What is Multinational SEO?
A multinational company should be able to design their website to target an international audience. While global marketing is exciting and potentially lucrative, it is also challenging. Critical to succeeding overseas is that the company should be able to adjust their SEO strategies to fit into local market requirements. If this does not happen, they risk losing their brand value and customer loyalty in the international market, which also affects profit.
Multinational SEO is a strategy that targets customers in the international area through global search engines. Many companies invest in a great SEO program which works in one country, so they just duplicate the strategy overseas. An SEO plan may work well in one country but utterly fail in another. There are strategic and practical ways to maximize global SEO.
Best Practices for Multinational SEO
- Localizing keywords
Keywords are a critical part of SEO in any language. Translating existing keywords into a country’s local language may not cut it. Localizing keywords is often mistaken for translated content, but this may hurt brand equity in the long run. A market-specific keyword research should be done in each country. There is a need to localize keywords to make sure that the important cultural and linguistic nuances are present in the website. There may also be a need to create copy in multiple languages to take into account regional dialects and colloquialisms.
- Creating a local presence
The goal is to make the site relevant and useful to a local audience. One sure-fire way to create a local presence is to include contact information that is local to the region. If a company doesn’t have any offices or representatives in a certain country, maybe it is time to consider hiring one or multiple technical resources for IT and web operation and language resources for content localization and optimization. Another task that the local office should do is website data analysis, which takes charge of reporting and identifying SEO opportunities.
- Utilizing country-specific domains
It is ideal to utilize country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). Doing so is the strongest way to show search engines that the content of the site is targeted specifically to a certain region. ccTLDs will garner increased click-through rates from users who prefer local domains. Using country code top-level domains can be useful in the right situations; however, someone seeking to register a domain may have to adhere to certain requirements in the country in order to qualify. It also requires IT resources to set-up and maintain.
- Using local hosting providers
It is ideal to look for hosting providers in a country or region where business is conducted on a regular basis. Doing so will support SEO efforts and shows a stronger presence in a specific place. The location of the website host also has a large impact on the page speed because the site should be accessed in the target countries quickly. As a general rule, if the server is farther, the site speed becomes slower. This may potentially result in an undesirable user experience.
- Being familiar with the local country requirements
Multinational SEO must adhere to local country requirements. Finding out what the local regulations are for establishing a country-specific URL will be helpful for the business. Each country has different rules for establishing a country-specific domain or URL. Some countries have strict ccTLD requirements.
- Being more present in social media
Social media presence is essential for a brand. It is a powerful, wide-reaching platform, with some 2.46 billion monthly active users, and expected to increase in the coming years. Whenever social media is mentioned, Facebook is the first thing that comes to mind. However, while Facebook is the world’s most popular social network worldwide, it is far from the only one. Having the widest reach is important, but multinational companies should not discount other networking sites as well. If you want to reach millennials and Gen Z users, Instagram is the best platform. The best site for reaching professionals with purchasing power is LinkedIn.
It is also important to note what social media platform is widely used in a specific country. This is very significant for countries with a huge population that will really impact revenue. For instance, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all banned in China, so they use Weibo and Renren. Russians use Vkontakte or VK, a very popular social networking service. Among social media networks, VK is ranked second only to Facebook, with about 460 million users worldwide. It even outranks Instagram and Twitter.
Delivering the most relevant and the right content to each user, regardless of where they are in the world, should be a top priority. Multinational SEO efforts should result in a significant in-country ranking increase, which ensures that the business maintains brand consistency worldwide while accommodating local nuances. A successful multinational SEO may be a cost-effective and scalable way to grow a company’s international market.