SEO work (as well as international AdWords campaigns) while I was managing the marketing for a travel company. So my experience in this realm dates back to at least 2012.
International SEO Audit Includes:
-a review of your site(s) current international audience, using Analytics and Google Search Console data
-your site’s current ranking keywords internationally, using Google Search Console and third-party tool data
-a review of your site(s) current international setup (if any), such as international content on sub-domains, sub-folders, or separate ccTLDs
-a review of your site(s) current localization factors, including currency, local NAP info, country/language selector, geolocation redirects, etc.
-recommendations for how best to structure your website using sub-domains, sub-folders, ccTLDs, or a combination of these URL structures
-recommendations for localization, different translation options and other localization factors that you should incorporate
-geo-targeting optimization in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
-diagnosing and recommending fixes for international web versions crawling, indexing & alignments issues
-best practices for localized landing pages and keyword targeting for your target markets
-recommendations on implementing the proper language tags, such as hreflang tags
-recommendations for internal linking optimization among your international pages or sites
-research into the best new markets to expand your international presence
Results for my International SEO clients
In my work with iStockPhoto.com, I helped pilot and made recommendations for migrating from 11 language sub-domains to 53 country sub-folders, a massive site migration made in part to geo-target our international audiences better. Within 3 months, we saw a 200%+ increase in Y-o-Y organic traffic.
From 2014-2015, I consulted on a number of international clients through my work at Portent.
- Nintex – saw an 18% increase in organic traffic in April 2015 soon after beginning work. They were using the sub-domain method to target different languages.
- Shaklee – implemented hreflang via sitemaps for their English and Spanish sub-folders. Spanish pages had been outranking English pages for a large portion of their keywords. Once I finished work with them, their English and Spanish pages were ranking appropriately 100% of the time.
- Dimension Data – August – November 2014, saw 10% increase in organic traffic. Reduced all return tag errors, created hreflang sitemaps and consulted on page tagging, localization, etc. Used sub-folder method.
- GoreApparel – gave international SEO audit in November 2014. Consulted on canonicalization, hreflang page tag fixes, and return tag error fixes.
- Fender Guitars – consulted against using sub-domains, in favor of ccTLDs or sub-folders since Fender is an internationally recognized brand.
From 2011-2014, I worked for SouthAmerica.travel. In terms of international SEO, we chose to focus on localization by language, for our core markets as well as those where we had sales people who could speak the local languages. The core markets were mostly English-speaking, but we also had a large number of German and some Spanish-speaking clients. Since we had some salespeople who spoke Turkish and Polish, we also had some content available in those languages on our site. We used the sub-folder method to create landing pages for users in specific key markets, such as the UK, which featured localized keywords.
Check out my Client Portfolio for more details about clients I’ve worked with.
Speaking, Writing & Infographics
I’ve written on, spoken about, and created visual graphics to help educate others about international SEO. Check out my writing & speaking portfolio for links to webinars, slidedecks, and more. Plus, here’s the infographic that I created during my time at Portent. It’s meant to help those who are contemplating what type of site structure to use for language and/or country targeting.
Get in Touch!
Please get in touch with me by filling out the contact form here. I’ll try to get back to you with my availability within 1 business day. I look forward to hearing from you and finding out how I can help you with your international site!