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Currently, we just target one country or region for our client when it comes to ranking on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). That is a decision based on target audience of the company. As the company grows, there is a need to expand the target audience to attract more customers. Hence, a company aiming for global operation needs to target multiple countries or region. But what should be done to target multiple countries?
Enters Multiregional SEO.
I’ll be honest : Most businesses don’t need to worry about the hassles that come with ranking on SERP for different geographies. In fact most of our clients generally focus on a single geography.
If you are not doing business in other countries, it makes little sense to set up your website for Multiregional SEO. But, if prospects of your business are expanding among your potential customers, the search and popularity of your products is becoming globally recognizable and you don’t want to be restricted to offering services and products at only a single location, you have to find a way to make your web content reachable across the globe to wider range of audience, and there comes the need for Multiregional SEO techniques. Multiregional SEO is performed to make your business branding expandable among the audiences throughout the globe.
Let’s dive in and find out how to formulate these Multiregional SEO strategies for targeting those international audiences!
First step for any business looking to optimize their website for multiple countries is developing a URL structure.
According to Google’s official Webmaster central blog, “It’s difficult to determine geotargeting on a page by page basis, so it makes sense to consider using a URL structure that makes it easy to segment parts of the website for geotargeting”.
Keeping above in mind, let’s take a look at pros and cons of each URL or domain:
For example: sitename.fr or sitename.in
For example: in.sitename.com, fr.sitename.com
For example: sitename.com/in/, sitename.com/fr/
For example site.com?loc=de, ?country=france
I’ve outlined the pros and cons of the most popular methods for geotargeting in a URL or domain.
But, which one is best or you?
ccTLDs are ideal for businesses with a strong brand presence. It allows a business to have better control over each of their sites. However, they can be quite pricey, which can be difficult for businesses on a budget. A great example of a company using ccTLD is Amazon. Check out: www.amazon.fr or www.amazon.in .
Companies that decide to use a subdomain with gTLDs tend to do it for positive international link juice. When a user from a different country links to a site, they copy the gTLD subdomain as well. This gives a company more strength for that particular country. Also, it allows a company to provide users with a unique experience based on their language or region. A good example of a company using subdomains for languages is majestic.com. Check out majestic.com vs. de.majestic.com.
Subfolder or subdirectories is a good solution for brands with limited content in certain languages and resources. Take a look at the example subfolders: Unamo.com/es/ , Spotify.com/de/.
Remember, what makes sense for someone else may not make sense for you. Therefore, it is ultimately your decision whether to use a ccTLD, a subdomain, or a subfolder. Keep in mind target audience and the search engine they are going to use for their region.
Each location needs to have a unique URL and an individual page. Each URL also has to be added to the sitemap so that the search engines can find and index the content.
Create pages with “geo specific” content to make the most of on-page elements such as:
Do note that content on each page has to be unique. Simply changing the location name doesn’t count. Creating original content will help avoid duplicate penalties and also result in a great user experience for the visitor.
Schema and structured data allow you to markup web content with special tags that help Google extract specific types of information and then display them in search results. Although it may or may not boost search engine rankings, SEOs have been using schema for years to improve click-through rate. Traditional organic search results typically include a page title, the URL, and a short description of the page content. These details are pulled from the website’s meta data. Schema markup can help businesses expand the types of information that is displayed to users by tagging portions of the existing content.
Using schema markup can help you start optimizing for entities, rather than just keywords. The best part is schema implementation only requires minimal HTML knowledge and there are many online tutorials that can walk you through the entire process.
The key to managing multiple locations is treating each location as unique entity. Every market is different. With an individualized approach, you can analyze how locations are performing independently and identify your trouble markets in terms of rankings, traffic, and goal completions. In addition to gaining more visitors, geotargeting your website can also increase conversions. So you can optimize for both the search engine and the user.