The 6 Most Essential Elements of a Global SEO Strategy
According to our team of SEO experts in Dubai and London here at Trafiki, the six most important elements of an international SEO strategy are as follows:
#1 Hreflang Tags
HTML uses various tags to inform web browsers which information needs to be displayed. When it comes to hitting international markets, using “hreflang” should be used to highlight the content language and the geolocation of your audience. It may look something like this:
link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/” hreflang=”en-ae”
link rel=”alternate” href=”https://example.com/ar/” hreflang=”ar-ae”
In this example, the first link points to the website’s default version in English, and the hreflang attribute is set to “en-ae” to indicate that this version is intended for users in the UAE who speak English. The second link points to the Arabic version of the website, and the hreflang attribute is set to “ar-ae” to indicate that this version is intended for users in the UAE who speak Arabic.
Note that the hreflang codes for the UAE are “en-ae” for English and “ar-ae” for Arabic. These codes indicate the language (en for English, ar for Arabic) and the region (ae for UAE) that the content is intended for.
Having hreflang set up correctly is essential for reaching international markets. When a foreign search is entered, the engine will search the hreflang code first before searching for an alternative language code match.
Please note, hreflang will not work on Baidu or Bing – these use a setup called the content-language meta tag.
#2 Determine the Search Engine
Even though Google is by far the most used search engine in the UAE (95%) and all over the globe, there are a number of countries where alternate search engines are also popular. For example, in Japan, Yahoo has 24% of the market share, meaning you would need to account for this in your overall SEO strategy if you want to target a Japanese audience.
#3 SERPs and Keywords Differ
Google’s algorithm is the same regardless of the country you’re in, but the search engine results page (SERPs) for a given keyword will vary depending on the location. To understand the SERPs within your target country, you’ll need to assess their local SERPs, which you can do by using a tool like Screaming Frog.
You will also need to consider changes in word definitions, even within same-language countries. For example, if you search for “football” in America and then in the UK, you’ll find extremely different results since, in the UK, football is the word used instead of soccer.