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Take Your Blog Worldwide with International SEO


international SEO blog
Most bloggers don’t focus their work time on SEO activities, preferring to produce quality content and let the rankings come along with that. Undoubtedly that is the right approach as, with so many blogs out there, if your material isn’t of a high standard then readers won’t hang around for long. Focusing too much on SEO can deter readers who will quickly be able to tell that you are chasing rankings rather than entertaining and informing them. However, there are certain SEO activities which can help you spread the reach of your blog without impacting the experience of the reader, most notably stretching your audience beyond your own country and taking it worldwide. Below are a few of the technical aspects to consider if you are interested in growing your blog’s reach in search to expose it to an international audience:

Local Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important parts of SEO and, whilst often fairly monotonous, it can give you a massive step ahead in the search engines. If you want to target different countries and languages with your SEO then it’s important to do accurate keyword research in your target language and not just translate native keywords into the other language.
With language, things are rarely directly translated and the search behaviour of people in different countries can differ dramatically. At the most simple level, an American would search for ‘family vacation’, where someone in the UK would search for ‘family holiday’. Throw in the complication of a totally different language and direct translation just won’t cut the mustard. The phrase ‘car insurance’ would be translated into French as ‘assurance de voiture’, but this isn’t how the French search. Instead, they use ‘assurance auto’ as a shortened form of ‘automobile’ out of convenience. These kind of local nuances mean it is crucial to do plenty of investigation into your target market in the research phase.
Once you’ve done that, you can create targeted content which will be much more likely to be successful in your target market.

Plugins

One of the big advantages of using popular blogging platforms like Wordpress and Blogger is the availability of fantastic plugins and gadgets which cover almost every requirement. Multilingual plugins are amongst those available and can give you a quick and easy solution to a having a multilingual blog. These plugins do use Google Translate on the most part, and as such aren’t the ideal solution, but if you’re searching for a quick way to go multilingual then this is a great route.

International Links

One of the biggest indicators to search engines that your blog is relevant around the world and not just in one country or language is having links from sites around the world. In today’s interconnected world, finding international connections on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook is relatively straightforward. Once you’ve established and built these relationships, reach out and ask if they can link to you. The more links you can get from different top level domains or TLDs (like .co.uk, .com, .co.in etc.), the more relevant your site will appear on an international scale.

Sub Domains/Sub Folders/TLDs

For more technical bloggers out there, it is actually possible to set up your blog on different, country or language specific sub domains, sub folders or TLDs. For example, if you want to target users in France, you can set up a sub domain, sub folder or TLD specific to that country and language. This would be either:
  • Sub domain – fr.your-blog.com
    • Easy to implement
    • Can be hosted in target country
    • Can set geotargeting in Google Webmaster Tools
    • Can create sitemaps for each sub domain
  • Sub folder – www.your-blog.com/fr
    • Easy to implement
    • Can set geotargeting in Google Webmaster Tools
  • TLD – www.your-blog.fr
    • Strong signal to search engines that you are relevant in that market
    • Requires time and resource to promote the new domain

Create Great Content!

Some things never change, no matter who or where your target market is. The key to a successful blog is to have quality content which users will enjoy, regardless of how they find you. If you have put all the technical aspects in place and consistently deliver quality material, visitors will keep coming back for more and will be more likely to link/Like/Tweet your content to spread the word further. The internet is a worldwide phenomenon, so by interacting with people online and promoting your content you will certainly grow the reach of your blog internationally.
By following the usual SEO principles and try to incorporate some of those above
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