Sights Set on the World Here’s How to Rank Better Internationally

Sights Set on the World? Here’s How to Rank Better Internationally

Clients and others often ask us how they can rank internationally, either in one specific country or multiple lands. So here we try to offer a few pointers.

Essentially, search engines take a huge number of factors into account when assessing which nation a website should appear in, from language and content to where the URL is hosted. Similar factors need considering when looking at why a site doesn’t appear in a particular location.

Equally, you have to consider a website from the point of view of the user. For example, the reality is that, in the States, many searchers will be reluctant to purchase goods from a different country if they can buy that product within the US.

At the same time, with some business models, it simply may not be realistic to expect to rank worldwide, no matter how much you’d like to.

However, assuming that your brand does represent a useful result to an overseas user, your website needs to convey the right message. Typically, that involves producing content specifically for that user’s location and language. That’s where hreflang tags are useful – they specify the language and optional geographical restrictions for a particular document.

Can I rank in multiple countries with a .uk domain?

You can. However, it may well be worth considering setting up specific country and/or language pages aimed specifically at particular regions, with information relevant to each one. These sections should be optimised with care according to your keyword research, and with the appropriate hreflang tags.

Ranking in one particular location abroad

A great first step could be to set up HTML language attributes. It’s also worth incorporating a few details about your international shipping arrangements, along with perhaps some product pricing in the currency of the nation you want to target.

Additionally, if for example you want to target the US, create a site for the country with a non-country-specific domain extension. That allows you to keep all relevant details up-to-date and US-specific.

In a nutshell, if you’re keen to reach and rank in an overseas market, you have to produce content angled to that specific market.

Key points to remember

  1. At least in theory, any URL extension can rank anywhere in the world.
  2. That said, it can make sense to have a separate website, geared towards the target country and its particular customer base.
  3. We should probably also point out that in some countries (Russia and China spring to mind) different legal implications may come into play – but that’s probably a whole blog on its own!
  4. Set up language targeting and hreflang tags correctly so that customers in your target nation have the information they need.

If you can do all of the above in the right way, Google should start to notice you – and for the right reasons. Talk to us at Front Page about international targeting.