People often ask me how to break into international markets. Big companies struggle with this all the time, but the great thing about the Internet is that small companies have a better chance of going global than ever before. But when you're planning that new country Web site, have you thought about search engine optimization? Sure, you want the free traffic, but have you thought through the steps you need to take? It might be more complicated than you think.
To prove my point, I will walk you through what I typically see. The marketers for an Internet gourmet foods company decide that they are going to begin selling in Mexico. They're excited because they have already have labels on the packages in both Spanish and English, so they don't need to retool any packaging. Also, it's not that expensive to ship the products to Mexico and the existing e-Commerce system can handle pages written in Spanish and show prices in Mexican pesos. They hire an expert in the business set-up and the contractual language, they find someone who speaks fluent Spanish to translate all the pages in the catalog, and throw open the doors.
Image via Wikipedia
Perhaps you can hear the crickets from where you are.
No searchers are coming. But why? We carefully optimized our U.S. site with the right keywords and get tons of search traffic. We know the pages were translated properly because our translator is not only a fluent speaker but has copy writing experience also.
Here's what might have gone wrong:
If you focus on the same basic steps (get pages indexed, select the right keywords, use those keywords on your pages, and get links to pages) that helped your U.S SEO, you'll find that your SEO does indeed translate.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, Web personalization, and Web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.
Mike also founded and writes for the Biznology newsletter and blog, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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