How to SEO globally,
Search engine optimisation.

Posted on 19th Nov 2018

Global SEO has the potential outreach of your ranking showing internationally. However, the further you target, the more competitive the rankings become.

We suggest you go start from local or nationwide SEO and only then move to SEO globally. This would help in two ways; the first being maintaining your local positions and the second being building upon pre-existing rankings with Google.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can scale your website’s SEO value to a global level. However, please note that there’s a lot of time and effort that can go into this specific SEO strategy. Therefore, marketing budgets are something to consider from the very start.

Checklist to SEO globally

1. Multilingual website

It’s unlikely that you know how to fluently write in every language your business may deal with. Therefore, making a website multilingual is going to be a challenge if done alone.

You should consider hiring a professional writer in your chosen language(s) to rewrite every page of your website. You should further consider keeping them on a retainer due to a part of this SEO strategy involving to continuously write new quality content (see below).

Sadly and for a very good reason, automating this process to cut-out costs is not possible through tools or website plugins. This is due to Google’s automated-content guidelines.

Automated translations don’t always make sense and could be viewed as spam. More importantly, a poor or artificial-sounding translation can harm your site’s perception.

—Google Webmaster Guidelines

Implementing multilingual websites

Implementing multilingual websites correctly can be tricky. You should leave this process to a web development company who is experienced in the process. This is because there’s a lot of considerations to make of which guesswork may not cut it.

For example;

  • do you use a subdomain to indicate the language (gb.example.com),
  • do you use a domain path to indicate the language (example.com/gb/)
  • or do you use a totally new domain (example.co.uk)?

Secondly, from asking these questions, increases even more questions;

  • do these new languages cause any duplicate content issues (imagery, site links, etc.),
  • will these improve any SEO value due to pre-established domain metrics,
  • if using a totally new domain, will the variation of the chosen language(s) available when you come to register the domain,
  • which is the website’s default language
  • and most importantly, which result will Google show?

To answer most of these questions, most answers relate to the last — which result will Google show?

When users use Google in their own country, the user is most likely to visit google.co.uk if they’re searching from the UK. However, your website must then indicate where the UK version of your website is located through canonical link tags.

Using canonical link tags, your website should also tell Google which your default website language is and mention any other languages used too.

Again, this can be an extremely tedious process for some web agencies which are not experienced in global SEO. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you get this done right.

Using the canonical link tags also covers the other question regarding duplicate content. It allows your website to tell Google that it’s the same content and that Google shouldn’t penalise the website(s).

2. Global keyword research

We can’t stress the importance of keyword research enough. It’s important to do your research before you start any SEO strategy.

To conduct effective keyword research for SEO globally, you may need to consider five things:

  1. Defining your business service into one or two words (for us, it would be “web design company”).
  2. The chosen keyword’s search volume in all countries.
  3. Any current established rankings your website holds in all countries.
  4. Your competition in all countries.
  5. For multilingual websites, ensure that keyword you’ve chosen to research aligns with a native’s language and search intention.

There are many tools you can use to check each of there individually. To name a couple, a free tool would include SERPRobot and a paid tool would be Ahrefs.

Remember, this process can be time-consuming. Especially if you’re needing to research each keyword in different languages and contexts over and over again for when creating new content.

3. Become authoritative

At a global level, ranking becomes extremely competitive. The shorter your keywords are, the more results are going to show for them — meaning you have to overtake even more website’s to reach page-1 globally.

For this, you need to consider having a content creation strategy such as using a blog. This will help boost rankings for long tail keywords, which are much more easier to rank for when compared to a short tail keyword.

These long tail keyword optimised posts would then create a funnel of traffic towards your website, increasing the overall traffic you receive. Therefore, hopefully boosting your short tail keyword optimised page’s rankings up in the process.

4. Consider a CDN to host your website

Content delivery networks are servers located around the world which all can host your website. Using these can boost site-speed scores as the server the website is loaded from is closer to the user who’s viewing it.

As Google takes site-speed into account, for global SEO — this could really help.