Your International SEO Questions Answered
During our recent webinar, Best Practices for International SEO, we had so much great content from our webinar presenters from SEM International and so many questions, we ran out of time to address them all. So here are answers to some of your key queries from Michael Bonfils and Cinzia Anderson.
Q: If we translate all possible keywords, how do we submit that to a search engine? Or should we just include them in our website and the search engine will catch them? How should we incorporate the keywords into our website?
A: You can add the most relevant, targeted keywords in various elements on your website:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- URL (folder structure)
- Header tags (H1, H2, etc.)
- Page content
- Image alt tags
- Video descriptions
- Call-to-action elements
The search engines will ‘pick up’ the core signals (what is the site and/or page about i.e. targeted keywords and keyword phrases, who are the targeted users, what is the purpose of the site/page, etc.) and will categorize these accordingly, which will affect the ranking algorithm and appropriately show the pages in SERPs.
Q: When it comes to measuring my global success, are Google Analytics and the Google Search Console all paid services or I can start with some analytical websites or programs first for my site?
A: No, neither Google Analytics nor Google Search console are paid products; they are free (at least the Google Analytics basic version is). Google’s enterprise analytics is very expensive and robust, but you can use Webtrends or Kissmetrics if you want something that is lower cost, provides more data than Google basic, and is off of Google’s servers. Google’s search console is always free.
Q: How can you measure localized SEO efforts? Does Google provide any segmented insights?
A: Localized efforts can be measured by analyzing the following data (including but not limited to):
- All rankings and traffic, whether from organic search, referrals, or mobile
- Local rankings on all major search engines and social platforms
- Referral traffic from all major search engines as well as email promotions, campaign links, directories, and specific “niche” sites
- Link activity from coupons, call-to-action links, and surveys
- Reviews (!) – How users respond to your localized efforts and do these reviews lead to higher traffic, more leads, better rankings, and conversions
- Track all localized social mentions including likes and shares
Google Analytics offers a vast variety of segments that lets you isolate and analyze a specific set of data, for any local, regional, national, or global efforts. You’ll find more information on the different segments available on GA, and how to apply, build, and manage them here.
Q: We are trying to submit websites and keywords to the Chinese search engine, Baidu, but we have no experience in that. What do you recommend to start this process? We have already built the English websites.
A: Baidu is very complex. First of all, are the websites in English or Chinese? Baidu will want your site to be in Chinese, and it needs to be hosted in China to actually show up not only to users, but also to those approving the ads in Baidu. The firewall prevents a lot of websites outside of China from even showing up, so make sure you have that. Next, in order to open an account, you will need to work with an agency (such as ours) who has a direct relationship as Baidu does not work directly with clients unless the spend is over $10M a year. Baidu also requires a prepaid deposit of at least $1500 in order to open the account and have the necessary governmental paperwork that authorizes your company to advertise in China. These are all things an agency can help you with.
If you are on your own and have a presence in China working for you, they can also fill in the documentation and requirements in order to open an account and fund it. Also, keep in mind, the reports are all in Chinese, so you’ll need to be able to translate that into English. Google Analytics doesn’t work well there, but Baidu has their own analytics (again in Chinese) that you can use for free. Or you can use Russia’s Yandex “Metrica” as an English alternative to analytics. China doesn’t block Metrica like it does Google occasionally.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions related to international SEO or translating your website, don’t hesitate to reach out. And of course, thanks again to Michael and Cinzia for the great webinar and these helpful answers on successful setup and measurement of international SEO and advertising!
Don’t forget, you can watch the webinar recording on demand or download the slides here.