Going International? What You Need To Know For Your Glocal SEO
It all comes down to a local content gap analysis. Local keyword research is only a part of the equation – albeit an important one.
The next part of the equation is true local expertise.
In addition to conducting each market’s own keyword analysis from scratch, you also need to perform an analysis of the local services already available to each audience – and of their respective local ranking (which may surprise you).
These often rather small, very local competitors can be completely different across regions.
They likely have a lot of influence on their audience.
You need local language and local marketing expertise not just to translate your content, but also to perform competitor research.
It’s important to understand the environment and the culture you’re moving into, and that goes far beyond word-for-word translation.
Learn From The Locals
Once you know about local competitors, dig deeper:
- What do they offer that you don’t (yet)?
- What are their best ranking content formats?
- What are the gaps in their offerings that you can fill?
- Do they use videos successfully? How are those structured?
- Are they focused on picture carousels? Blog posts?
- What kinds of content are most effective for them?
And of course: What keywords do they invest in the most?
Answering these questions provides valuable information for your own strategy in each locale.
Audit your own content for the respective market in comparison and be honest with yourself. Is your approach to the target audience really on point?
As an example, have a look at what different cultures look for when searching for a “dress.”
We’ve compared Portuguese and German search volumes:
Can you proceed based on the strictly translated content, just by optimizing it?
Or do you need to create new, targeted content from scratch – possibly in new formats?
Consider Local Video Trends & Preferences
Let’s say your local expert provided you with insights indicating a need for more video content.
Don’t just hop on the bandwagon and convert any written content to text bits moving on the screen.
Instead, get a deep analysis of which video formats are performing well for each respective market.
Can they be more text-based or does your regional audience prefer human interaction?
If so, do you need to produce content in those regions on location using a local crew and local actors?
Or do you want to cater to a region that demands video formats with high interactivity, such as instant commenting, directly on the screen? China is a good example.
Do you need to go live, seizing the opportunity for flash sales? Or would you rank better with how-to videos, directly linked to your products?
The same thorough local analysis should be done for each format identified as more valuable for your target audience at each location.
Consider How Channels & Content Formats Change For Different Audiences
How you leverage channels and content formats may change when you go international.
The marketing wisdom at home about what works best for your goals might not apply abroad.
Even how you present a blog post to your audience depends on their preferences: Do you cater to a market that prefers a lot of visual support?
If so, do they connect better with photos of humans they can identify with, or do they prefer logical support through diagrams?
What are the cultural implications of certain colors?
Do they need information presented in very “digestible” forms like catchy bullet points, or do you have to provide thorough reasoning to earn their trust?
Are they competitive, enjoying the format of “Top Ten/Five/Three” lists?
Do they relate to information more easily when brought across personally, via an interview?
Do they prefer a formal tone or more informal content?
Localization experts can help you to understand how audiences interact with different channels and formats in your target locations.
If there are cultural differences or different digital marketing frameworks to consider, you might not even know about them.
That’s why you need localization experts, not just translators.
Glocal SEO means treating each region and audience as unique.
Glocal SEO Needs Both Technology & Local Expertise
All these questions and problems can be addressed with data.
However, it takes expertise to filter and interpret data, as well as convert the results into local, successful content.
It takes the right technology, with tools such as Semrush and more.
But don’t be fooled.
No technology is smarter than the person using it; this is where true experts can shine.
An expert’s local cultural insight allows them to:
- Find the information that matters to you.
- Validate the correctness and validity of data about your target market.
- Interpret data to inform your local campaign and predict future trends.
If your product line is a very specialized one, make sure your local SEO specialist is familiar with your product range, as well.
The same goes for the local linguists who will be recreating your content for each respective market.
Don’t Forget To Apply Glocal Principles To Technical SEO
Even technical approaches differ among regions.
In some markets in Asia, for example, you may want to completely swap your website for micro sites, integrated into the apps of leading local portals.
Other locales call for your own apps, often as a complementary option and sometimes as an alternative.
Everything depends on the individual combination of your sociological target group, their location, and your product.
If the technical needs of your audience are significantly different, you may need to readdress the scope of your project.
The Wrong Payment Method Can Cost Your Business
Last but not least, even with perfectly localized content and channels, you can’t create any sales if you don’t adopt the payment options as well!
Believe it or not, neither MasterCard nor Visa work everywhere.
There are countries where you don’t need to worry about this.
Payments via apps have become practically mandatory in many countries – but which system does your local target group trust?
Some audiences are very particular about the payment services they use.
Payment adaptation is an essential aspect of localization and overall business. It’s also easy to forget about!
Glocal SEO Is A Matter Of Experts
The domestic SEO team does a fantastic job with your home market.
But when growing across borders, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach.
Even the most perfect native strategy needs to be tailored for each new market.
For your SEO strategy, this means: When going international, you need to go local. With local SEO experts.
That’s what glocal SEO is all about.
It takes experience and a worldwide network.
Get the best experts on board for the optimal ROI of your hard work!
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