SEO Techniques to Market your Brand to an International Audience for Online Success
Expand your SEO in Hong Kong to SEO Worldwide
You may have good search engine positioning in Hong Kong and benefit with local traffic, but how about the rest of the world? Companies and brands that cross borders see massive increase in revenues and rapid business expansion. Although online market expansion heavily relies on the quality and ability of your SEO company, it is also a question of understanding regional laws, culture, and the behaviour of your target audience online.
This post provides SEO techniques that will help you reach new international audience, increasing your revenue stream and expanding your business and brand.
Optimise and Translate your Current Site for your Target Audience
Top Level Domains and Language
Before you look at culture and translation of your existing site, ask your SEO company to address top leveldomains (TLD) and language issues for your current site. Ideally, your SEO company will be able to show your Asian target audience the right version of your site to the right audience. This is critical to the success of your international SEO campaign.
For example, if you’re based in Hong Kong, your TLD will be yoursite.com.hk. If you want to sell in Japan, you are best advised to create a TLD for Japan. So, yoursite.jp as this will give you better search engine performance.
Although this can be expensive as you need to purchase the separate domains, it is considered the best method of Geo tagging a site. It is also the most trusted by your potential customers.
Sadly it may not be possible to always be used in which case you have to go down the subdirectory route.
Sub Directories for Country and Language
If you cannot buy a domain in a target country because you do not have offices based in it, your SEO company should offer you a sub directory alternative. Here, you specify the target country and language in the sub domain. This becomes especially important if you are targeting variances of the same language. So www.yoursite.com/us
/en/ would specify that the site is for an American audience. While www.yoursite.com/hk_en specifies a Hong Kong English speaking audience.
Although this has issues which your SEO company should be able to explain, you will be able to target the audience using this system and modify the content accordingly.
A good example of this is Samsung. They take the sub directory approach to target different APAC audiences see below. See below:
Samsung Hong Kong – www.samsung
Samsung Japan – www.samsung
Understand the Culture of your Target Audience to Create Effective Content
To create content for your international audiences that will make you an online success you need to understand the culture of your audiences. This goes beyond word for word translations. This is because slang, and cultural sayings in one country are meaningless in another. Should this happen to your business you will lose your audience entirely.
Instead, take the time to learn the culture of your international target audience. Your SEO company should be able to help with this.
Aspects to watch out for:
- Keywords – Ensure keywords are translated properly. This can be difficult by your SEO company should be able to do this for you.
- Currency – Use local currency and watch out for slang.
- Units of measure – Pints and miles or litres and kilometres
- Seasonal references and holidays – Based in Hong Kong the Ching Ming festival could be used for your Hong Kong audience to sell your product range. In Vietnam however, Ching Ming isn’t celebrated, and as such, using it as a platform for marketing is meaningless.
- Call to Actions – Keep them concise and meaningful to your target audience
At all times your content should be configured for your target audience. Ensure your translator knows as much about your target audience’s culture as they do the language.
If you ask your SEO company about the importance of link building, they should tell you that it is vital to search engine performance. As such, getting links for your internationally targeted website is important.
Additionally, local links from domains hosted in your target country could see an improvement in local searches.
So how do you get links?
- Local web Directories – Using country based web directories is an easy way to start your link building campaign. Setup local web presence in your target country by setting up local Google Places listings, industry and business listings. These are like phone directories but online based.
- Guest Posting– Finding high traffic, industry related blogs and publishing good quality content from a person of authority on external blogs is standard practice for generating quality traffic and link building. Ensure you write regularly about your business domain on your website blog so it helps build a profile and encourages people to click through to your site. Utilise as many traffic generating opportunities as possible.
- Relationship Building – Another method is to approach local companies, or some of your customers and discuss the opportunities for mutual exposure on either website which will also generate links. This is a win-win for both parties, but important the sites are carefully selected, are relevant and industry related.
- Social Media – There are now many ways of building links through social media; the best approach is to produce great content that is tailored to your target audience and is link worthy, then sharing the content with your fans/followers and target influencers in social groups online, naturally gets them interested in your brand and build links
- Local PR – This approach can be highly effective providing you can find the right groove. The idea is you publish relevant information for your international audience that is connected to your business, often this can include latest industry trends, new developments in a company, outlook in the market place, or an expert interview with a key stake holder. This type of content is then shared with target brand ambassadors in your industry online, social groups, forums, news sites and blog owners who help pubslish and share the content that will generate online PR.
As with all link building practices, you need to ensure you adhere to guidelines for the most popular search engines in the region. Your SEO company should be familiar with this.
Utilise the Most Popular Search Engines in the Region
Although Baidu is incredibly popular in China, Yahoo is the most dominate in Japan and is also popular in Hong Kong. Similarly, you need to think outside the box and not just concentrate on Baidu. Sogou, Qihoo, Google all have sizeable chunks of the search market, notably Google has the most market share in many regions around Asia, one should try and leverage all of them. As such to be successful you have to ensure your site appears on the most popular search engines for your target country. Again, your SEO company should help you.
To assist in this process it is highly important that your content is geared towards your target audience, and that your keywords are a good cultural fit.
Find Brand Partners
Although we have an attitude of beating our competitions in an international sphere, it is often best to promote a united front. Sharing each others’ content, guest posting on each others’ sites helps you and your competitors reach new audiences faster. This is a good way to engage audiences quickly.
Harness Social Media
Like search engines different social media platforms do better in different countries. Ensure you chose the right ones. Your SEO company should be well experienced with social media in different markets and should be able to help.
All this Sounds Good by What Next?
Utilise our services to make your business and brand an international success. We have the resources and the expertise to ensure your brand does well internationally. Simply follow this link to get started with an international SEO company
based in Hong Kong.
Author: Jonathan Gillespie