As an International SEO Strategist you need to be in full control and be able to see the bigger picture of the company’s or you client’s strategy and goals. Then create a plan to reach those set KPI’s and goals by aligning your International SEO strategy to be able to reach there.
Pre International SEO strategy checklist:
Setting preliminary goals and KPI’s
Depending on what kind of client or company you are working for you will first and foremost define what and why you are wanting to go international. Is there maybe a way to slim it down to do just one market, or have you made sure there is demand for what you have when you expand from the hypothetical market you are already in.
The goals doesn’t have to be set in stone but at least have some kind of understanding where you want to reach before you start reaching for something that you don’t even know what it is. This is something that’s not only for creating international SEO strategies but can be fitted into many parts of life.
Market research (!)
Make sure the market that you are going to go into will be profitable. I’ve seen many cases where companies jump straight into a market because of the size and the “un-tapped potential” that it possesses. Maybe it’s untapped because there is nothing to tap.
This can be done with multiple tools such as Semrush, GA, aHrefs, and more and I will describe closer in detail about how to do that in coming articles.
This could be bunched up with the second point but I’ll put it as its own because of the extreme importance. Get someone that knows the market to help you out with, and I say this loosely – translating – the current keywords that you have for you current market. And the reason I use the word loosely is because you should not ever translate when going into a new market. At least not word for word, cultures and languages are different. And so are customer search patterns and behavior. Get someone that can find those “untapped” keywords for your new market.
Create Local content and branding
This ties in with #3, as you will have to make everything as fluent as possible. Not only language and culture-wise but do it so that the people feel like you are actually an expert of their home market. Noone wants to work with a company that send you google translated emails and websites – “Sorry Google”. Don’t oversell, or over force it, just make sure it looks genuine.
Set up the technical parts of the strategy.
Why I’ve put this on the fifth is maybe a bit misleading as it’s the absolutely most important part if you want to succeed. But that’s also why I’ve created an article that’s just dealing strictly with this. But you will have to make a lot of choices. Choices like – Which ccTLDs should I use? How should I manage sub-directories? What subdomains can I use? How do I set up correct href-tags? Do I use local hosting?
All these are valid questions that if you read the coming articles you will get answered in the best of my abilities. Hope you enjoyed this small, small “Checklist” before you even start thinking of going international.
Also published on Medium.