Startup businesses looking for ways to make their brand known internationally can benefit considerably from search engine optimization (SEO). Launching a campaign is a challenging but worthwhile investment that can make an impact quickly. With it, you can leverage your business, gain traction in the global market, and give your brand a fighting chance against the major competitors in your industry.
Before you get started, here are a few things you need to know:
- SEO is a necessity
The internet has become a significant player in commercial transactions. Most people looking to purchase a product or service trust search engines to lead them to a reliable source. A well-executed SEO campaign can catapult your website to the first page of search engines, increasing your visibility, web traffic, and sales opportunities.
- SEO is a long-term play with long-term results
The goal of SEO is to establish your website and your company as an expert, authoritative, and trustworthy source. Building a solid reputation takes time and effort, both inside and outside the digital sphere. It can take as long as six months to a year for SEO strategies to show results. And it doesn’t stop there. Algorithms and consumer demands change over time, which means your game plans need to be continuously updated to achieve long-term success.
- SEO is measurable
One thing that makes SEO an effective strategy is that it gives you the ability to monitor the state of your campaign. With the help of analytics tools, marketers can keep track of what is working and what needs to be improved. This allows marketers to adapt quickly to the situation and remedy issues.
- Go global by going local
Global SEO means reaching the international market sphere by targeting individual localities. Consumption is dictated by many factors, including culture and environment. Strategies (like keywords, content, and social media) that find success in one country may fall short in others. For example, while in the US LinkedIn can be used as a marketing tool, content shared in that platform will fail to reach a Japanese audience. Businesses have to take into account the consumer behaviour of each location to succeed.
Characteristics of a Quality Website
As mentioned, Google doesn’t care what kind of business you are or what your marketing objectives might be. Search engines have their own agenda, and when it comes to SEO it’s all about awarding high-ranking positions to pages that provide key factors such as:
- Accessibility – Web pages must be accessible to web crawlers for search engine indexing. They also must be mobile-friendly to appeal to the large percentage of consumers who rely on their mobile phones for purchases.
- Quality content – Content is the main attraction of a website. Potential and existing customers looking for answers to questions and solutions to problems rely on the relevant and up-to-date information they can get from a site.
- Fast Loading Speed – Slow load times can cause users to bounce from a site, and fast load speeds contribute to an excellent user experience and keep them coming back for more.
- Good Navigation – Design your website so that it’s easy for visitors to navigate and locate the information they need quickly. Steps include keeping your layouts simple and making contact information and calls-to-action visible.
Setting up an SEO-Ready Website
- Website Building
The first step involves selecting a host. Choose one that offers adequate disk space, reliable security system, and fast loading times. InMotion, HostGator, and GoDaddy are among the top-rated hosting sites.
Depending on your preference and the availability of a team, you can choose to build a website from scratch or purchase a template–as long as it is mobile-friendly, navigable, and communicates the essence of your brand. Though the appearance of your site may seem secondary, a well-designed website enhances user experience, an important element for search engine crawlers.
- Keyword Research and Integration
Keyword research tests your knowledge of your target market. Do you know what they are searching for, what problems they need solving, or what topics interest them? Know what terms they type into search engine bars and use them to your advantage.
To begin with, list no more than 20 keywords to rank. Below are a few factors you should consider when choosing keywords:
- Low competition – Keywords with high volume searches are ideal; however, competition for these words is high and not feasible for a startup. Select keywords with average to high search volume, but low competition, to start. Once you’ve achieved high-end rankings with those, you can work your way to higher volume terms.
- Long-tail – While you’re building your online presence, prioritize long-tail keywords. These are terms composed of three to five words and often have low competition. Long-tail keywords are targeted and have higher conversion rates compared to short-tail, which are only one or two words. Most consumers who use short-tail keywords to conduct searches are after general information. Consumers who are further along the buying cycle will almost always use long-tail.
- Localized – Turning a keyword into long-tail can be done by localizing it–adding the geo-location of your target market to the short-tail keyword. Search engines promote what is useful and relevant, and boost the rankings of establishments serving the area where the user is located.
- Content Creation
As previously mentioned, quality content is the crowning glory of your website and is the reason why visitors conduct searches in the first place. To appeal to search engines and potential clients alike, consider the following tactics:
- Integrate keywords. Place your keywords in the title, headings, meta-description, and within the text itself to optimize use. Be careful not to overdo it since this practice can get penalized by search engines. Use variations of the term to avoid getting flagged.
- Use images. Infographics and strategically placed images can add value to your content. Include alt texts to maximize keyword use and be sure to compress file sizes to minimize loading times.
- Add links. Place relevant links, both internal and external, wherever necessary. Use linking to expand information or clarify details. Anchor links to descriptive phrases informing the readers of what they can expect when they click on them.
- Make it sharable. Include social media buttons on posts to make it easy for your viewers to share. The best place for these buttons are at the top or left part of the page.
- Diversify. Content does not only refer to service pages or blogs. Be sure to repurpose them by creating infographics, slideshow presentations, and videos. Offer translated versions to gain access to a broader market.
- Place calls-to-action (CTA). Turn leads into conversions with the help of well-placed and visible CTA.
- Off-Page SEO. Off-page SEO refers to tactics performed outside your website. Below are a few things to consider when starting:
- Online Directories – Register your business website in online directories like Google My Business or Yelp. These websites function as the digital Yellow Pages. Putting your company up on these platforms makes your business easier to find and therefore more accessible to consumers. Doing so also encourages clients to leave reviews and testimonials — a necessary social proof that can boost your credibility to even greater heights.
- Social Media – Share your content across various social media platforms to enhance sharability and build you up as the authority and expert in your industry. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook and Twitter; other platforms can offer equal or greater value. Product vendors, for example, can showcase their merchandise on Instagram, whereas B2B businesses can benefit from the demographic in LinkedIn.
Harness the power of the internet by implementing these strategies to achieve commercial success. The information and tools you need to get started are available throughout the web. Use every resource at your disposal and dominate the front page of the internet.
Of course, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you need assistance, it may be necessary to hire an in-house team or an agency. The expertise and experience of SEO professionals are at your disposal. It can be advantageous for your company to seek premium global SEO services, Globalization Partners International, Victorious SEO, and other international brands to grow your traffic and your business.