Online is being used more than ever with everyone in lockdown and businesses facing real threats. Social groups are meeting online and families are connecting daily using social media to keep in touch. Prime Time TV shows are even using VOIPs to produce live TV programmes. Could you use this period of lockdown to engage with more customers and drive your online sales once the market is open again?
How to improve your business’ international digital footprint
Your business’ digital footprint includes your website, social media posts and activity, blogs, podcasts and videos. How comprehensive and/or synergistic is your international digital footprint with your brand values, mission and vision? Could you list your top ten keywords and what your website’s top organic keywords are ranking for in different countries? Would they be as you’d expect? What is the search volume for these keywords? How do you rank against competition? Has this changed recently? When did you last read your website?
You’d be surprised about how many websites are created without a keyword strategy or a real understanding of what the potential customers are searching for online. It’s not complicated, it just takes time to research and plan. There are several free tools that are easy to use, which generate immediate results to start and build a SEED list for your keyword strategy including Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. Specialised industry software such as Google Search Console, SEMRush and Moz also have free versions, which can be used to look at competitors and see what their ranking organic keywords are as well as their top backlinks. Your keywords will form the cornerstone of your international digital footprint, so it’s advisable to research into as much detail as possible and understand what your target audience is searching for online as well as your competition’s ranking.
Check the speed of your website and pay attention to leveraging your cache browsing, CSS and Java Script – all common causes of slowing down a website’s download time. Check all internal links and ensure your AMP pages are optimised. As SERP features become increasingly important, include Rich Snippets with Schema,org vocabulary. GT Metrix, is a Canadian online tool, which is free to use and analyses your website from an international IP or Think With Google will analyse your mobile website’s download speed.
Ensure you have the written descriptions to the optimum character length for mobile, and that the copy contains your keywords on all of Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, H1 Tags and Images, without duplicates. With Google AI, image file names, not just the Alt-Tags can be read, so ensure that the web designers don’t just include a file path that is number and characters and has no meaning. Ensure you have HReflangs for your target countries, even in English for the USA. This means that the search engines will pick up on the ‘en-us’ signal, which should result in a faster download in the USA.
To check the backend of your website and how it is read by search engines you can use ScreamingFrog, which you download but has a free function, or there is Google Search Console with an array of functions such as keyword and on-page analysis.
It takes times to create content and quality backlinks from relevant third parties with a good Authority Score above 50, so planning is key, but you ought to see an impact after three months. Ensure content contains your keywords and create backlinks to different pages throughout your website, not just your home page. Variety is a crucial factor here. Create videos as part of your strategy and host on YouTube (so your website’s bandwidth doesn’t increase) - including messaging that adds value to your potential customers by offering guidance and advice. Consider their perspective; why should they buy from you? Moreover, always ensure you answer this, ‘how will this company’s product or service improve my business?’. Very often content is created from the brands perspective and not that of the customer. Use the tools to identify what potential clients are really searching for and write content around the actual phrases your customers use, not necessarily industry terminology. Post frequently and be relevant across multiple platforms in a tone of voice and language that reaches your customer on a grassroots level.
For any further assistance regarding internationalising your website or international SEO, or further fully-funded support with regards to international trade or innovation, please contact us by leaving your details here. One of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.