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Need Seo Help For International Visitors


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3 replies to this topic

#1 kcorc

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 06:06 PM

I've got a client with the primary goal of attracting international customers for his auction business. The auctions are conducted in the US, with a live feed online so that anyone may bid from anywhere in the world. Aside from the tried and true SEO advice for keywords, content, page titles, linking and the like, what else can I do to compete in the international arena? The client has a .com address, and is currently only an English language site hosted in the U.S.
Thanks in advance for the help!

#2 smc_online

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:24 AM

Hi kcorc,

I have experience promoting US web sites in Europe as well as Central and South America. So, I will start by stressing two important points:
  • First and foremost, international optimization should be approached as a separate SEO project. Think of each translation as a standalone web site.
  • Second, having the proper presentation layer in the conversion process will have an impact on sales. Locals (your international target audience) prefer to engage in a conversion experience in their own language. If the presentation layer of the transaction engine (i.e., bidding system) is not available in that respective language, then you may not completely realize your total potential sales.
With that said, I recommend the following:
  1. Hire a translation agency to help convert the site to the target audience's language (i.e., Spanish, German, French, etc.). I am fluent in Spanish and have taken French speaking lessons, but I still prefer to hire a translator to ensure the proper transfer of a professional tone (and avoid embarrassing grammatical errors).
  2. You can either obtain a country code top level domain (ccTLD as in “yourdomain.fr”) or create a sub-directory (yourdirectory.com/French/) or sub-domain (french.yourdomain.com) to house the translated site. My preference is the sub-domain as it is a cleaner method to segment traffic in web analytics and simpler to execute (in my experience) than obtaining a ccTLD. But any of the three options are appropriate.
  3. Revisit your on-page optimization effort as your target keyword phrases will change due to the translation process. This applies for both short-tail keyword (ST) and long-tail keywords (LT). This might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many people fail to do this step.
  4. If you have not already done so, plan a localized/geo/language specific link building campaign. Localized links will play a role in your ranking. If needed, this could be done simultaneously with step #4. IMHO, its best to have the translation and optimization completed before you start link building.
That’s it! Sounds simple, huh? Take it from me, its much easier said than done. I hope this is helpful.

ˇBuena suerte!


#3 kcorc

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:47 PM

Thank you very much for your detailed advice. I knew this project was going to have added layers of work, but their (hopeful) success adds to their bottom line, mine, and just as importantly, my resume. I had seen much of what you pointed out, but there is so much scattered info out there that it's nice to get a concise direction to follow!

#4 smc_online

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:58 PM

You are welcome! biggrin.gif




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