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17/Jul/2020
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Managing standard SEO strategies can be challenging enough, but the task becomes much harder when you go international and attempt to deliver better experiences for visitors in other regions around the world.

If you have recently started optimising your website to help search engines deliver content to users you want to target in different countries and languages, then you will be better prepared to succeed if you know some of the reasons why strategies can falter.

Technical issues

You need search engines to access and crawl your webpages so that you can feature in rankings.

This process is known as technical SEO, and it requires more work when you are managing multiple versions of a website based on locations and languages.

With more to optimise, there is a greater likelihood of technical mix-ups that can hold your international SEO strategies back.

Two of the most prevalent problems that webmasters run into are poor domain and URL structures.

Don’t worry, as even the biggest companies run into these issues.

Netflix had indexing problems back in 2017 and struggled to deliver content to each of the 180-plus countries it operates in.

In addition to optimising domain and URL structures, try to correct any XML sitemap conflicts, poor use of tags, internal linking issues, and mixed hreflang signals.

Slow loading times

A report by Unbounce found that 81% of marketers believe that page speed has a direct impact on conversions, but just 3% focus optimisation efforts on loading times.

Google prefers to serve content that loads quickly, and you will benefit in search performance if you can reduce the time it takes for pages to be usable.

You can improve your page speed times by compressing images, using the best hosting service available to you, reducing the amount of server requests, and minimising redirects.

Strategies that have not been localised

Cutting and pasting a domestic SEO strategy template for international efforts rarely works as it does not take into account the cultures, needs and interests of audiences in each market.

You need to localise your SEO and content campaigns so that they are tailored by language and location.

Merely translating copy with Google is not enough either – you need natural content crafted by native speakers to really engage with audiences overseas.

This will boost your international SEO as content will be search engine optimised for the country and language you are targeting while retaining the authentic and authoritative voice you want to present.

Relying on geo-targeting

Geo-targeting and the practice of delivering content to visitors based on their location is cost-effective and very useful, but you need to be aware of its limitations.

For example, there are countries where multiple languages are spoken or a large expat community does not speak the national language.

This is where website accessibility comes in.

You should try to offer an accessible UI that allows users to change language, location and currency via an intuitive dropdown menu. By doing this, you reduce the risk of alienating visitors who may not be able to navigate your webpages.


05/Feb/2018
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The approach to content marketing continues to mature in India after a new report published by social media giant LinkedIn found the clear majority will be using tech including, machine learning, data analytics and programmatic ad buying, to support creative strategies and thought leadership content during 2018.

The growing appetite for all things content in India is highlighted by the fact that a sizeable 74% are planning to spend more on marketing mediums and platforms during the next 12 months, which is considerably more than those in other countries, including Hong Kong (33%) and Singapore (25%).

LinkedIn surveyed marketing professionals in those three countries and Australia during September and October last year and has now published the Marketing Team of Tomorrow report with the main findings. In content marketing terms, a diverse approach is preferable, and many are eager to integrate the latest trends.

Therefore, it is no surprise that web content, personalised infographics, videos, and articles are the main focus for APAC marketers as a whole, and India in particular. The move to tailored content is now seen as a crucial part of the marketing mix, as brands attempt to serve up added value resources to educate and inform customers while pushing them along the sales cycle.

Content marketing is in the top three marketing trends for Indian marketers overall, and technology will be central to attaining the best return on investment from these endeavours in 2018. Data analytics leads the way, with 94% of respondents saying it will underpin content activities in the coming months, but both machine learning and programmatic ad buying are not far behind.

These results suggest there is a growing maturity and sophistication among Indian marketers in the approach to content marketing, which is a trend reflected in the West as more brands become well-versed in the strategies that can give them a competitive edge across social media and the wider web.

More than a third are also outsourcing content generation to a third party, such as a digital agency. Again, this a trend that has been seen in various other reports during the last six months and suggests brands are now bringing the creative process into sharp focus. The fact that India is also doubling down on creating storytelling to engage and interact with customers supports this trend.

Virginia Sharma, LinkedIn India Director for Marketing Solutions, said: “We’ve stepped out of a year where content marketing took centre stage, and Indian marketers got a flavour of what new-age marketing looks like, powered by data and presented in video. As we enter 2018, technology will underpin all marketing activities, and teams will focus on outsourcing technical expertise while retaining an in-house focus on improving customer experience.”

She added: “This year, Indian marketers will do away with ‘one size fits all’ and will deploy high-quality ‘branded content’ and thought leadership content to gain customer trust and loyalty.”

Other key trends for India this year noted in the report include an expected rise in video content and marketing automation investment.


13/Nov/2017
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The importance of creating localised content for global audiences in 2018 and beyond has been highlighted again, after a new study published by tech enterprise Smartling revealed that 94% of marketers are planning to increase their investment in translation, transcreation and other strategies designed to deliver more relevant resources to consumers.

Entering new markets was traditionally a time-consuming and often expensive task laden with risk and uncertainty, but today’s connected digital world has empowered brands to offer their products and services in scores of potentially lucrative regions around the world.

Smartling’s new study, which incorporates the opinions of 300 high-level executive marketers in the US and Europe, suggests content now goes hand-in-hand with expansion and growth plans. A staggering 94% said they are aiming to up their investment in content localisation services, such as translation and transcreation, during the next year.

This suggests the value of content marketing to modern enterprises is soaring as localised resources, including news, web copy, articles and videos, are seen by brands as a critical asset for catalysing growth and increasing revenue opportunities in regions they may previously have struggled to impact in a meaningful way.

To achieve their own multinational aspirations and engage with these new audiences, marketing leaders will spend more money on tailoring mobile applications, social media platforms, websites and other forms of content so they can be consumed in many different languages. They are also planning to enter seven new markets on average next year.

“Companies active in multiple geographic markets understand the many benefits localized content can deliver, but not all know how to best leverage this powerful competitive differentiator,” Smartling’s Vice President of Marketing Juliana Pereira said in a press release. “In today’s global business environment it’s all about enhancing, tailoring and personalizing customer experiences. Providing translation in the local language goes the extra mile to show your customers that your brand speaks their language, quite literally.”

Brands believe that showing consumers they care about their culture, traditions and preferences is essential, as 80% of respondents to the survey conducted by IDG Research said localisation was vital when attempting to enter new territories. A further 88% said translation services would be required to support expansion plans.

Brands also see localisation as a primary money maker, as 74% said they see a global content outlook as a revenue driver. The extent to which localised content is a core strategy is demonstrated by 40% stating that their enterprises are already spending more than $500,000 (£380,000) every year on such services, a figure that is likely to rise even higher in the coming years.

The Global Content Marketing report published earlier this year also found that content localisation is becoming an increasingly important process for brands, though it cited resource issues, such as budget constraints, inadequate support from executives, and deadline challenges among the top reasons why many are yet to truly master the art of global content.