Moderator: Greg Jarboe, President & Co-Founder, SEO-PR
Kerstin Baker-Ash, Search Account Manager, i-level
Andy Atkins-Krueger, Managing Director, Web Certain Europe Ltd
Erica Schmidt, Global Director of Search, Isobar
Helen M. Overland, Director, Search Engine Marketing, non-linear creations inc.
Overview from SES Agenda: Conference Day 1 page
As the world becomes smaller and search marketing becomes more complex, the era of “ranking well in Google” is over. This is especially true for companies who are targeting multiple markets or countries. This new opportunity also brings many new complexities to be considered other than standard SEO. This session tackles these key issues critical to successfully developing, optimizing, and launching the Global Websites that would meet those next generation marketing goals, without losing control or your mind.
Distilling some of the main points of each speaker:
First speaker: E. Schmidt
There is an inherent complexity in managing international websites, and especially their accompanying marketing campaigns. Core things to think about when optimizing international websites from SEO perspective:
- Overall strategy
- Campaign management
- Plan centrally
- Synchronize globally
- Be relevant locally. Manage governance
Critical to find the right keywords to use for the people of a particular region. Using computer translation services you obviously lose nuances of the language; e.g., ‘elevator’ in US vs ‘lift’ in UK. Paying for professional translation isn’t super expensive; but, it is priceless for connecting with your local market.
Top worldwide search engines. Google has 60% of share; Baidu, the native search engine in China, 5%. Naver, native engine for S. Korea, 3%. Basically just need to take into account major search providers in that local; it’s not always Google. Asia has loads of unique search engines. In the Western world, Google is obviously the dominant engine. Google is number one in every country where English is first language.
Google has 90% of search share in Europe. Eastern Europe is a bit more complex and scattered in terms of share though.
Complexities of global search:
- Localization vs globalization (where the site is hosted not necessarily as important as the domain extension
- language nauances (keywords: research locally; expect differences [query volume; permutations; semantic combinations; geography-based phrases dependent on size of country)
- website location (in market linking opportunities; getting links from similar domain extensions; domain extensions)
- market maturity
- long tail (longest tails on web are English and German; shortest tail are in Romance languages; newer markets have shorter tails)
Other complexities: content; engines; domain naming; trust (some countries where e-commerce not as popular because of low trust; people research online but buy offline); currency; global vs local (tag lines might be misinterpreted); language & localization
Second speaker: H. Overland
Need good domain structure, if US business wants to do business in Canada and vice verse.
Reasons to target candian visitors: it's a growing market: $12 billion (CAD/US?) in e-commerce sales in 2007 compared to $7 billion couple years ago
Two approaches to domain structure:
- "Country specific" structure: best to have differentiated content on each domain (e.g., site.ca, site.co.uk)
- "Head office" structure: e.g., yoursite/uk, youriste/ca
First structure appears to be better method. Be there for the local audience: get country-specific domain name (very important; more than where hosted); use that country-specific domain; use web server in that country; host country-specific content....
Example of Canadian company successful in the US: smarttech.com.
To be there in US market: get .com domain name; us US spellings
Third speaker: K. Baker-Ash
UK, Germany, France (the biggest European countries in terms of population) have most unique searches. Scandinavian markets have most queries per searcher.
Continental Europe lags behind the UK in search engine optimization and number of practitioners. Easier to rank highly in Europe because SEO competition is less developed. Continental Europe is a great place to market with a little budget... as long as service/product is needed there.
[More redundant stuff on search market share...]
Translated copy does not encounter duplicate content issues. Use small PPC campaign for keyword testing and research (very important); treat the company to a translator. Need local, understandable content; Babelfish won’t suffice.
Use local newspapers, YouTube, etc to get phrasology right. Watch news programs… be relevant to customer. Reach out to them.
TLDs. Instant localization and relevance for Google and other engines: gives engine that context. Avoid country-pointing folders/directories (no site.com/ca; site.com/fr).
Translators worth every penny of investment.
In summary: make sure to localize your site for the global market.
Fourth speaker: A. Atkins-Krueger
He presented handful of steps on internationalizing campaign, plus other facts:
- Finding most important keywords
- Fastest growing Internet audience in Europe: Russia
- Importance of different search engines
- Social networks good for keyword research
- Keyword research… language spelling issues; lack of consensus on spellings; looking at search terms you have mixed bag of results
Use Google insights for researching (keyword) candidate opportunities.
Site architecture. Templates and duplication. Template allows you to deliver content in same way
Use UTF (Unicode) for encoding of website; backwardly compatible with ASCII; encodes up to four-byte characters
Language content and presentation. First step in search indexing progress is deciding what language it is in… stuff based off that
Need good geo-selector on site (dropdown list of all markets/countries served by your biz)
SEO localization and 3 Cs. Content, connections, compatibility… overlap each other
Local links. German targeted site with lots of US links wont do as good as other German site with other German inlinks
PPC. Difference in CPC and search volume in local engines
Page content reviews
Global online PR, PR articles
Purchase options on site must speak locally. Symbols communicate where you are. ‘CB’ symbol in France… unless on site, French person might think you don’t support their purchase option
- SES Toronto 2010 Live Blogging: Managing a Global SEO Campaign
- International SEO: Ranking At Home and Abroad
- Highlights & Lowlights from SES Toronto 2009 - Day 1
- SES Toronto : Canada specific SEO & PPC Issues
- Google.com International VS. Google.com USA