Foreign SEO has its own set of best practices as each country has widely different regulations. If your business expands beyond the borders of the USA, there are special considerations you should take to ensure International SEO success.
1) Buy the domain that is native to the countries you are targeting. For example, if you want German visitors, buy the www.website.de as most German residents search on their local search engine.
2) Host your foreign domain in country if possible so you will have a local IP address.
3) Establish a physical location/mailing address in each country if possible
4) Set Google Webmaster Tools to reflect each country you are targeting.
5) Translate several pages of your site into the language(s) most used in the countries where you do business. Have a professional translator re-write your copy to keep your message intact. Do not rely on automated translators, as they are notoriously bad.
6) Translate your keyword list into each language and be sure to include keywords in the meta data of your site.
7) Foreign copy can create odd graphic design and page layout challenges, especially with languages that read right to left or vertically like Chinese or Arabic. Most popular website platforms like WordPress or Drupal offer plug ins to solve this program.
8) Attract inbound links from other websites in each country.
9) If you plan to use Google AdWords, be sure to geo-target your campaigns.
Each country has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to website design and SEO, so it pays to have a professional search firm on board. Fruition is happy to help you navigate foreign waters.
Jeff Williams is an SEO Project Manager at Fruition based in Denver, Colorado. Jeff uses his deep understanding of SEO and internet marketing to guide clients, optimize websites and ultimately improve search rankings.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association